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Video Viewing via Mobile Surging; Apple Dominates

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Video viewing via mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, game consoles, etc.) rose dramatically in 2012, accounting for 12% of total video viewing in the fourth quarter, up 10 percentage points from 2% a year earlier, according to an analysis by FreeWheel.

Below, additional findings about non-user-generated video for the fourth quarter of 2012 from FreeWheel, a video monetization company.

Video viewing on devices other than PCs and Macs grew 30% in the final quarter of 2012 alone:

Though video consumption via mobile constitutes is a small proportion of total online viewing, Apple devices dominates mobile viewing—accounting for 60% of all Mac/non-PC viewing in the fourth quarter of 2012.


The iPad accounted for 24% of the overall iOS total, the iPhone accounted for 30%, and iPod touch devices accounted for the remaining 6% of its overall share.

Meanwhile, video viewing via Android devices accounted for 31% of total viewing during the period.

Though Android devices recorded major volume gains in the last two quarters of 2012, the OS only accounts for one-half the viewing via iOS devices.

Apple' strong lead is due to its dominance in the tablet market, a space Android has yet to substantially penetrate, according to FreeWheel.

Other key findings:

  • The amount of professional, rights-managed video content being consumed online continues to rise, with total video views up 23% year over year.
  • Video ad volume spiked 47% year over year, fueled by holiday spending and increased ad loads: Long-form content (20+ minutes) had an average of 9.4 video ads per video view in 4Q12, up from 6.9 in 4Q11; pre-roll and mid-roll volumes rose 45% and 60%, respectively, over the same period.
  • Despite higher ad loads, video ad completion rates are at an all-time high across content lengths: 93% for longform content (20+ minutes), 81% for mid-form content (5-20 minutes), and 68% for short-form content (<5 minutes).
  • Use of the 15-second video ad decreased steadily over the study period, while the 30-second ad gained share: 34% of video ads are 15 seconds, while 42% are 30 seconds. The inverse was true in Q4 2011

About the data: Findings are based on data from over 13.5 billion video ads (pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll) in the fourth quarter of 2012, primarily among US-based activity on behalf of US-based content producers. The data here represents only video that is rights-managed: aggregate monetization data for professional content from FreeWheel's customers, and does not reflect trends for user-generated content.


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Lenna Garibian is a MarketingProfs research writer and a marketing consultant in the tech industry, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. She's held marketing and research positions at eRPortal Software, GAP Inc., Stanford University, and the IMF. Reach Lenna via Twitter @LennaAnahid and LinkedIn.

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