Half of all online video will be watched on tablets and smartphones by 2016

online-video

Consumers’ appetite for devouring content via their mobile devices shows no sign of abating and, according to a new study, it’s sports fans who are driving the trend. Ooyala’s latest Global Video Index, published this week, shows that over the past two years, there has been a 719 percent surge in the use of tablets and smartphones for online video viewing.

The video publishing and analytics company, which draws on data from nearly 200 million viewers in more than 130 countries to build its reports, found that the time consumers spent watching video on mobiles and tablets already exceeds one-fourth of all online viewing. And this is especially true of sports fans.

Ooyala notes that sports broadcasters have been some of the most progressive in reacting to this mobile video trend and it would appear this is paying off, as according to its figures, sports fans are the most hungry for video content not just on tablets or smartphones, but across all screens.

Sport has a stronger attraction than the latest cinema releases — mobile viewers watched live sports three times longer in a single sitting than when watching video on demand, for instance. And, according to the data, sports fans using tablets watched live sports more than twice as long in a single sitting on their devices than all other live video when considered as a whole.

In terms of other devices, connected TV users spent 87 percent of their total sports viewing time watching videos longer than 10 minutes, but mobile users stay connected to the action longer, in order to catch replays and highlights.

“Sports properties are the leading innovators in digital distribution, especially when it comes to live and mobile viewing,” said Jay Fulcher, chief executive officer of Ooyala. “Our data continues to show major shifts in the way people consume TV and video, pointing to a global opportunity for broadcasters – particularly when sports are involved – to engage and increase their audience and maximize content rights monetization.”

Ooyala’s report follows the publication of Deloitte’s annual Digital Democracy Survey. And although it was confined to tracking consumer trends in the US, it found that the younger generation of 14-to-24-year-olds, what it calls “trailing Millennials,” are already moving away from the television and towards alternative devices, which now account for 56 percent of their TV content viewing time. That breaks down as 32 percent for the computer, 9 percent for smartphones, 7 percent of time spent watching TV content on tablets and 8 percent on a gaming device. The remaining 44 percent is spent sitting in front of the TV.

However, when taken as a national average, factoring in all age groups up to 67+, 16 percent of time spent watching TV content is done so on a laptop or desktop, 5 percent via tablets and 4 percent via the smartphone and via gaming devices such as consoles. All of which leaves the traditional TV with a 71 percent share.