What a difference a device makes. Though the first was released less than three years ago, tablets are forever changing the way individuals consume streaming video from a past norm of short-form content to a present (and future) of longer form video that includes live events, TV programs and films on these bigger-screen devices.
Mobile video struggled mightily just a few years ago, when smartphones were the key device, forcing content providers to create special short episodes – called ‘mobisodes’ – to engage viewers. Short engagement times made advertising nothing short of epically heavy hoisting. As a result, early mobile video services struggled mightily, failed, or both.
Short-Form to Long(er) Form Video
Last year, however, a mobile video milestone was reached thanks primarily to the quick rise of the tablet. Roughly one third of the total time spend watching tablet video last quarter was with premium, long-form content running more than 60 minutes, according to Ooyala, a multi-discipline ,video streaming analytics firm.
When you combine that finding with Ooyala’s data point that the share of all hours watching streaming video on these and smartphones doubled in 2012, it’s clear that last year marked the opening of floodgates of available video to tablets, with a forecast of continually rising content choices to excited consumers.
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This also represents a boon for publishers, who would be well advised to create device-specific advertising strategies, a takeaway from Ooyala’s 2012 findings that’s sure to be echoed loudly throughout the streaming video industry.
The amount of time spent watching long-form content (which Ooyala defined as longer than 10 minutes in duration) on tablets rose 37 percent from Q1 to Q4 of last year alone. The allure of tablets to consumers that aren’t on the run/remote/traveling, etc. is another aspect that needs to be front-of-mind for all in the streaming video ecosystem.
The share of time spent watching online video on tablets on jumped 73 percent on Christmas Day compared to the Q4 average claimed Ooyala in a finding entitled “Home and Online for the Holidays.” Of paramount interest opportunity-wise to retailers, e-tailers and consumer brands is the finding that branded video viewing surged between shopping mega-day Black Friday and Christmas.
Worldwide tablet shipments outpaced predictions reaching a record total of 52.5 million units worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC). The tablet market grew 75.3 percent year over year in 4Q12 (up from 29.9 million units in 4Q11) and increased 74.3 percent from the previous quarter's total of 30.1 million units. “Lower average selling prices, a wide range of new product offerings, and increased holiday spending all acted as catalysts to push the already climbing tablet market to record levels,” according to IDC’s tablet tracker.
"We expected a very strong fourth quarter, and the market didn't disappoint," said Tom Mainelli, research director, Tablets, at IDC in prepared comments. "New product launches from the category's top vendors, as well as new entrant Microsoft, led to a surge in consumer interest and very robust shipments totals during the holiday season. The record-breaking quarter stands in stark contrast to the PC market, which saw shipments decline during the quarter for the first time in more than five years."
To put IDC’s device research intelligence into everyday perspective, remember a survey conducted by the trade association Consumer Electronics Association last year.
I wasn’t surprised that tablets topped the list of most-desired consumer electronic devices holiday gift. However, when the gift wish list category was made generic and tablets beat out money and peace/happiness, the impact hit harder than a Mike Tyson punch.
So if you’re a part of the streaming video ecosystem, and you haven’t analyzed the tablet opportunity, market intelligence from researchers such as IDC and findings from folks such as Ooyala, feel the need for speed so the joke isn’t on you.