Mobile Streaming Grew 100 Percent in 2012

By Gary Kim February 28, 2013

You might not be surprised to learn that mobile and tablet users watch significant amounts of video on their devices. But Ooyala says the hours spent watching streaming video on tablets and mobile increased 100 percent in 2012.

That mobile viewing of video grew that much should not come as a surprise. For example, a new study sponsored by inMobi found that 50 percent of the average global mobile Web users now use mobile as either their primary or exclusive means of using the Internet.

If people are using mobiles as a primary or exclusive way of using the Internet, and if video is one of the most common Internet media types, it is not too surprising that mobile video viewership would be growing, especially as fourth generation networks and bigger screens now make mobile video a more enjoyable experience.

In 2008, Cisco forecasted that video would represent half of global bandwidth and would be used for consumer video apps of one sort or another by 2012. Those forecasts were not far from the mark.

Video streaming traffic represented a 42 percent share of all global bandwidth in the second half of 2011, up from 35 percent in the first half of 2011, according to Allot Communications. Overall, global mobile broadband traffic grew by 83 percent in the second half of the year, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 234 percent during the year.

This bandwidth is being dominated by a small percentage of users. Although, according to a January 2012 report from Arieso, one percent of mobile subscribers now consume half of all downloaded data, with a third of those subscribers using a smartphone.

In the second half of 2011, YouTube accounted for 57 percent of all global video streaming traffic, meaning that YouTube alone held 24 percent share of global bandwidth. Overall, YouTube traffic grew by 143 percent, while video streaming traffic rose 88 percent.

Ooyala also says live video is starting to drive viewing, not pre-recorded video. Ooyala's data also shows viewers watch live video longer on all devices, suggesting live video is more engaging.

On desktops, viewers watched live video 18 times longer than video on demand content in the fourth quarter of 2012, for example.

About a third of the total time spent watching tablet video in the fourth quarter of 2012 was engagement with premium, long-form content running more than 60 minutes, Ooyala says.

The percentage of time spent watching long-form video (over 10 minutes) on tablets increased 37 percent from the first quarter to the fourth quarter of 2012.

The share of tablet video viewing more than doubled in 2012 as well.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

Contributing Editor

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