Here's What People Are Actually Watching On Their Smartphones And Tablets, As TV Goes Mobile

Cable channels, TV networks, and pay TV providers are rushing to provide viewers with apps that allow them to watch anywhere, across devices. But streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are now developing their own programming and challenging the traditional players for audiences’ attention.

There’s a glut of video available. Fifteen per cent of all online video is already being viewed on mobile devices. Another significant slice is being viewed through apps on smart TVs and set-top boxes.

But what kind of content is keeping audiences glued to all their screens, and how is it different from traditional TV fare?

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we break down the extent to which the mobile video boom has changed what people watch, and how. Being able to track the shift to mobile video and predict the type of content — the formats and genres — that thrives on tablet and phone screens is the key to any long-term media, or advertising strategy. The report also spotlights the most significant statistics that show just how many eyeballs are at stake on tablet and smartphone screens.

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Here are some of our surprising findings:

  • YouTube: some 40% of YouTube’s traffic now comes from mobile. Compare that to just 25% last year and a paltry 6% only two years ago.
  • Audience boom: About 50 million people in the U.S. now watch video on their mobile phones. Fifteen per cent of all online video hours globally are viewed on tablets and smartphones.
  • Machinima is one of the most-watched YouTube channels in the world. The channel, focused on video and computer gaming, has a global audience of 200 million people. HBO, by comparison has roughly 30 million subscribers.
  • Netflix: Netflix widely went with an iPad app first, not a smartphone app. Today, a reported 23% of all Netflix subscribers say they have watched on smartphones, and 15% have done so on iPads.
  • Bandwidth hogs: One-third of all home broadband Internet traffic in the U.S. is generated by Netflix videos. YouTube accounts for nearly one-fifth of all mobile data traffic.
  • VEVO: The music video platform’s mobile and TV app audience exploded by 184% this year. Half of its views are from mobile.
  • Amazon: The company has about 16.7 million Prime subscribers that get unlimited video streaming on Kindle devices and via Amazon’s mobile apps.

The report is full of charts and data that can be downloaded and put to use.

In full, the report:

For full instant access to the report on Social Media Demographics, sign up for a free two week trial subscription to BI Intelligence.

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