Nearly two-thirds of mobile phone video usage happens at home

Nearly two-thirds of mobile phone video usage happens at home, providing cross-media opportunities for marketers. 92% of consumers also share mobile video clips with others, allowing digital video advertising to go viral. <p><p><a href="" title="dual sceening by sarah2066, on Flickr"><img src="" width="600" height="355" alt="dual sceening"></a></p></p>

92% of consumers also share mobile video clips with others, allowing digital video advertising to go viral.

We've conducted a study on behalf of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in the US and its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence to release “The IAB Mobile Phone Video Diaries,” research which shows that 63 percent of digital video screening on mobile phones does not happen on-the-go, but rather at home. 

Over a third (36%) of these home-based digital video activities happen in a room where a second screen – a TV, desktop computer or tablet – is also available for viewing purposes. These findings combine to point to significant cross-media opportunities for brand marketers, whether tying mobile digital video to live television programming or linking magazine ads to relevant mobile clips.


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We conducted the mobile study by gathering smartphone and feature phone users and asking them to keep detailed “day in the life” diaries of their mobile phone video usage behaviour for two weeks, along with participation in detailed pre- and post-diary surveys.

The research also unveiled that an overwhelming majority (92%) of viewers share mobile video they have watched on their phone with others. With mobile videos being ranked third on the list of high-time-spent (one hour or more weekly) activities conducted on mobile phones, behind playing games and social media, the propensity for sharing video provides a strong vehicle for taking video ads along for the viral ride.

In addition, the research refutes the idea that mobile video is something consumers use haphazardly at odd times of the day when they have nothing else going on and no other screen available. In fact, mobile video usage grows steadily throughout the day, peaking in evening “prime time TV” hours. 

Twenty-two percent of video interactions were to access content viewers planned to watch, while 18 percent were out of boredom, and only 3 percent because no other screen was available.

According to the study, the most frequently viewed genres in mobile video are:

  • Music videos (45%)
  • Movie trailers (42%)
  • Tutorials/How-To’s (41%)
  • Funny short video clips (37%)
  • Humorous short clips (66%) and music videos (52%) are the most likely to be shared


“Digital video marketing has skyrocketed over the past year, and is primed to deliver even greater returns on a variety of screens – particularly on mobile phones,” said Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. 

“With the Digital Content NewFronts set for the spring, we’ll certainly see the depth and breadth of original video content that marketers can leverage to reach digital audiences. But this study points to a unique proposition for connecting with consumers who are watching that video content on mobile.”

“Video advertising on smartphones offers agencies and brands a unique opportunity to connect intimately with consumers on devices primed for interactive storytelling. But first we need to see mobile as a primary screen for on-demand consumption, not as an afterthought,” said David Levin, President of Creative & Technology, 360i.

When asked about their feelings towards mobile video advertising, respondents provided informative insights:

  • 53 percent said that they are positive or neutrally receptive towards mobile video advertising.
  • Nearly half (48%) said that they would prefer seeing video ads that are related to the content of the video clips being watched.
  • A significant number (44%) recalled seeing an ad while watching mobile video, with short 10-15 second spots being the most recalled format.

Day in the life of a mobile video user from On Device Research

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