Global IAB mobile video survey finds we are watching longer videos and NZ prefers ‘comedy’

An Interactive Advertising Bureau survey of mobile video viewers in 24 countries shows we are now watching longer-form videos on our mobiles, we regularly stream video on our mobiles while watching TV and the majority surveyed in each country favour the tailoring of mobile advertising. The report also shows New Zealand and Australia prefer ‘comedy’ clips, which we think is in direct correlation with our great sense of humour.

The survey, called “Mobile Video Usage: A Global Perspective” found that contrary to popular opinion, mobile screens are regularly being tapped for streaming longer-form video.

The survey says 36 percent of total respondents said they watch videos that are 5-minutes or longer on their phones daily or more frequently. “Smartphone video viewers in Turkey, Finland, China, Russia and Singapore are particularly frequent viewers of such videos. Even longer programming, such as movies and full-length television show episodes, are also viewed by audiences on mobile devices, with Chinese viewers being the most inclined to watch both films and TV shows on their mobile screens.”


The survey also shows substantial numbers have reported that their video consumption on smartphones has increased year-on-year in all of the studies participating nations, with the most prominent being: “the U.S. (50 percent), Canada (42 percent), New Zealand (42 percent), South Africa (42 percent), and the U.K. (40 percent). This trend is also impacting traditional television viewing across the board, with consumers in China (37 percent) and Singapore (35 percent) reporting the highest incidence of watching less TV due to streaming more on mobile.”

Perhaps it has something to do with smartphone screens getting bigger and a bit less pocket-friendly (yes, we like to laugh at our old ‘brick’ phones, but look at us now. We have reverted, perhaps even surpassed the size of the original bricks) which make for a more viewer-friendly experience.

The survey iterates that when mobile video viewers do watch traditional television, 22 percent are regularly doing so while watching video simultaneously on their phone. This information acts as a bit of a commentary really, the modern viewer is a generally under-stimulated and distracted viewer. When we are viewing something we often aren’t paying attention as it is probably diverted by some other screen, which we also aren’t paying full attention to. The report says this dual-screening tendency is evident across all markets measured, with the exception of Japan.   

IAB NZ chair of mobile advertising council Sarah Kavanagh says mobile video is the fastest growing area of small screen usage. “People are watching short and long form video content on their phones more than ever. Significantly viewers are dual screening while watching TV and while this represents challenges for marketers it also presents exciting opportunities for brands to engage their audiences, supporting the case for further investment in mobile. Consumers are using mobile as their first screen more than ever and advertisers are in a game of catch up with these consumers.”

Across the 24 countries, the survey shows there are several common ways that mobile video viewers discover digital video to view on their phones including: “YouTube (62 percent), social media platforms (33 percent), search results (20 percent) and advertising (14 percent).”

When looking for mobile video to watch, the survey shows advertising has even more influence in the US (22 percent) and Canada (18 percent).

Apps are indisputably the main method for viewing mobile video in each of the markets studied. Nearly half of respondents overall (48 percent) said that they “only” or “mostly” leverage mobile apps to stream video on their phones, with the UK (63 percent), Brazil (60 percent), and Turkey (58 percent) leading the trend.  By contrast, across the survey sample only 18 percent said they “only” or “mostly” use mobile websites to view video.

More than a quarter (28 percent) of participants said they often see ads on mobile video already seen on TV, namely France (38 percent), Turkey (36 percent), Finland (35 percent) and the US (35 percent). However, the survey notes marketers might be missing out on this approach – ”Since 80-plus-percent or more of consumers in most markets expressed interest in any kind of tailored ad versus ‘I prefer no tailoring of ads at all’.”

Kavanagh says “I believe the survey shows that audiences around the world are open to mobile video advertisements that relate and are relevant to their context and viewing patterns. Thirty-five percent of Australians and New Zealanders surveyed would like ads to be more tailored to the content they are watching. This gives marketers the opportunity to reach audiences that are most likely to be interested in their products or services.”

The survey also shows there is potential for video monetisation through subscription and pay on-demand modes with several markets’ viewers already demonstrating a willingness to pay for video content that is streamed to phones: “China (33 percent), U.K. (25 percent), Canada (23 percent), US (23 percent) and Australia (21 percent).”

Other findings related to the local market are: “Sponsored ads have become more visible in Australia and New Zealand, 72 percent of New Zealanders want free video content with ads in it, Australia and New Zealand have the strongest preference globally for ‘comedy’ content clips, Australia and New Zealand video viewing on smartphone peaks between 8pm and 11pm, Australian and New Zealanders share video less than the global average, good picture quality and free video content is most important to Australians and New Zealanders.”

The survey consisted of 20 questions and used 24 countries as its respondents: Argentina Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the U.K., and the U.S. Two hundred consumers who were aged 16-plus, owned a smartphone and watched either short or long mobile videos, were polled in each of the markets.

StopPress tried to contact the chief executive of IAB, but he was unavailable.

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