Mobile Trends

Mobile Video Streaming On the Rise as Consumers Multitask While Watching TV

Consumers streaming mobile video content while watching TV programming is an emerging trend on the rise in Australia. In fact, the living room is one place mobile devices seem to naturally complement, with consumers adopting this habit as the natural solution to uninterrupted entertainment. Be it researching products while they view TV programming, or looking up information that supplements what they’re watching, mobile is a powerful companion presenting options to consumers who prefer to multitask. Ericcson ConsumerLab published a study on TV and media for this year, with findings that point to an increase in mobile video streaming, and a decrease in tv & desktop pairings. Key findings are summarised below:

  • Mobile viewing increased 4 hours per week since 2012, while fixed-screen viewing has declined by 2.5 hours per week (up 1.5 hours being spent watching TV and video from four years ago).
  • 40% of consumers worldwide are extremely interested in mobile data plans that include unlimited video streaming capabilities, suggesting their increasing desire to stream on-the-go and view more mobile video content.
  • Screen-shifters and mobile-centric users represent the largest percentage of those surveyed about their TV viewing habits.
  • Since 2010, total viewing hours and time spent viewing content on mobile has grown significantly,
  • Mobile-centric viewers spend nearly half their viewing time watching on mobile devices rather than a TV or desktop screen.
  • 35% of consumers engage in TV-related activities on a second screen daily as part of their viewing experience.
  • 31% say they browse the internet for content related to what they’re watching on TV, while 20% watch 2 or more programs at the same time.

Staggering growth in the area of mobile video streaming contributes to an increase in consumers viewing time overall, and as these users become even more comfortable consuming mobile video content, they do it more throughout the day across various viewing environments. Minimal entry barriers and a now larger consumer base makes this increase in mobile video streaming no surprise. These devices are always present while consumers watch TV, with 64% saying they use their smartphone to check ratings, look up actors, post comments on social media, and watch video content on several screens. Consumer expectations of mobile have grown to fill our downtime, and need to be constantly entertained to ensure no dull moments.

“We’ve been preparing for the growth in video across our mobile network for some time and we don’t talk about percent of growth, but in terms of the number of times bigger it’s going to be.” – Gary Traver, Telstra Director of Media


So what can we pull from this data? Millennials in particular lean towards high-quality mobile video content, a good mobile streaming experience, and the ease of picking up where they left off. Marketers can ramp up engagement and participation in ad campaigns by complementing this habit with more mobile video content in the form of short bursts of video. This is an effective way to supply content, build up excitement about new products, and diversify the mobile experience for users. And above all, marketers should understand the extent of online video content that fits the mobile screen. Native formats, silent-mode viewing, and live-streaming mobile video content does best, and the more consumers use their mobile device while also consuming TV programming, the more marketers should look to sync up the two technologies. In fact, 88% of agency respondents say they ‘might’ or ‘definitely will’ invest in live-stream digital advertising over the next six months. Aside from agencies’ willingness to invest, Business Insider forecasts the creation of live-streaming content to account for 82% of the overall share of internet traffic by 2020.

Mobile habits that support TV viewing open a large door for marketers who want to reach users across multiple screens. Catering to exciting new trends like live-streaming allows these mobile-first brands to capture their customers’ attention, and hold it long enough to send them through an engaging customer journey. Mobile video streaming content that complements the second screen – whether it be matching topics or brands – will increase digital video ad revenue, but only for brands who act promptly, and tap into the benefits.

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