Market Data

What about Mobile First for Video and TV?

The latest Australian Multi-Screen Report from Nielsen looks at how Australians are adopting new screen technologies.  The report tracks how Australians view broadcast and other video content, how much they access and via which screens and technologies. The Q2 report for 2013 shows that Australians are continuing to adopt new technologies, such as Personal Video Recorders and Internet TV and have adjusted their media viewing habits to incorporate playback TV and other screens such as tablets and smartphones.  As a nation we are increasingly using our traditional Television set for other types of usage (like gaming, internet browsing and delayed playback of traditional TV shows).

According to the report:

  • 99% of homes have Digital TV
  • 54% of homes have PVRs (up from 49% in Q2 2012).
  • 22% of homes have Internet Connected TVs (up from16% a year ago)

Smartphone usage continues to grow in Australia, with Nielsen reporting that 65% of Australians (aged 16+) own a smartphone.  That’s up 13% from a year ago, but we haven’t seen a corresponding increase in the time we spend watching videos.  On average, Australians are still spending the same amount of time watching video on their smartphone as they were a year ago.   According to Nielsen we spend 1 hour and 20 minutes per month watching video on smartphones and 50 minutes watching video on tablets.

This compares to an average of more than 5 hours per month for US viewers, a figure which is even higher for young Americans, with 12 – 17 year olds spending more than 7 hours per month watching video on mobile screens.  American watch a lot more TV than Australians, averaging 145 hours compared to our 96 hours per month. However as a percentage of total viewing time, the US audience is still watching twice as much video content on mobile devices than we are.

Although we have introduced greater flexibility and scope to our TV relationship, we still engage with the traditional TV set within many of the same, familiar paradigms.

The Nielsen report identified that time spent watching traditional TV hasn’t changed over the past 5 years, but what is worth noting is that 8% of this TV time HAS moved away from traditional viewing and is now being watched AFTER the original broadcast, as playback TV.  This model adds an element of convenience and flexibility to the traditional TV model and changes the mode of delivery for traditional broadcasters.   Overall, the time spent using our televisions for non standard activities such as gaming, web browsing and playback TV is on the rise. What is interesting is that our non-standard usage behaves just like ordinary TV usage, building through the day and peaking in the evening prime time period.   Although we have introduced greater flexibility and scope to our TV relationship, we still engage with the traditional TV set within many of the same, familiar paradigms.

This is quite different to the way we use the smart screens in our lives.  These screens move with us through the day as we engage with them over breakfast, on public transport, during lunch breaks and on the couch in the evening.  Our personal smartphone and tablets screens are also capable of delivering video content and in most cases have sufficient bandwidth to provide a reasonable (if not excellent) video viewing experience.  Given our relationship with the device it seems unusual that video viewing is not much higher on mobile devices.

Although Australians are early and enthusiastic adopters of technology, could it be that the content on offer is simply not keeping pace with the market opportunity?  As a nation we are equipped with the technology to engage with video content across multiple devices.  Although plenty of made for TV content is available for watching on any device, there is a wide gap in the market for content that is made for watching on a smart screen, in a mobile environment.

Native mobile video would …. maximise the potential of an interactive touch screen and be designed with a connected, engaged, mobile human being as the audience.

As the mobile first approach sweeps digital publishing and advertising, I wonder how long it will be before big budget content producers adopt a mobile first approach to video and TV production?  Right now we are re-purposing traditional TV content to a moving, connected, wireless, interactive device with a screen you can touch.  Like radio shows on TV, there’s only so far that can go. Sooner or later mobile video will go native.

Native mobile video would be optimised for viewing on a variety of screens, in multiple contexts.  It would maximise the potential of an interactive touch screen and be designed with a connected, engaged, mobile human being as the audience.

And it’s coming to a screen near you, one day very soon!

 

A few other findings from the Nielsen report:

  • Household internet penetration is stable at 80%.
  • Australians spend on average 38:41 per month online
  • Australians spend 1:20 per month viewing video on smartphones
  • Australians spend 50 minutes per month  viewing video on tablets
  • Australians spend 6:26 per month viewing video on the internet
  • 12.06 million Australians watch video on the internet each month
  • 65% of Australians (aged 16+) own a smartphone. (up from 52% a year ago)
  • An estimated 33% of homes now have tablets (up from 19% a year ago)
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