Most Smartphone Users Tap In to Stream Video

About 81%  of all U.S. smartphone users now use those gadgets to stream video, The NPD Group found in its new Connected Intelligence Smartphone and Tablet Usage Report, which based its findings via an opt-in panel.

As might be expected, usage is driven by users who are 25 years and younger who spend twice as much time watching on YouTube and Netflix mobile apps versus those who are older than 25 (see chart).

NPD said the younger set in the study consumes, on average, 6.2 gigabytes of data (cellular and WiFi) for video streaming purposes each month. By comparison, the older group averages 4.9 GB.

And while most of that video streaming happens over WiFi, NPD  Smartmeter, an opt-in metering app that tracks live smartphone and tablet usage, found that the average U.S. smartphone user consumes nearly 3 GB of cellular data per month, with video streaming as the top app driving that consumption.

That trend bodes well for new zero-rated video services from companies such as T-Mobile (Binge On) and Verizon (FreeBee Data). 

“Users are spending more time watching videos on their smartphones than ever before, as the adoption of smartphones that boast larger displays increases,” Brad Akyuz, NPD Connected Intelligence Mobility practice research director, said in a statement. “This mobile streaming behavior is further bolstered by the new offerings of wireless operators, such as T-Mobile’s Binge On and Verizon Wireless’ go90, which run on free sponsored data.”