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Over-the-Top Video Is Going Mobile

As more video moves online, shows and movies will continue to break free of their TV-based moorings and go mobile.

Fueled by adoption by millennials and other younger consumers, half of all online video starts will come via mobile devices by the end of 2015, online video publisher Ooyala predicts in a new report that tracks global video usage trends.

Nearly half of all video plays came via mobile devices in the second quarter, with nearly eight times as many plays on smartphones as on tablets, according to Ooyala’s Global Video Index Q2 2015, a report based on anonymized online video metrics from the company’s more than 500 customers, including Telstra (Ooyala’s owner), ESPN, Univision, Sky Sports, Foxtel, NBCUniversal and RTL of Germany.

Mobile phones (32%) remain a popular screen for watching short-form videos from one to three minutes in length, though PCs, also at 32%, were just as popular.

With respect to longer-form video (10 minutes or more), viewing by device was a bit more even, split between tablets (57%), connected TVs (53%), PCs (40%) and mobile phones (33%).

For content of more than 30 minutes in length, the sit-back method of viewing still reigns. Connected TVs (52%) were tops, followed by tablets (36%), mobile phones (23%) and PCs (22%).

On the ad front, Ooyala found that 49% of all ad impressions for publishers were on mobile devices (34% on mobile phones, and 15% on tablets), up 11% from the previous quarter. Publishers, meanwhile, saw PC impressions drop to 50%, from 62% in the previous quarter.

Broadcasters that streamed long-form premium content realized ad completion rates of 90% or greater, Ooyala said.

“Delivery of mobile video isn’t a tactical component,” Ooyala said in the report. “It’s a strategic one that requires the ability to engage consumers with a consistent TV-like experience.”