Is Mobile Video Viewing Taking Off?

In July 2010, eMarketer estimated that 23.9 million US mobile users would watch video on their devices at least monthly by the end of the year, which would represent a nearly 30% increase over estimated 2009 levels. Research from Nielsensuggests the jump may have been even larger.

According to the measurement firm’s “State of the Media: Mobile Usage Trends: Q3 and Q4 2010” report, the number of US consumers watching mobile video increased 40% year over year in Q3 and Q4 2010. That brought the total number of US mobile video viewers to just shy of 25 million by the end of the year.

US Average Monthly Mobile Video Viewers, Q3 2009-Q4 2010 (millions)

Nielsen also found mobile video viewers were spending more time with the medium. Viewers ages 13 and older spent an average of 4 hours, 20 minutes per month watching mobile video during the second half of 2010, up from 3 hours, 15 minutes in Q3 2009 and 3 hours, 37 minutes in Q4 2009.

Survey data from mobile video solutions provider QuickPlay Media also reflects increasing consumption. More than half of mobile video viewers surveyed for the company by MarketTools had been using the medium for less than a year. And 77% said they were now watching more mobile TV and video than they had been a year earlier.

US Mobile Video Viewers Who Watch More Mobile Video Now Than One Year Ago, 2011 (% of respondents)

Viewers were also 9 percentage points more likely to say they were weekly mobile video viewers and 10 percentage points more likely to watch daily vs. a year earlier.

The most preferred method of paying for both TV and video content was via a subscription service, though QuickPlay did not ask about possible ad-supported options. Sports and TV episodes were the most popular types of mobile content watched, suggesting brand-safe opportunities for marketers in the space.

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