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Study: Live Sports Trumps VOD on Portable Devices

11 Dec, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Consumption of on-demand (VOD) movies and TV shows on portable devices such as smart phones and tablets dipped slightly in the third quarter as users migrated toward live events such as sports — notably college football, according to a new report.

Mobile video market share dropped slightly in the third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) to 7.5% from 7.8%, while tablet video share fell to 5.5% from 6%, according to the quarterly Ooyala Global Video Index. Tablet video viewing peaked in early September to 6.4%.

The Ooyala video index is based on the anonymous online monthly viewing habits of nearly 200 million unique viewers in 130 countries.

Ooyala attributed the decline in mobile video consumption due to seasonal events, including new seasons of primetime TV programming  and the advent of college football telecasts, among other events. Viewers watched live video nine-times longer than video-on-demand on smart TVs, video game consoles and set-top boxes. PC users watched live video 11-times longer than VOD, or 30 minutes per session.

Meanwhile, live video viewing on tablets was twice that of VOD and on par with on-demand content via mobile phones.

“This trends can be attributed to a number of factors, including seasonal variances in device shipments, television programming, and sporting events — especially at the college level — that draw large mobile and tablet audiences,” read the report.  

Indeed, in 2012, ESPN averaged more than 163,000 online viewers for each of its 216 college football contests, according to the Disney-owned premium sports channel.

Size Matters

Online video consumption is evolving from user-based YouTube fare to long-form video, according to Ooyala.

Connected TV viewers spent 71% of their time watching videos longer than 10 minutes; 31% watched videos longer than one hour. More than 60% of tablet users watched video longer than 10 minutes; while tablet TV viewers consumed video content in excess of 60 minutes.

Separately, more than 20% of mobile video consumption was spent streaming content in excess of one hour; 57% watched videos longer than 10 minutes. Interestingly, online video consumption of long-form content greater than 60 minutes decreased on PCs compared to shorter-form (10 min. to 30 min.) content.




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