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Connected Device Users Watching Video Longer, Except in the U.S.

12 Sep, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

About 40% of European viewers watch on-demand online video to completion, compared with 18% in the U.S., according to new study

Apparently Americans have short video attention spans. A new study on video consumption on connected devices found that more than twice as many Europeans (40%) watch video-on-demand content to completion on smartphones, tablets, connected TVs and PCs than do Americans (18%).

The study, conducted by media measurement company Ooyala from April 1 to June 30, tracked data from an array of broadcasters, studios, cable operators, print publications, media companies and enterprises globally.

Ooyala found that from a cross-section of 10 major European countries a progressive trend in long-form video viewing. In the Nordics, for example, half of all on-demand video streamed during the second quarter was more than 30 minutes long.

Hungarians watch twice as much live video online as Americans. Twenty-one percent of all online video is streamed on smartphones and tablets in the United Kingdom, nearly double the global average.

In the United States, about 75% of all long-form video consumption on connected devices is less than 10 minutes, compared with 10% for long-form video consumption up to 30 minutes; and 15% for content consumption longer than 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in Europe, about 40% of all on-demand video is viewed to completion, which Ooyala said represents an opportunity to improve monetization through ad insertions, transactional video-on-demand and subscription VOD content.

Size Matters

Specifically, the report found that global video consumption on smartphones increased 41% in the first half of the year, including 28% in Q2 compared to same period last year. Mobile audiences watch live video nearly twice as long as on-demand content, and 20% of mobile viewer time was spent watching content longer than 60 minutes.

Ooyala cited larger smartphone screens and increased 4G availability, in part, for the rise in mobile phone video consumption.

Meanwhile, tablet video consumption increased 59% in the first half of the year, and 18% in Q2. Notably, tablet users who watch live TV do so four times longer than for VOD, or 15 minutes per viewing session. A third of tablet video consumption included content longer than one hour.

Consumption of video on any particular devices often depends on the time of the day. In the morning, Ooyala found respondents stream media on a mobile phone or tablet, as they prepare for their day and commute to work. PC video plays pick up in the later morning, and peak at midday, as people watch video at the office during the workday. During the evening commute, viewers return to their phones and tablets, and PC video views decline sharply.

Interestingly, each drop in computer views corresponds to a rise in mobile and tablet plays. These patterns repeat across days, weeks and geographies. Tablets become the “first screen” on the weekends, as people watch more tablet TV throughout the day. PC video views dip significantly on Saturdays and Sundays, compared to weekday streaming.

It’s a Connected TV World

Connected TVs, gaming consoles and other companion devices like Blu-ray Disc players and Roku streaming media players continue to change TV viewing habits at home, according to the study. While over-the-top viewing accounts for only a fraction of total TV consumption, people streaming content to their TV (directly with a smart TV or via any set-top box, game console or companion device) were consistently the most engaged, especially with live content, according to Ooyala.

Connected TV viewers watched live streaming video for an average of 44 minutes — 10 times longer than on-demand videos delivered over the top. Connected TV viewers spent 56% of their total viewing time watching videos longer than 10 minutes, and 45% watching videos longer than half an hour.

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