Mobile Video Consumption and Popular Content Types, by Device

March 13, 2014

This article is included in these additional categories:

Connected Device Comparisons | Digital | Mobile Phone | Social TV & Multi-Screening | Tablet | Video

Digitalsmiths-Video-Content-Viewed-on-Mobile-Devices-Mar2014Not surprisingly, video viewing is a far more prevalent activity for tablet than smartphone owners, according to a newly-released report [download page] from Digitalsmiths, which finds that not only are tablet owners more apt to watch video content on their devices, but they also spend significantly more time doing so, likely influencing the preferred types of content they watch. The amount of time device owners spend watching video content remains fairly low, though.

When it comes to smartphones, about 6 in 10 respondents to the survey – undertaken among US and Canadian adults in Q4 2013 – said they rarely (20.6%) or never (39.7%) watch TV shows, movies, or video content on their device during the average week. Of the rest, a plurality 20.8% say they watch less than one hour per week. (For what it’s worth, Nielsen now estimates that smartphone owners watch less than 1-and-a-half hours of video per month.)

Tablet owners, though, typically use their devices more for entertainment, so it follows that they would spend more time using them for video content. Only about one-quarter of tablet owners surveyed by Digitalsmiths said they watch video content rarely (15.5%) or never (8.3%). And close to half report watching more than 1 hour a week. Even so, very few watch more than 5 hours a week, a figure which pales in comparison to TV viewing estimates.

It’s worth noting that past surveys – such as this one – have found more frequent viewing of video content on these devices. But most research suggests that mobile remains a fraction of overall TV viewing.

Nevertheless, given the comparatively greater amount of time they spend watching video on their devices, it’s not surprising that tablet owners tend to gravitate towards longer-form content than smartphone owners. About one-quarter say they watch movies on their tablets, the leading content type, almost double the proportion (13.9%) of smartphone owners. For smartphone owners, TV show previews and movie previews are the most commonly-viewed content (by 15.4%).

Other Findings:

  • About half of respondents don’t know if their pay-TV provider offers a TV Everywhere application. About 1 in 5 have downloaded such an app to their smartphone or tablet.
  • Among smartphone and tablet owners, 12.7% have downloaded at least one social TV app, while 31.1% have downloaded at least one TV network app and only 7.6% have downloaded at least one content discovery app.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey conducted by a 3rd-party survey service during Q4 2013 among more than 3,140 adults in the US and Canada.

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