Online Video Starts: Key Traffic Sources and Leading Devices in Q4 2013

February 6, 2014

Adobe-Referred-Video-Start-Traffic-Share-in-Q42013-Feb2014When it comes to branded video starts, search is a far bigger referrer than social, according to [pdf] Adobe’s Q4 2013 US Digital Video Benchmark. The analysis of media and entertainment sites indicates that during Q4, 20% of video starts were referred by search, with affiliates referring 16% and the majority 58% coming from direct traffic. Social remains a fair way back, referring roughly 6% of starts, with Facebook accounting for 80.6% of those. Following Facebook is Twitter (11.8% share of social referred starts) and Reddit (4.1%).

Facebook also maintains the highest view rate, which measures the percentage of referred visits that produce a video start. With a 39% video view rate, Facebook is tied for the lead with Tumblr, and is followed by YouTube (38%), Reddit (35%) and a trailing Twitter (19%).

When it comes to mobile’s share, it’s no surprise to see smart devices exerting a greater influence. During Q4 2013 smartphones (12.8%) and tablets (9.2%) combined for 22% of video starts. That’s a 52% increase from 14.5% a year earlier, and is primarily due to an almost-doubling share for smartphones, which moved from 7.2% of starts in Q4 2012 to 12.8% a year later.

The study data also confirms recent research indicating growth in “TV Everywhere” viewing, with Adobe measuring an increase in streams from 222.5 million in 2012 to 574.2 in 2013. Mobile comprised 73% of those authenticated streams in Q4 2013; the iPad (28%) alone accounted for a greater share of streams than PCs (21%) and Macs (7%) combined, double the iPhone’s share of 14%. Together, Apple devices and desktops represented a heady 54% of authenticated streams.

Finally, Adobe reports that TV Everywhere streams are largely for sporting events (37% share) and TV shows (27%), and that iPad and iPod are the watching the most amount of videos per visitor per month (each at more than 10).

About the Data: The report is based on consumer video viewing in 2012 and 2013. It is comprised of the aggregate and anonymous data from media and entertainment sites. Sample information includes: 22.5 billion-plus online video starts; 500 million-plus video starts from mobile devices; and 574 million-plus TV Everywhere video streams.

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