Two-Thirds of Americans Use Video-Enabled Gadgets; Use Differs by Device

September 3, 2009

More than two-thirds of broadband-using Americans now use mobile devices that are video-enabled, including iPods, cell phones or laptops with video capabilities, according to research from Knowledge Networks conducted among 18-35-year-olds.

Since 2006, ownership of video iPods has grown by a factor of nearly five, and cell phones with video service have nearly doubled in ownership, writes MediaBuyerPlanner.

Net ownership of iPods and cellphones and/or laptops has increased almost 50%, from 45% in 2006 to 66% this year – contributing to a doubling (21% to 43%) in net use of these mobile technologies to view video during the same time frame.

Nearly one-quarter (23%) of those surveyed in 2009 say they own a video iPod, compared with just 5% in 2006, making this device a new media channel of interest, the survey found.

Ownership of a cellphone with video service grew from 6% to 10% during the same timeframe; and laptop ownership has also risen, from 43% in 2006 to 57% this year.

Use Differs Dramatically By Device

Though the continued adoption of video-enabled devices appears to be universal, how these devices are used for video watching is at times dramatically different. For example, the proportion of those who view video on these devices exclusively at home ranges from 31% to 60%.

In 2009, 15% of those surveyed “ever” use video iPods to watch video, representing 67% of the video-iPod owners; similarly, 5% of the sample ever uses video cellphones to watch video, equaling 48% of owners. The proportion of laptop owners who “ever use” their laptop for video has doubled – from 18% in 2006 to 35% in 2009.

Video viewing on laptops is much more likely to happen at home: 60% of people who view laptop video say they watch on that device exclusively at home, compared with 38% for iPod viewers and 31% for cellphone viewers.


The average time spent using each device for video also is quite different. A typical laptop viewing session is 33 minutes long, vs. 23 minutes for a video iPod and 15 minutes for a cellphone with video service.

Knowledge Networks also remains optimistic about video watchers’ openness to advertising. “We see sometimes dramatically different patterns in how people use these devices to watch video […] but a majority of all viewers are willing to watch ads in exchange for free video,” said David Tice, VP and group account director at Knowledge Networks and director of The Home Technology Monitor.

In a development that appears to be related to this growing penetration of video-enabled mobile devices, a new Gartner report predicts that global spending on mobile advertising will leap 74% this year, to $913.5 million; mobile ad spending will surpass $13 billion by 2013.

The Asia-Pacific region, North America and Europe will lead growth, Gartner said.

About the research: The “How People Use Mobile Video,” report is produced as part of The Home Technology Monitor study from Knowledge Networks. 2009 marks the third year the firm has conducted this study (2006, 2007 and 2009).

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