Mobile Video Viewing Expected to Increase in 2013

A look ahead to the upcoming year.

By Debi Lewis on December 28, 2012

A couple months ago, Robert Kyncl of YouTube provided insight into traffic usage for the video giant. People who access video on YouTube using a wireless device now account for 25 percent of total visits to the site, up from 6 percent 18 months ago. This explosion in mobile video points to a larger trend – tablets and smartphones are becoming among the most popular ways for people to experience online video.

Facilitated by increased availability of 4G LTE-enabled devices and network access, people are turning to their tablets and phones to watch video more often. In fact, eMarketer predicts that more than 73 million people will watch mobile video in 2013, a 20 percent increase from 2012.

Aside from the sheer number of people watching video on their devices, it’s where and how people are watching that suggests the beginning of a widespread behavioral shift. The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) recently conducted a study that found, of the people who participated, 63 percent watched mobile video at home, rather than using a home computer. People also chose different types of video, including music videos, movie trailers and clips, when they clicked play on their device.

While mobile may not become the dominant platform for watching video next year, the gap is closing quickly. More 4G LTE-enabled devices and access to service makes it easier for more people to watch mobile video. The real question may be how much longer tablets and smartphones will be considered the second screen rather than the first. 

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