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Mobile Video Viewers Top Audience for Sponsored Data Plans

Nearly half of mobile users who exceed monthly data quota blame watching video

The site of a phone bill after going over your monthly mobile data limit isn’t pretty—yet more than half (58%) of mobile users who have a monthly quota have exceeded it, according to a January 2014 study conducted by Wakefield Research for Citrix. Browsing the internet was the No. 1 reason US smartphone and tablet users had exceeded their data limit. Watching videos—which can be a huge data suck—ranked second, cited by nearly half of respondents.

The study found that mobile video viewers who watched at least one video a month were nearly twice as likely to exceed their data limit (67%) than those who consumed mobile video less often (36%). As a result, frequent mobile video viewers showed a strong preference for sponsored data plans; 78% of those who had a monthly data limit and watched at least one mobile video a month said they would be interested in a sponsored data option, compared with 38% of those who watched less than one mobile video each month.

As the mobile video audience grows, carriers will likely see more uptake in sponsored data plans. eMarketer estimates that the number of US mobile phone video viewers will rise 18.7% this year to reach 91.1 million consumers—or more than one-third of mobile phone users and 28.6% of the population.

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