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Mobile Video Viewing in the UK Skewing Toward Tablets

More than half of UK digital video viewers will watch via mobile phone this year

According to December 2013 polling by Strategy Analytics, 37% of UK mobile phone users don’t watch video content on their phones—a proportion almost 10 percentage points higher than the worldwide average.

This is not to say that digital video viewing via the mobile platform isn’t growing. eMarketer forecasts that mobile phone video viewers will represent 51.2% of all digital video viewers in 2014 and that this figure will rise to 64.7% by 2018.

However, growth in digital video viewing via another device type—tablets—is growing at an even faster rate. Data released in October 2013 by Decipher indicated that smartphones were accounting for a growing proportion of digital video viewing among the general UK population—up from 17% in Q3 2012 to 23% in Q3 2013. However, tablets saw their share increase from just 6% to 18% during the same timeframe.

The consumption of catch-up TV content, in particular, has been moving rapidly toward tablets. BBC iPlayer requests, for example, have overtaken mobile requests and are even approaching requests made from computers.

This is not entirely surprising, given the larger display “real estate” offered by tablets is more conducive to the consumption of long-form video content. When considering digital video more generally, though, it is clear that the move to mobile is well under way.

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