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Digital Video in China Shifts to Mobile

Three-quarters of viewers watch video on smartphones

December 31, 2015 | Advertising & Marketing | Mobile | Video

As of 2015, smartphone video viewing has overtaken digital video viewing on desktop and laptop PCs. But viewer demographics appear similar across devices.

Digital Video Viewers in China Who View Digital Video via Desktop/Laptop vs. Smartphone, 2012-2015 (% of respondents)

Based on research from the China Netcasting Services Association (CNSA) and China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), more than three-quarters of digital video viewers ages 6 and older living in Chinese cities in tiers 1 through 4 watched video on smartphones this year. That was more than 20 percentage points ahead of the share of video viewers who watched on desktop and laptop PCs.

In 2014, viewership was almost identical: 71.2% of digital video viewers used PCs to watch, while 71.9% watched on smartphones.

As recently as 2012, smartphone video viewing was (barely) a minority activity, while virtually all digital video viewers watched on PCs.

Demographic Profile of Smartphone Video Viewers in China, Oct 2015 (% of total)

Most smartphone video viewers in the country are males, and the bulk are also young: More than 60% of smartphone video viewers were under 30. That isn’t much different from the demographics of digital video viewers overall, 56.4% of whom are male and 59.3% of whom are under 30.

Income and education distributions were also virtually identical for smartphone video viewers and digital video viewers as a whole.

eMarketer estimates that 332.4 million people in China watched digital video on their mobile phones on a monthly basis in 2015, up 15.4% over 2014. That translated to 72.8% of all digital video viewers in the country—just a few points under the CNSA/CNNIC findings. By 2019, the end of our forecast period, 78.1% of digital video viewers in China will watch on mobile phones.



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