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The Young Have the Most Fun with Mobile Video

Tablet, smartphone video viewers skew young

The US tablet and smartphone video viewer audiences have grown steadily over the past two years and are poised to continue increasing at a faster rate than the adoption curve of those devices. This trend indicates that mobile video is a well-ingrained consumer habit supported by a broad spectrum of content and advertising. Seizing this opportunity, programmers and marketers are increasing the amount of video they produce for mobile operating systems, perpetuating a virtuous circle of content availability and consumption, according to a new eMarketer report, “Tablet and Smartphone Video Viewing: Multiple Screens, Young Users Drive Growth.”

Demographic studies of tablet and smartphone video viewers show that youth is a predictor of mobile video activity. For the most part, the younger the person, the more likely he or she is to consume video on a mobile device.

In December 2013, Deloitte analyzed share of time spent watching TV and movies by US internet users and broke down the results by device and age group. Trailing millennials (ages 14 to 24) had the highest combined share of smartphone and tablet video time at 16%. They were also the only group with a majority of time spent viewing on screens other than TV, which in this survey included desktop/laptop systems, smartphones, gaming devices and tablets.

An October 2013 study by Vubiquity and Frank N. Magid Associates found that younger US mobile device users watched more digital video overall than older ones, and also were heavier users of tablets and smartphones. The youngest group in the survey (ages 13 to 17) indexed highest for smartphones, while the second-youngest (ages 18 to 34) indexed highest for tablets, though only by a small margin over the teen group.

A February 2014 Rhythm NewMedia study on demographic trends in mobile video reached the following conclusions about millennials:

  • Nearly nine in 10 (89.6%) millennials watched smartphone video, and 76.8% viewed tablet video; those percentages were higher than for any other demographic group in the study.
  • Millennials watched more short-form content, entertainment news and user-generated content on smartphones than average.
  • Around four in five (77%) millennials viewed mobile video ads in exchange for free premium content; that figure was higher than for any other age group.

For content owners, these trends represent an opportunity to engage with hard-to-reach audiences.

Get more on this topic with the full eMarketer report, “Tablet and Smartphone Video Viewing: Multiple Screens, Young Users Drive Growth.”

This report answers these key questions:

  • How many people are watching digital video on smartphones and tablets?
  • What are people watching on those devices, how and where?
  • What are the demographics of the smartphone and tablet video audience?

eMarketer releases over 200 analyst reports per year, which are only available to eMarketer corporate subscribers.

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