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Mobile Video (Streaming) Is Finally Breaking Through

The world has developed a love affair with the smart phone. People everywhere are tapping at their screens, or have their eyes glued to the content upon it. In a large part this has been driven by technological advances that make smart phone processors cheaper, faster, and more powerful, as well as by the marketing frenzy accompanying Apple’s iPhone offerings. With these factors to the fore it seems that 2015 is the year that mobile video will make the break through, as streaming video becomes a major focus of CDN providers.

The Growth In Online Video

The millennial generation loves content, especially video, so it’s little surprise that they use their smart phones to access it. Content providers such as Akamai are reporting exponential growth in online video viewing, and they believe that the growing demand for broadcasts using new technology such as 4K will only see this demand grow.

Online media consumption by device (2014)

Already they report that some of their customers are broadcasting content at speeds of up to 10Mbps, which is around three times faster than the highest speeds of recent years. This provides extra value to the consumer in the following ways:

  • Higher speed videos without lagging;
  • The convenience of being able to watch high quality broadcasts anywhere, not just on TV sets;
  • Greater clarity and purity of picture and sound.

This is one of the major factors behind online video growth that Akamai estimate at around 30% for the past year.

The Increasing Use Of Mobile Technology

Media consumers now have more content than ever before available to view online, and it’s available in higher quality and at higher speeds. All that remains is for these consumers to decide how they are going to watch their online videos and increasingly they’re turning to smart phone technology. A recent survey by Brightcove looked at media consumption platforms, and found that whilst television was still the most popular way to watch video broadcasts, with 53% citing it as their favorite medium, the use of online video was rapidly catching it up, and the 47% of people who preferred to watch video online was a record high figure. A survey by comScore in January 2015 gives a vivid illustration of the way that this is being driven by mobile technology. 50% of iPhone users, and 46% overall of smartphone users, watched video on their device at least once a month. In late 2009 a similar survey reported figures of just 23% for iPhone users and 12% for other smartphone users.

The Rise In Mobile Video Platforms

One reason that mobile video is becoming increasingly popular is the growing number of platforms on which to view it. YouTube and Twitter, using the increasingly popular Vine format, have been joined by popular newcomers to the sector such as Snapchat. Facebook report that it now delivers 3 billion video views per day, and 65% of those views come via a mobile device. According to Nielsen, the average American smartphone users spends 102 minutes per month watching online videos on their phone. 

Periscope, Merkaat gaining traction (chart)

Recent weeks have also seen the introduction of live streaming videos using Meerkat and Periscope. These apps have experienced phenomenal growth in a very short space of time, and will help drive up demand for mobile video. With this in mind, businesses will soon have even more opportunities to monetize content by broadcasting it through mobile platforms.

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