As more TV and sports broadcasters are making programs available via mobile devices and offering live content to their subscribers, the storm of available content and consumers demanding it has led to the growth of video content across all devices, particularly tablets and smartphones. Our U.S. Digital Video Benchmark Report for 2012 uncovered some interesting trends.
CONSUMPTION OF ENCRYPTED CONTENT IS SURGING
TV Everywhere video content, which grants access to encrypted content through subscriber authentication, has grown over 12x year-over-year (YoY) in 2012. The hockey stick growth curve is due partially to major sporting events and partially to the increased adoption by affluent, tech savvy tablet device users. Mobile viewership accounts for over 70% of the TV Everywhere views.
However, the most engaged viewers come from the small portion of those accessing the content via Xbox game console, averaging over 14 plays per unique visitor. Apple users, which are largely made up of iPads, are also highly engaged with 14 plays per unique visitor.
TABLET ACCESS DRIVES GROWTH
Online digital video content consumption has also ramped up in 2012, growing at a rate of 30% YoY. Like TV Everywhere, online video consumption growth is related to mobile devices. Online video starts, defined as the initial access of any video, have grown 360% for tablets and 300% for mobile phones in 2012.
WILL DIGITAL VIDEO REPLACE OR AUGMENT TRADITIONAL TELEVISION?
Although the growth trends are very strong, they do not imply that viewers are throwing out their television and moving exclusively to digital video consumption. In fact, most content consumption patterns indicate that digital and premium video content consumption augments rather than replaces traditional ways of watching TV. However, the collision of mobile penetration, high speed data availability and usage patterns of digital video content demonstrates that consumers will be demanding that broadcasters provide additional levels of access to their content in the future. We expect these shifts to have profound impact on the future of the media business.
- For advertisers, targeted ad content will become more of a reality with large TV programmers beginning to latch onto the multiple digital video distribution methods. With mobile devices continuing to shape the way consumers respond to media content, the data shows that multiple forms of digital video access are here to stay and mobile continues to be a viable medium for TV and sports related video content.
- For broadcasters, new platforms are providing incremental value and targeting capabilities. Early adopters of digital video are affluent, engaged, multi-device consumer which should spur advertisers to pay extra to gain access to this crowd. With strictly online media companies producing unique content, it may only be a matter of time before all TV publishers are wanting to make more content readily available because it is the most beneficial for them and the consumer.
- For consumers, digital video leads us to an entirely different way to consume content, where we pay one time for digital access to content and are then able to gain access on a variety of different technology platforms. Challenges still remain before TV Everywhere is really everywhere, with the majority of consumers deciding to remain with standard TV for broadcast content. However, the future is bright for technology already adopted by many large TV and sports broadcasters as a valuable way to reach a growing mobile consumer base with valuable video content.
Marketing practitioner and media executives will want to ask themselves if they are utilizing these channels well enough yet. We want to hear from you. What video content are you viewing online? Where do you feel digital video viewing is moving?