Mobile Video Gobbling Viewing Time, Says Ericsson Study

Ericsson's ConsumerLab releases findings from its most recent wave of research.

Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation

October 9, 2017

3 Min Read
Mobile Video Gobbling Viewing Time, Says Ericsson Study

Mobile devices, specifically smartphones, are rapidly growing their share of time spent viewing video, according to the latest study from Ericsson's ConsumerLab.

According to the study, 50% of all video viewing will take place on mobile screens (tablets, smartphones and laptops) in 2020, an increase of 85% since 2010. Smartphones will account for almost one quarter of all video viewing, rising nearly 160% from 2010.

The Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) study is based on approximately 20,000 online interviews from respondents aged 16-69 years. Respondents were from 13 different countries (Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK and the US), all had a home broadband connection and watched TV or video at least once a week. Supplementary qualitative research was conducted using virtual reality (VR) with English speaking respondents.

The research underscores the shift towards mobile video consumption, finding that about 70% of consumers view video on their mobile devices today, almost double the number in 2012. The share of total viewing is also up, with smartphones making up one-fifth of all video consumption. That works out to an average of about six hours of video viewing on smartphones every week.

The ConsumerLab report predicts that by 2020 only one in every ten consumers will be exclusively viewing video on a TV screen. That's about half the number in 2010.

The report also highlighted the shift from linear to on-demand viewing, suggesting that half of all video consumption would be on-demand by 2020. This is particularly true of younger audiences, with 16-19 year olds spending the majority of their viewing time with on-demand. This adds up to 10 hours a week -- double the figure from 2010.

Compare this with 60-69 year olds, who spend 80% of their viewing time with live TV, which is more or less the same as in 2013.

VR is also highlighted in the findings, with the ConsumerLab predicting it would become mainstream by 2020, with a third of consumers using it. The key to its success, according to the report, is the social and immersive aspect of the application. However, in order for it to take off content, technology and distribution all need to evolve. More than half of respondents who were planning to get VR devices cited high headset prices as a challenge, and half mentioned the paucity of content. Interestingly for network operators, one in every three felt they would be more likely to use VR if it were bundled with their TV service.

Another challenge cited by the study is content discovery. Given the variety of video services and the multiplying number of devices they are offered on, finding content is increasingly becoming a challenge for consumers. According to the research, the average time spent searching for content has increased 13% from last year, and now stands at one hour per day.

Not surprisingly, one of the key new features desired by consumers is universal search.

— Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation

About the Author(s)

Aditya Kishore

Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation

Aditya Kishore is the Principal Analyst at Diametric Analysis, a consultancy focused on analysing the disruptive impact of Internet distribution on the video and telecom sectors, and developing the necessary strategies and technology solutions required to drive profitability. He can be reached at [email protected]

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