Online Viewing Goes Over the Top

There's a reason that programmers are trying their hand at over-the-top video. According to Adobe's latest Video Benchmark Report, online TV viewing has skyrocketed 388% year over year.

The study by Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) found that the highest growth rates coming on game consoles and OTT media streamers. Viewing on those platforms jumped 194%, supporting a leap in market share from 3% in 2013 to 10% in 2014.

Mobile apps also increased their share of online viewing time. While video viewing in web browsers dropped 41%, causing a slip to 19% market share, the popularity of Android apps grew 28%, boosting their market share to 20%. iOS apps still lead the way, claiming 51% of online viewing consumption.

Better yet for programmers, TV networks with direct-to-consumer offerings tallied increases over the last year both in unique viewership and in time spent watching content online. Unique monthly viewership grew 146%, while the amount of content watched rose 55%.

Want to know more about OTT services? Check out our dedicated OTT content channel here on Light Reading.

According to Adobe, there are now 105 TV channels delivering more than 300 online TV websites and apps in the US. Those numbers are likely to grow even more as both broadcasters and cable networks experiment further with their own subscription service models.

Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) , for example, plans to launch a new OTT service next year in addition to its HBO Go app. At the same time, CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) introduced a new online service last week called CBS All Access, which supplements the existing website and mobile apps that the network already offers. (See HBO Will Go OTT in 2015 and CBS Takes OTT Plunge.)

Among the other interesting findings in Adobe's report, online viewers are now watching more movies than sports content. The numbers added up to 4.5 movies per month, compared to 4.2 sporting events.

Adobe based its report on data collected from 1,300 media and entertainment sites via the Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime platforms.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

Kruz 10/22/2014 | 2:03:51 AM
Re: We all thank YouTube for starting this trend. The numbers should be even higher as the survery doesnt include the main streaming services(Netflix, Hulu...). Content is king, and as more content becomes available online, the viewing will only increase.
mhui0 10/21/2014 | 10:59:22 PM
We all thank YouTube for starting this trend. We all thank YouTube for starting this trend.
thebulk 10/21/2014 | 3:11:46 PM
no question I think there is little to no question that OTT is the future of video consuption and everyone wants a piece of the pie. 
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