Viewers are spending more and more time using their mobile devices to watch videos – and amazingly, they even opt to watch long-form videos using their smartphones, tablets, and other devices, according to a new report from Ooyala Inc., an online video services provider.

In a report released this week, Ooyala brought forward findings from measuring the viewing habits of 200 million unique, anonymous viewers in 130 countries each month. The company found between Q4 of 2011 and Q4 of 2013, the time spent watching videos on mobile devices spiked by 719 per cent. It’s up 160 per cent year-over-year since Q4 of 2012.

By the end of 2014, Ooyala predicts viewers will spend 37 per cent of their time watching videos on mobile devices, eventually making up half of their time with online video by the end of 2016.

But interestingly enough, viewers are watching more than just two-minute cat videos on their mobile devices. About 53 per cent of mobile viewers’ time was spent watching on videos that were longer than 30 minutes, with 60 per cent of tablet users watching videos that were 10 minutes or longer, and 75 per cent of mobile users watching videos 10 minutes or longer. Another 20 per cent of tablet users watched videos of over an hour in length, while 31 per cent of mobile viewers watched videos that were an hour long or longer.

The rise of video watching on mobile devices and tablets. (Image: Ooyala).
The rise of video watching on mobile devices and tablets. (Image: Ooyala).

The big contributors to mobile video’s meteoric rise? Now, there are more phones, more tablets, more Wi-Fi hotspots, and more operators deploying multiple screens.

The report also found sports was also gaining traction. Almost 39 per cent of sports fans’ time spent watching sports-related content on their mobile devices was on videos that were between one minute and 10 minutes in length. However, 62 per cent watched content on their mobile devices that is longer than 10 minutes, gluing themselves to highlights and game recaps.

The upward trend in mobile video has got marketers and publishers paying attention. About 83 per cent of them said they believe there’s a lot of opportunity out there in monetizing video content for mobile. Forty-eight per cent said they were analyzing viewer data to improve their content, while 45 per cent were doing the same for distribution. Another 45 per cent said they were using data to boost engagement, while 33 per cent said data was driving their monetization.

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