Mobile video in the United States - Statistics & facts

Unprecedented technological heights, with ultra-fast 4G networks on one side and high-resolution portable and affordable screens one the other side, are (once again) revolutionizing the way video content is consumed. Not since the invention of the DVR has the market been so shook up, as being able to watch anything anytime anywhere requires a complete change in the video content market strategy on multiple levels. As of the fourth quarter of 2016, mobile devices accounted for 54 percent of all digital video plays worldwide.


According to Nielsen, over 282 million Americans were watching traditional TV and already over 133 million are watching video content on their phone in 2015. Aside from phones, tablets are also a popular mobile video device, with an estimated 89 million U.S. users watching video content on their tablet devices. These figures are expected to surpass 124 million users in 2020.

Watching videos is becoming one of the most popular activity users like to perform on their mobile devices. During the fourth quarter of 2016, it was found that smartphone users in the United States aged 18 to 24 years spent the most time consuming mobile videos, an average of 418 minutes per month. The majority of consumers around the world mostly use mobile apps to access videos on their mobile devices. The most popular such application is YouTube, which in one of the most popular mobile apps worldwide. As of February 2017, the mobile YouTube app had an average of 108.2 million monthly U.S. users.

A parallel phenomenon in recent years has been the production of video content using smartphones and tablets rather than cameras. Due to increased quality of the images captured with such devices, as well as due to the innumerable apps and other software dedicated to mobile video editing, more and more users regularly spend time filming with their phones and tablet computers. Furthermore, platforms such as Periscope, where users can live stream videos, or Snapchat, a photo and short video sharing platform, provide the platform for the distribution of homemade mobile video content. In fact, some analysts are suggesting that these short-form video, which are easier to both create and access with a mobile device are also changing the way the modern society is assimilating information. According to a recent study, users around the world mostly prefer watching short videos (under five minutes) on a daily basis rather than longer ones.

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