From social videos to fitness platforms and streaming subscription services, there is an abundance of video content available to mobile audiences in the United States. During the third quarter of 2021, ad-supported platform YouTube reached approximately 81 percent of U.S. digital audiences, while video content hosted on social platforms such as TikTok and Twitter saw a reach of almost 60 percent. Apart from Google’s go-to video platform YouTube, most streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video have also launched mobile apps to enable their subscribers to watch shows and movies on the go. However, according to a survey of users in the United States and Canada, smartphone viewership was more common when consuming content from advertising-based video-on-demand services than for subscription-based services.
Benchmarks of mobile video entertainment successIn 2021, Disney+ was the highest-grossing streaming mobile app in the United States, with approximately 160 million U.S. dollars generated from users in the country between the first and the third quarter of 2021. As of the first half of 2022, the platform has retained its spot as one of the most popular entertainment services for mobile audiences, amassing 22.5 million downloads during the first six months of the year, followed by YouTube, and HBO Max. HBO Max, which was firstly launched in the United States in May 2020, amassed 43 million installs of its mobile app in its first year, surpassing popular services like Disney+ and Netflix. By the end of 2021, HBO Max app was confirmed to be the fastest-growing mobile streaming service in the United States, followed by Baidu-owned Chinese streaming service iQiYi which recorded a 128 percent growth in monthly active users between the first and the third quarter of 2021. In the same period, when it comes to traditional TV network streaming apps, Showtime Anytime presented more than 130 percent growth in monthly active users. The app, originally launched in 2010, gives on-the-go access to subscription television network Showtime, which features series and movie libraries as well as sports events in its programming.
As 17 percent of Americans reported watching or streaming sports events several times per week, it does not come as a surprise that mobile streaming of sports events is growing with mobile video popularity. In 2021, Spanish language channel TUDN was the fasted growing sports streaming app in the U.S., followed by the app for cable network Tennis Channel, and London-based DAZN.
Mobile social video: YouTube vs TikTokDespite the relevance of on-demand video services via mobile, there is also another emerging player that has gained traction over the past years: mobile social video. Be it professionally produced video content posted by creators on TikTok or snaps shared with friends on Snapchat – social is mobile and many mobile-first social platforms have become synonymous with extensive video content consumption and sharing among friends and followers.
Despite being a relative newcomer, mobile-first video social app TikTok has already proven stickiness: with 54 percent of adults in the United States accessing the platform multiple times per day, TikTok has become almost as popular as YouTube. However, despite its meteoric growth in the past two years, TikTok usage has been experiencing a slowing growth trend among Android users, with the platform reporting decrease in downloads by over 16 percent during the second quarter of 2022 compared to the previous quarter. In comparison, the United States was the fastest growing market for YouTube during the second quarter of 2022, with 107.5 million U.S. dollars in revenues generated among iOS users, as well as 10.55 million quarterly downloads from iPhone and iPad users in the country.