Mobile to boost online video viewing by 20% this year

17 Jul 2017  |  Ellen Hammett 
Mobile to boost online video viewing by 20% this year

Online video viewing will rise 20% in 2017, according to Zenith’s Online Video Forecasts 2017, published today (17 July).

Global consumers will spend an average of 47.4 minutes a day viewing videos online this year, up from 39.6 minutes in 2016 - driven by a 35% increase in viewing on smartphones and tablets to 28.8 minutes a day.

Meanwhile, fixed devices (desktop PCs, laptops and smart TVs) will rise by just 2% to 18.6 minutes a day.

In the UK, consumers will watch an average of 53.3 minutes a day of online video, rising from 47.9 last year. Viewing on mobile devices will almost double, rising from 10.9 to 20.3 minutes.

Zenith defines 'online video' as all video content viewed over an internet connection, including broadcaster-owned platforms such as Hulu, over-the-top subscription services like Netflix, video-sharing sites such as YouTube, and videos viewed on social media.

Video viewing on fixed devices to peak this year

2017 is set to be the peak year of fixed-device video, which global consumers currently spend an average of 19 minutes a day viewing.

While viewing on smart TVs continues to rise, it is not rapid enough to offset the decline in viewing on desktops and laptops, as consumers increasingly shift their attention to mobile devices. Zenith forecasts viewing on fixed devices to shrink by 1% in 2018 and 2% in 2019.

Meanwhile mobile video viewing - averaging 29 minutes a day this year - will grow 25% in 2018 and 29% in 2019. By 2019, mobile devices will account for 72% of all online video viewing, up from 61% this year.

Online video adspend to grow 23%

The rapid growth of video consumption is also leading to equally rapid growth in video advertising - with Zenith forecasting global expenditure on online video advertising to grow 23% in 2017 to US$27.2bn (£20.1bn), up from US$22.2bn (£17.1bn) in 2016.

In the UK it is expected to rise from £1.1bn to £1.7bn.

Annual growth peaked at 37% in 2014, and has since fallen gradually as online video advertising has grown in scale. Zenith forecasts 21% growth in 2018, and 17% growth in 2019, when online video ad expenditure will reach US$38.7bn (£29.9bn).

By 2019 online video will account for 31% of total expenditure on digital display advertising, up from 28% in 2017 and 21% in 2012.

Online video advertising will be mobile first in 2018

Although the majority of video viewing is now mobile, most advertising expenditure goes to fixed devices. Zenith estimates fixed video adspend at US$15.2bn (£11.7bn) this year, compared to mobile video adspend at US$12bn (£9.3bn).

However, in 2018 Zenith expects mobile video adspend to reach US$18bn (£13.9bn) - surpassing fixed video adspend at US$15bn (£11.6bn).

“Online video is one of the fastest-growing channels of advertising, triggering heavy demand from brands for high-quality content,” said Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting and director of global intelligence at Zenith.

“Video platforms that can capture the attention of the most consumers with the best content will reap the highest rewards.”

Vittorio Bonori, Zenith’s global brand president, added: “Online video gives brands the opportunity to use powerful digital technologies to engage with consumers as individuals, not demographics, in the sort of high-engagement environment that makes television advertising so effective for brand-building.

“Television and online video and television work well together as complements, the former offering reach and shared experiences, and the latter offering targeting and personalisation.”


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