The growth of video consumption via mobile may not come as a huge surprise to anyone in the industry, but a new report states just how dominant it will become over the next few years. According to the 2016 Ericsson Mobility Report, video will account for 70% of all mobile traffic by 2021, an increase of 55% over the next 5 years.

Highlights of the Report Include:

  • Video Will Account for 70% of All Mobile Traffic by 2021 (Click to Tweet)
  • Teens spend 50% less time watching traditional TV, 85% more time watching video via smartphones (Click to Tweet)
  • By 2021, the average American will use 22GB of mobile data per month – most of that for watching video (Click to Tweet)
  • YouTube accounts for between 50-70% of all video-based traffic across mobile phone networks (Click to Tweet)
  • 28B mobile devices will be connected by 2021, Internet of Things will account for 16B of them (Click to Tweet)

The Growth of Mobile Video Traffic: 2016 to 2021

The report states that it’s the increased practice of embedding video content on web pages and social network feeds that is helping to drive the growth in traffic and consumption. YouTube remains the biggest presence in mobile video, accounting for an incredible 50-70% of all video-based traffic across most mobile phone networks. Netflix accounts for around 10-20%.

And tablets rather than smartphones are associated with the predicted higher share of online video traffic. Ericsson asserts that while tablets and smartphones are used equally for watching short-form video content, viewers are turning to their tablets to consume longer form video clips.

mobile video traffic

Teens Turning to Mobile to Watch Video Content

The study reports a ‘significant increase’ in the share of video traffic via mobile devices as viewers gradually change their viewing habits from traditional TV to streaming content via tablets and smartphones.

Teens remain the biggest consumers of video, whether that’s over wifi, or via their mobile data connection. In fact, teens watching via their smartphones rose by 127% in just 15 months during 2014 and 2015. The demographic are natural streaming advocates, the report highlights that between 2011 and 2015, teens increased the amount of TV and online video they watch at home via their smartphones by 85%, at the same time slashing the time spent watching a traditional TV screen by half. In contrast, those aged between 30-35 years old spent 4 hours more than teens in front of a TV.

Ericsson confirms that the change in viewing habits has affected all age groups, but consumption behavior in teens is the most pronounced. The report also finds that teenagers watch the same amount of video as other ages groups, but watch far more of it via a smartphone, and stream video for longer periods through the day than their older counterparts. In the home, wifi is responsible for the consumption of over 85% of video data.teens and mobile video

Get Ready for an Explosion in Internet of Things

OK, so it’s not strictly video related, but the Ericsson study also predicts that, between 2015 and 2021, the number of IoT-connected devices is expected to grow by 23% every single year! Of the 28 billion total devices that will be connected by 2021, close to 16 billion will be IoT devices. The Internet of Things is growing super-fast, and will overtake mobile phones as the largest category of connected device in just 2 years – wow. Rise in IoT Devices

You can download the report from the Ericsson site to find out more predictions about mobile over the next 5 years.