According to a new post in The New York Times, YouTube’s chief executive, Susan Wojcicki, says the video site’s top three priorities are “Mobile. Mobile. Mobile”. Get it? Got it? Good. Since the trend in the digital video marketing business is perfectly clear, what strategic insights, critical data, or tactical advice can I share with you about mobile video?

We Watch 39 Mins of Mobile Video a Day

Video consumption via mobile is on the increase, with Cisco predicting that by By 2019, 72% of mobile traffic will be made up of video content. Recent research from eMarketer also highlights the fact that over 105 million smartphone owners in the U.S. will consume at least one video a month on their mobile devices this year. That's a 13.9% increase compared to 2014.

And the time they’re spending watching mobile video is growing quickly. As recently as 2011, US adults spend an average of just 1 minute per day watching video on tablets, and 2 minutes per day watching video on smartphones. This year, eMarketer estimates, the average adult will watch a total of 39 minutes of mobile video on a daily basis - 17 minutes on smartphone, and 22 minutes via a tablet. That’s more time than they spend watching video on desktop and laptop PCs (24 minutes per day) or other connected devices, such as OTT boxes (13 minutes per day).

Mobile Video Content is Still King

What does this mean for video marketers? Well, according to a recent study by Animoto, video is no longer optional for brands and businesses looking to market to millennials. The company surveyed 1,051 U.S. consumers and indicated that Millennials were 150% more likely than Baby Boomers to use video to compare products or prices while shopping, and 146% more likely to watch a video if it’s available on a company's site while shopping online. Millennials were also 264% more likely to share videos about a product, service or company while shopping online than Baby Boomers.

animoto video study 2015

In addition, 48% of Millennials only watch videos on their mobile device. And Millennial engagement with brands on social media is high:

  • 84% of Millennials follow companies or brands on Facebook.
  • 76% of Millennials follow companies or brands on YouTube.
  • 47% of Millennials follow companies or brands on Twitter.
  • 42% of Millennials follow companies or brands on Instagram.
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Mobile Video Advertising is Prime Minister

US Video Ad Spending 2013-2019According to a new eMarketer report, “US Mobile Video Advertising 2015”, ad spend on mobile video in North America is growing at a rate that exceeds other ad formats, but still has a way to go to catch up with desktop, or television.

The study confirms that spending for video advertising on mobile devices in the U.S. will increase by more than 70% to $2.62 billion by the end of the year, that over 1/3 of the estimated total of $7.77 billion advertisers will spend on digital video ads. That's no small potatoes, but mobile video ads still have work to do to match the share taken by their desktop cousins. However, eMarketer predicts that, by 2019, mobile’s share of total video ad spend will reach 47.7%.

The study states that faster growth of mobile video advertising is being somewhat hampered by confusion over ad pricing, ad formats, and a lack of real consensus regarding ROI measurement. But despite the challenges, advertising teams are building mobile video ads into their campaigns, because they have the capacity to engage the viewer , particularly compared to the desktop video advertising format.

What Should Video Marketers Do?

So, what should video marketers do about mobile? For starters, I strongly recommend that you read “Mobile Video Advertising: Making Unskippable Ads.” It explains why Google's Art, Copy & Code team launched a series of experiments in content to understand mobile video advertising. The first - Mobile Recut - took a successful ad, Mountain Dew Kickstart's "Come Alive", and recut it three ways to see what we could learn about how storytelling changes on mobile. And, if you prefer to watch a video about the experiment instead of reading a lot of text, then watch below:

In other words, we need to start by questioning our fundamental assumptions about video. Mobile video isn’t an evolution. It’s a revolution.