One Quarter of U.S. Adults Watch Video on Smartphones Weekly [Report]

One Quarter of U.S. Adults Watch Video on Smartphones Weekly [Report]

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Experian put out the 2014 Cross Device Video Analysis which I covered part of yesterday. In it they look at video across all screens and how the trends are moving, etc. In yesterday’s article I talked about cord cutting and the impact on it from factors such as Netflix or age demographic. Today, I’m going to talk about what devices people use for streaming video and what they’re watching.

Video Consumption by Device

As the title suggested, 24% of American adults are watching video on their smartphones weekly. That comes out to about 42% of smartphone owners. On a weekly basis, less than 10% of US Adults are streaming or downloading video to watch on their TV screen via something like a game console or OTT box like Roku or Apple TV. That makes the TV the least favorite device for said content aside from the work PC (7%) which isn’t really a device they own.

Experian video device usage

Right behind the smartphone, at 19%, is the home PC followed by the tablet at 12% and game console at 10%.

Those numbers don’t translate into prevalent activity on the devices however. Those vary drastically.

For example, almost half of game console owners say that watching video is the #1 activity on that platform, but it’s only 4% for smartphones and 18% for home PC. Crazy as it sounds, almost one-in-ten are mainly using their work PC for watching video. Slackers! Get back to work!

main usage of device

Top Sites and Apps for Video Consumption

So, we know what device they are watching on, the question remains, what are they watching? Experian looked at that facet as well and broke it down by most visited on desktop and top video smartphone apps.

No surprise that YouTube scored the top spot at 58.77% and averaged 21:23 average visit time. Second went to Netflix with 6.73% and a 22:51 average visit time (top of the chart). Everything else is in the 2% or less category basically, including Hulu at 1.98% and just 10:42 average visit time. Could be that heavy ad load they throw at users which seems to knock down their time there. Yahoo! TV scored the shortest time of 2:06 and just 1.46% visitation.

experian most visited video site

App usage runs very much the same way at the top of the chart. YouTube 64%, 15:21, Netflix 19%, 14:14 then a big drop to 5% and less. Yahoo! did not make this list, but Hulu did with 3% saying they use it and an average visit time of 8:06. Some apps which have low usage did have some pretty lengthy per visit usage times like VEVO which got 16:31 and the podcasts app which pulled 16:50.

experian app usage

Who Watches Smartphone Video When?

Finally, to wrap the the who, what, when section we get to when people watch smartphone video and almost as importantly who it is. The demographic breakdown is simplistic in that it’s just 18-24-year-olds and 25+. No surprise that the younger demographic tops the elder in every hour of the day, even if just by a fraction of a percentage in the 6am hour. The most people are watching in the 5pm to 11pm hours from both demographics and then it swiftly tapers off to a fraction of a percent in the 2am to 6am hours.

So if you are placing video ads on smartphone video and want people to watch, here’s the handy chart of when they do that so you can time your ad placements. Specifically, 8-9pm.

when we watch smartphone video

Finally, if you are advertising on the smartphone you want to know who you are dealing with. Again, the Experian report upholds the research that Millennials can be reached through smartphone video advertising. In terms of people “who find video ads on each device useful” with devices being smartphone and tablet, the Millennials rocked the vote. More than one-third (36%) said video ads on smartphones are either somewhat useful, useful or very useful. Three percent more joined in on the tablet side (39%).

Not overall fantastic numbers, but compared to elder demographics, it’s massive.

mobile ad useful Experian


The data found in this report is based on the Summer 2013 Simmons® Connect study, a comprehensive survey of 24,219 US adults. Simmons Connect links in-depth consumer lifestyles, attitudes, brand preferences and more to their complete cross-platform media use covering 11 platforms, including smartphones, digital tablets and home computers. The report also sources data from Hitwise, the world’s largest sample of online consumer behavior to help marketers increase the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.

If you want to download the whole report just head over to Experian.


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