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Publishers See Major Opportunity for Mobile Video Monetization [Report]

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Ooyala have released the Q4 2013 Video Index, in it they talk about the amazing growth of mobile video over the last twelve months, and the acceleration of that growth over the last six months.

The growth of mobile video viewing has not gone unnoticed by just about everyone including publishers who see it as a major way to monetize video in the near future. However, they might still not be fully connected to that audience yet.

Rocketing Mobile Views

Mobile has been on a pretty steadily increasing growth rate for nearly three years now and is considered a vital part of video delivery. In fact, “in a recent Ooyala survey of online video publishers and broadcasters, 99% said delivering video to mobile and tablet devices was “critical” or “important.”

Critical, as in, if you do not do it your business could suffer immensely.

rise of mobile - ooyala q4 2013

Mobile device video viewing has increased 719% since Q4 2011 and 160% year-over-year Q4 2012-13. All that mobile viewing is adding up in terms of share of total viewing time, which rose from 18% in October to over 26% of total time in December. Merry Christmas everyone! I imagine that with an influx of new tablets around the holiday season that made for some of that growth. As you can see from the chart above, mobile devices also account for nearly 20% of video plays and at that rate it is going it could be more than 50% come the end of 2014.

Of course, the growth will probably start to slow eventually, it cannot continue at that rate indefinitely, but as bigger, better, cheaper mobile devices continue to enter the market, there’s no end in sight right now for its rocket-like rise in share.

Share of Time Watched Mobile + Tablet

As I said, the holiday season really brightened things up.

The week of December 23 saw tablets earn a 12% share of time played, dropping only slightly to 11% the week of December 30. Mobile phone share was in the double digits for all but the first two weeks of the quarter, peaking at 14% at times in November and December.

Publishers are Out of Touch with Audience?

The problem seems to be the publishers not fully understanding their users. While 83% believe there is a massive opportunity to monetize mobile video, only 34% of digital media brands feel confident that they know their audience “extremely well.” Additionally, 59% said they knew “a little” about them. I find those numbers staggering given all the reports I have covered talking about how Millennials are consuming online video on their mobile phones and tablets versus other demographics. Perhaps I know more about their audiences than they do right now.

The publisher replies to the Ooyala survey seem to show that we may not have enough research into exactly who is watching video, when they are watching it and on what devices. There is a good deal of it out there, that is true. But it might be that the research is not reaching the proper people at the publishers or the reports are presented such that the publishers cannot get the information they need out of them. It shows that perhaps those reporting agencies need to take more care into putting the numbers in proper scope and context and then transmitting that data more clearly to everyone. Or perhaps, we just need to get them all here to ReelSEO to start reading some of the recent reports on mobile video viewing with analysis.


In the Q4 2013 Video Index, Ooyala measures the anonymized viewing habits of nearly 200 million unique viewers in 130 countries every month. We process billions of video analytics events each day. Our market-leading video analytics help media companies and consumer brands grow their audiences and earn more money from mobile, multi-screen broadcasting.

Ooyala video publishers include hundreds of forward-thinking brands, broadcasters and operators like Univision, Bloomberg, ESPN, Rolling Stone, Pac-12 Networks, Sephora, Caracol TV, CJ Entertainment, and Yahoo! Japan.


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