• Ooyala 2012 Video Index: Tablet-Based Viewing Times Continue to Rise

    Note: Today I'm pleased to welcome VideoNuze's latest contributor, Stewart Schley. Stewart has been writing about media and telecommunications subjects for more than 20 years for publishers including CED magazine, Multichannel News, Paul Kagan Associates and One Touch Intelligence.

    Ooyala 2012 Video Index: Tablet-Based Viewing Times Continue to Rise


    by Stewart Schley

    Video’s leap to tablets continues to impress, and not just when it comes to short-form content. Ooyala’s new Global Video Index 2012 illuminates a rising role for tablets in playing long-form content. Ooyala's data shows that in Q4 '12, 63% of total viewing time on tablets was for videos longer than 10 minutes, up from 46% in Q1 '12.  Nearly one-third of time spent watching videos on tablets in Q4 ’12 was for those an hour or longer.

    
The numbers suggest users are becoming increasingly comfortable watching full-length TV shows, movies and other long-form content on tablets, a finding that has implications for television networks and other content providers that want to extend their viewership to the small screen. Among playback devices Ooyala tracks, only connected TVs and game consoles had a higher percentage of long-form video viewing (81.7%) in Q4. PCs clocked in at 57%, and smartphones at 43.6%.

    
The tablet category was a bigger player in online video at large in 2012, as the share of total online video viewing occurring across tablets rose 110%. Together, tablets and smartphones doubled their combined share of online video viewing to 8% in December ’12 from 4% in January ’12. There’s also a major share shift at work within the tablet category itself. Apple’s iOS platform still accounted for 67% of tablet video views in 2012 while Android drew 33% of viewership. But that was up 10-fold from 2011 and Ooyala is projecting Android to continue gaining share in 2013, moving above 50% of viewership, as tablet sales momentum swings to Google’s mobile OS.

    
Among other themes, Ooyala’s report tracks a rising profile for live program viewing online, with Q4 viewers devoting up to 18 times longer session durations to live programming than on-demand/archived content across all platforms: PCs, mobile, tablets and connected TVs/consoles. That’s partly a reflection of high-profile live programming including the U.S. presidential debates and the Dec. 12 Concert for Sandy Relief.

    
Also of note are some interesting usage patterns tied to the holiday season. In December, the highest percentage of tablet video views happened on Christmas Day – the product of lots of freshly unwrapped iPads and other tablets. Branded video conversion rates (the ratio of video plays to video displays) peaked Dec. 16 before plummeting the following day and thereafter. Ooyala believes this reflects online shoppers making up their minds what to buy over the weekend.  And while long-form viewing was up from the beginning of the year, it actually fell a bit from Q3 to Q4. Ooyala ascribes this to the influence of seasonality as viewers watched product-related videos.

    
Below is a handy infographic from Ooyala.

     
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