For developers who are thinking about integrating video into their app, the potential audience just got a lot bigger, according to a recent research report.
Last week video monetization company FreeWheel found that 12 percent of all online videos were viewed on smartphones or tablets in 2012, a sharp jump from only two percent the year before.
Much like the overall app market, iOS-based devices were the dominant platform for mobile video consumption at a 60 percent market share. Google's Android devices claimed 32 percent.
"Android has seen major increases in 2012, [but] the operating system is likely hindered by lack of a breakout tablet product," the report said.
In Apple's case, breakout products like the iPhone 5 and iPad mini may have been strong contributors to its growth as a mobile video platform. FreeWheel's report indicated 30 percent of the growth in mobile video viewership occurred in the third and fourth quarters of last year, around the time Apple released the iPhone 5, iPad 4 and iPad mini.
While tablets, with their larger screen sizes, could be perceived as a better place to offer mobile video and related apps, the FreeWheel report shows that at least in Apple's case, smartphones lead the way. While the iPad accounted for 24 percent of Apple's mobile video views, the iPhone and iPod touch made up 36 percent.
Android devices saw major volume gains in the past two quarters, but still see half the viewing of iOS devices.
It's also important to note that FreeWheel's data, which primarily reflects activity in the U.S. market, is confined solely to "rights-managed" online videos such as commercials, pre-rolls and post-rolls that it serves on behalf of its content producer clients. "(This is) aggregate monetization data for professional content from FreeWheel's customers and does not reflect trends in user-generated content." That means the overall opportunity for video, particularly in-app video that is generated by non-professionals, could be even larger.
Monetization may be an ongoing concern, however. According to another recent study from Videology, the number of video ads shown grew 52 percent in the last quarter of 2012, but only five percent of those views took place on mobile devices.
- view the full FreeWheel report (PDF)
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