By Sahil Patel
How do you define “long-form video”? If it’s a clip that is five minutes or longer, than the IAB wants you to know more people are watching long-form videos on the smallest screen they regularly have access to.
According to a new report released by the trade group, which surveyed smartphone users in 24 countries around the world, 36% of all respondents said they watch videos that are five minutes or longer on their phones daily or more frequently. Users in the video hotbeds of Turkey, Finland, China, Russia, and Singapore are the heaviest viewers of longer videos on their smartphones.
Of course, one can easily say five or six minutes is not long enough to be truly “long-form” video. Most online video, and most web series, are usually in that range.
That said, consumption of full-length TV episodes and feature films is also happening globally. According to the study, 30% of smartphone video viewers in the US and Canada watch full TV episodes on their devices and 20% watch full movies. Other regions, including Europe (23% and 19%, respectively) and Latin America (22% and 23%), lag behind.
China loves watching movies and TV shows on their smartphones, with 56% of video-viewing respondents reporting they watch movies on their phones and 35% saying they watch TV episodes.
Mobile-video consumption is on the rise, overall. Countries with the most prominent upticks include the US (50%), Canada (42%), New Zealand (42%), South Africa (42%), and the UK (40%).
Some are even watching video on their phones while they’re watching TV — 22% of respondents, per the study.
The most popular platforms for finding videos? YouTube, which 62% of respondents said they use, followed by social media platforms (33%), and search results (20%).
As the online video industry increasingly adds subscriptions to their business models, the study said that there is “potential” for mobile video to be monetized through subscriptions and direct sales. Top markets where viewers are willing to pay for video that is streamed to their phones include China (33%), the UK (25%), Canada and the US (23% each), and Australia (21%).
Advertising, though, will continue to be important, as 78% of total respondents said they would rather have free mobile video supported by ads. Which makes the need for standardized and scalable mobile-advertising even more important.