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Personalized push drives mobile media engagement
Personalized push drives mobile media engagement
Friday, April 17, 2015

Consumption of mobile video – especially among Millennials and Gen Edge users who often see the screen as their first and sometimes only choice -- has doubled over the past year and grown more than 532% since 2012.

With more than 83% of consumers saying they plan to watch more videos on tablets and smartphones in the future, it’s a trend that shows no signs of slowing. And, with more companies rolling out over-the-top plays like Sling TV, HBO Now and the rumored Cloud TV service from Apple, mobile is evolving from being a necessary part of an operator’s business plan to the core component.

Consider:

  • According to video technology specialist Ooyala, mobile video views accounted for more than 34% of the global video traffic it saw in Q4 2014, more than double Q4 2013. Ooyala forecasts the number to reach 50% by 2016 as mobile screens get bigger and more premium content and services come online.
  • 49% of Millennials who subscribe to Netflix do at least some of their video viewing from mobile devices, according to comScore. Gen Xers aren’t that far behind; 36% exhibit the same behavior.
  • Smartphone sales continue to skyrocket as unit costs continue to drop. Globally, 1.3 billion smartphones shipped in 2014; IDC forecast that number to approach 1.9 billion by 2018.

Mobile users have come to expect their viewing experience to be as good as the one they’re used to with pay-TV, the “five-nines” quality that service providers use to describe their networks. They expect no latency, no buffering and the same video quality that they get from HD TV sets in a managed network environment.

Incoming Media, a “predictive push video platform” startup, says it has a solution.

When users watch video, especially premium video, on the web, they usually search for it, send a request for the title, and then watch the video as it arrives – hopefully without interruptions or any quality degradations. It’s primarily, a “pull” situation where the user decides on the content and waits for it to come to them.

Incoming Media handles online video differently. Using predictive analytics that can determine the content most likely to be viewed by a user, Incoming Media, via intelligent push technology, helps operators pre-position video content onto mobile devices ahead of time.

Incoming Media CEO Adam Tom recently said, “It’s done in the background and during off-peak hours when bandwidth is least expensive.”

In other words, the content is available on the user’s phone before it’s even requested, ready to launch with no latency and no need to buffer.

Tom also was quoted as saying that, “mobile is the future of video, but the viewing experience can sometimes be broken. Today’s content delivery networks don’t always offer the certainty required for consistent, high-quality viewing of mobile video.”

The company is fresh off a $4.9M Series A financing round; its investors include OneVentures, Intel Capital and Warner Brothers Media Camp. Their recent funding round is allowing the company to expand its research and development efforts and to extend the company’s reach into mobile media markets.

Recently, Australia’s leading telecommunications and information services company, Telstra, undertook a proof-of-concept trial to show how Predictive Push can create new mobile sports video experiences.

The trial demonstrated that by integrating with video technology specialist Ooyala’s platform and leveraging Ooyala content management system, Ooyala Backlot, with its own discovery capabilities, companies could supercharge mobile media apps engagement.

Incoming Media’s SDK for media apps enables the creation of personalized mobile video experiences that, it says, can lead to 3X engagement times.

Content owners, broadcasters and publishers haven’t missed the booming adoption of mobile media by Millennials, Gen Edgers and even Baby Boomers; in fact, more of them have looked to monetizing the mobile screen as vital to their future strategy.

While operators have made it a little easier by lowering the cost of mobile data to consumers (at and below $10 per GB in some cases) the reality is that bandwidth is finite… and solutions like new codecs that crunch data into bite-sized pieces are only a part of the solution.

Data and predictive analytics already are playing a deeper role in helping consumers find the video they want to watch. For a company like Incoming Media, that’s just the beginning.

Jim O'Neill

An award-winning industry expert and futurist who specializes in the convergence of traditional TV and the Internet. My focus includes pay TV, Cloud TV, OTT, multiplatform media delivery, the ecosystem that surrounds it and consumer trends. A frequent speaker at CES, NAB, Digital Hollywood, Park’s Associates Connections events, Streaming Media and Digital Entertainment World, among others. I'm the Editor of Videomind, which in the past year has won awards from Editor & Publisher and Digiday. I'm also the Principal Analyst at Ooyala. I'm based in Michigan. I formerly was an analyst at Parks Associates and editor of FierceOnlineVideo and FierceIPTV. 

You can follow on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on Linkedin