Ooyala released its Q1 2015 Video Index today (download it here) capturing the shifting viewing trends of more than 220 million unique users in nearly every country in the world, spanning Ooyala’s 500+ customer base of the world’s largest broadcasters and publishers. This quarter’s report shows mobile viewing now accounts for 42% of all online viewing. More notably, the report drills down into smartphone views vs. tablet views, revealing smartphones are outpacing tablet plays online at a factor of four to one.
While tablets certainly contribute to the overall share of mobile viewing, they nearly flatline quarter over quarter and are dwarfed next to their smartphone counterpart. But why?
Ooyala chalk this up to a variety of things. As screen sizes on smartphones being larger, the preference between tablets smartphones begin to blur, especially as we constantly carry smartphones with us. Tablets, not so much.
Also, the near ubiquity of Wifi in our homes, offices and favorite coffee joints help the growth. We’re more connected than ever before and it minimizes us putting our phones back in our pockets to avoid the extra fees tied to data plan overages.
Regardless, the growth of mobile viewing is staggering. The report shows that just last year in Q1 mobile viewing was just 21% of all viewing. Going back two years, mobile viewing has increased a whopping 367%.
But are dollars shifting accordingly?
For Antonio Lucio, Visa’s chief marketing officer, it’s a yes. He told attendees at February’s Digital Entertainment World conference that “for the first time in the United States” the company would spend more than 50% of its marketing budget on mobile in 2015, because “that’s where the consumers are.”
According to the report broadcasters are the most savvy, latching onto the phenomenal mobile growth. This quarter Ooyala saw more than half (53%) of their content play was on mobile devices, compared to 31% for publishers and 31% for brands.
Unique to the Q1 2015 Video Index Report, Ooyala looked into its data around content recommendations and personalization via its Discovery product. In short, personalized content keeps viewers engaged longer. The report measures Discovery starts ratio, or the amount of times recommended content was played relative to organic content. In other words, if a viewer was presented 10 recommended videos, and played 4, the Discovery starts ratio would be 40%.
Publishers saw the greatest gain with recommended content. Their Discovery starts ratio was 58%. Sports broadcasters saw their Discovery starts ratio as high as 53%; news broadcasters was 44%.
That’s huge for advertising-based models. Higher engagement translates to higher CPMs as you can not only attain large audiences, but keep them watching more and for longer periods of time.
Growth of Programmatic
Also new to Ooyala’s Video Index Report this quarter is the growth of programmatic trading with premium content providers. The study shows that large publishers and broadcasters are becoming more comfortable - and apt - to trade their inventory online in private, programmatic settings.
Among publishers and broadcasters Deal ID transactions, which are essentially the virtual receipt of a programmatic trade, grew 79% between the months of January and March. In addition, RTB (real-time bidding) impressions, primarily through private marketplaces on the premium end, grew at an impressive 150% monthly rate throughout Q1, where traditional network traffic actually dropped by 21% on a monthly basis. This comparison demonstrates how transparency is beginning to win the race, and indirect channels are moving towards greater automation.
Also, in Q1, Ooyala saw RTB CPMs grow 60% above their average floor price. This is a supply and demand effect and indicative of buyer’s growing trust in programmatic trading. As more budgets and buyers move online to purchase digital video inventory, there is increased pressure on auctions that drives up prices and publisher’s revenue.
The future of TV continues to shift online. The newest ad tech solutions are enabling publishers to be more holistic in their buying and slowly but surely take advantage of the major shift of eyeballs to mobile devices. It’s a whole new and exciting world for the future of TV and we’re excited to see where the next quarter, and years, take us.
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