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Zenith-Global-Online-Video-Consumption-by-Device-2016-2018-Jul2016For the first time, consumers around the world will this year spend more time watching videos on their mobile devices than on fixed devices (desktops and smart TVs), Zenith predicts in a new forecast. Mobile video consumption is expected to reach almost 20 minutes per day, representing a 30% increase from last year, and exceeding the stagnant fixed device video consumption of 16 minutes.

In the US, studies suggest that mobile has a ways to go before becoming the dominant platform for video consumption. According to new data from Nielsen [download page], US adults averaged 23 minutes per week of smartphone video viewing and 19 minutes per week of tablet video viewing in Q1 2016. In other words, smartphones and tablet video consumption combined accounted for just 42 minutes per week. By comparison, PC video consumption averaged almost 2 hours (1 hour and 49 minutes) per week.

Instead, mobile video’s surge is the result of cheaper devices in lower-income countries, says Zenith, also attributing its findings to improved mobile displays and increased penetration of high-speed connections.

With mobile continuing to grow at a faster rate than fixed video, by 2018 mobile is expected to account for almost two-thirds (64%) of all video consumption.

It’s worth noting that fixed video consumption will grow in 2017 (13%) and 2018 (3%), though this will be the result of increased consumption on smart TVs rather than on desktops.

Turning to advertising, the Zenith forecast calls for online video ad spend to grow by 19.8% each year through 2018, such that video’s share of display ad spending will climb to 31.3% from 26.7% last year. While mobile is forecast to gain majority share of video consumption this year, it won’t equal fixed devices in video ad spend until 2018, per Zenith.

About the Data: The Zenith forecast is based on an analysis of 57 key markets around the globe.

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