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Nearly Two-Thirds of Mobile Phone Video Usage Happens at Home, Providing Cross-Media Opportunities for Marketers, According to IAB Mobile Study

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence today released “The IAB Mobile Phone Video Diaries,” research that shows that 63 percent of digital video screening on mobile phones does not happen on-the-go, but rather at home. Over a third (36%) of these home-based digital video activities happen in a room where a second screen – a TV, desktop computer or tablet – is also available for viewing purposes. These findings combine to point to significant cross-media opportunities for brand marketers, whether tying mobile digital video to live television programming or linking magazine ads to relevant mobile clips.

On Device Research conducted the IAB Mobile study, gathering smartphone and feature phone users to keep detailed "day in the life" diaries of their mobile phone video usage behavior for two weeks, along with participation in detailed pre- and post-diary surveys.

The research also unveiled that an overwhelming majority (92%) of viewers share mobile video they have watched on their phone with others. With mobile videos being ranked third on the list of high-time-spent (one hour or more weekly) activities conducted on mobile phones, behind playing games and social media, the propensity for sharing video provides a strong vehicle for taking video ads along for the viral ride.

In addition, the research refutes the idea that mobile video is something consumers use haphazardly at odd times of the day when they have nothing else going on and no other screen available. In fact, mobile video usage grows steadily throughout the day, peaking in evening "prime time TV" hours. Twenty-two percent of video interactions were to access content viewers planned to watch, while 18 percent were out of boredom, and only 3 percent because no other screen was available.

According to the study, the most frequently viewed genres in mobile video are:

  • Music videos (45%)
  • Movie trailers (42%)
  • Tutorials/How-To’s (41%)
  • Funny short video clips (37%)

Humorous short clips (66%) and music videos (52%) are the most likely to be shared.

"Digital video marketing has skyrocketed over the past year, and is primed to deliver even greater returns on a variety of screens – particularly on mobile phones," said Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. "With the Digital Content NewFronts set for the spring, we’ll certainly see the depth and breadth of original video content that marketers can leverage to reach digital audiences. But this study points to a unique proposition for connecting with consumers who are watching that video content on mobile."

"Video advertising on smartphones offers agencies and brands a unique opportunity to connect intimately with consumers on devices primed for interactive storytelling. But first we need to see mobile as a primary screen for on-demand consumption, not as an afterthought," said David Levin, President of Creative & Technology, 360i.

When asked about their feelings towards mobile video advertising, respondents provided informative insights:

  • 53 percent said that they are positive or neutrally receptive towards mobile video advertising
  • Nearly half (48%) said that they would prefer seeing video ads that are related to the content of the video clips being watched
  • A significant number (44%) recalled seeing an ad while watching mobile video, with short 10-15 second spots being the most recalled format

To read the entire study, including excerpts from its collection of real world mobile phone digital video diaries, please visit www.iab.net/mobilevideodiaries.


On Device Research’s U.S. panel of 200 respondents opted in to take part in a three-stage diary project, lasting a total of two weeks. All respondents recruited owned either a smartphone or feature phone. The focus of the report was on mobile phone based video usage, excluding tablet based video usage. Respondents were pre-screened on demographics and mobile video behavior to ensure the sample gathered was relevant and responsive. The successful 200 pre-screened respondents were tasked using their mobile to check in, over a period of one week, whenever they used mobile video. All respondents then completed a follow up survey, which covered a range of topics from factors behind mobile video usage, attitudes towards mobile video advertising and how they would like mobile video progress in the future. Each respondent earned $10 for taking part.

About the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.iab.net.

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