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Adobe: Smartphones Surpass Tablets for Online Video Viewing

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The smaller screen is winning. Adobe released its 2014 Q2 Digital Index, its twice-yearly benchmark of the U.S. digital video landscape, and one of the surprises is just how popular smartphone viewing has become. Smartphone viewing is up 59 percent over the same period last year. Smartphones now comprise 13.6 percent of all online video starts, compared to tablets with 13.0 percent. Tablets enjoyed a growth of 29 percent, but the real gainer was game consoles with a rise of 127 percent year-over-year.

Also on the rise are online video ad loads. Viewers now see 2.08 ads per video start, Adobe finds, a rise of 25.8 percent over the previous year. Sports content has the highest ad loads, with 2.25 ads per video start.

In the second quarter of this year, Americans launched 38.2 billion video starts, a leap of 47.3 percent from the same period in 2013. Video completion rates are highest with desktop and console viewers, and lowest with smartphone and tablet viewers.

Since Adobe is heavily invested in TV Everywhere with Adobe Primetime, much of the report looks at authenticated viewing (which Adobe oddly refers to as "online TV"). The report finds the percentage of authenticated viewing through a desktop browser decreased 41 percent year-over-year (shrinking from 33 percent to 18 percent of all authenticated views), but game console authenticated viewing grew 194 percent in the same period (rising from 3 percent to 10 percent of all views).

The report was created using media and entertainment site data gathered by Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime. The full report is available online for free (no registration required).

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