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Cheap Data Plans Leading to Increase in Long-Form Mobile Video

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Portable devices aren't just for quick video snacks. Online video platform Ooyala released its 2018 State of the Media Industry report, and the biggest trend it sees is the increase in mobile video viewing. 

"Increasingly, we're finding that mobile isn't just supplementary to at-home viewing on the big screen in the living room. In many ways it has become the big screen," notes Jim O'Neill, principal analyst at Ooyala. "Over the past several quarters we've seen—in our quarterly Video Index reports—an increase in the amount of video being viewed on mobile devices, to the tune of 60 percent of all plays starting on mobile devices. In our most recent Index, set to be released in June, we're also seeing an increase in the amount of video longer than 20 minutes being completed on mobile devices, something that's changing as data plans get cheaper and more premium content—especially sports content—becomes available on phones and tablets."

Despite these trends, many in the industry still believe viewers only want quick clips on their phones and tablets. Ooyala sees a trend for longer video on all screens, and notes that publishers are seeing higher engagement rates when they host longer videos. 

"What many publishers are getting wrong is the mistaken belief that only short form, video 0 to 5 minutes long, is appropriate for mobile screens, and that viewers won't watch movies and sports on smaller screens," O'Neill adds. "Viewers are hungry to find and consume any content on mobile devices. It's more about convenience and portability than pre-supposed notions of one screen size being more alluring than another."

For more, download State of the Media Industry 2018 for free (registration required).

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