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Ooyala Report Shows Video Engagement and Viewing Time Increasing

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How much can online video viewing change in only three months? The answers are surprising. Ooyala released its Video Index report for the first quarter of 2012 yesterday and found strong shifts in global viewing habits.

The common wisdom that online videos need to be two- or three-minutes in length to find an audience is no longer true, Ooyala finds. For the first time, long-form videos (those over 10 minutes in length) accounted for over half of all online videos viewed. People are turning to the web more often for full-length TV shows, movies, and sports events.

Mobile viewing is growing faster than many would have predicted, finds Ooyala. The share of video minutes watched on smartphones grew by a 41 percent in the first quarter. Tablet viewing grew by 31 percent. Tablets offer a better viewing experience, but smartphone viewing could be growing faster because the devices are more prevalent and 4G service is expanding.

The time of day has a strong impact on what device viewers choose for online video. Tablet viewing is strong in the evening, between 7PM and 11PM, finds Ooyala, with a third of all tablet viewing happening in that four-hour block. People don't want to sit in front of their computers in the evening: only 17 percent of desktop and notebook video viewing happens then.

When it comes to tablet viewing, the Apple iPad is the undisputed king. A full 95 percent of all tablet viewing is done on an iPad. When Apple released the third-generation iPad in March, tablet viewing jumped by 26 percent.

The report also shows that connected TVs and TV devices, as well as streaming movie services, are big for at-home movie nights. Between 4PM and 11PM on Saturdays, connected TV viewers watch a third more streaming video than on other nights.

"The spike in tablet and smartphone viewing during weekend nights and commutes shows how the living room experience is fragmenting across devices," says Jay Fulcher, chief executive officer for Ooyala.

The Ooyala report makes recommendations, as well, suggesting that publishers can generate more revenue by increasing the number of ads they incorporate, especially mid-roll video ads in long-form content.

Online video platform Ooyala bases its findings on its own processing of two billion video analytics events each day, streaming to nearly 200 million global viewers. Those interested can read the full report for free.

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