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Mobile Phone vs. Tablet Video Consumption

Tina Products/Markets Analyst
March 21, 2013

Video consumption for a given type of content differs by device type, according to the results of a Rovi Corporation survey released by eMarketer.  According to the data, mobile phone viewers were more likely than tablet viewers to stream user-generated content, news, music videos, and web shows.  Meanwhile, tablet viewers were much more likely to stream movies and TV shows.


In addition, the method of watching mobile videos differs by country, according to Nielsen.  On average, mobile video viewers across the globe are more likely to be watching videos through the mobile web than through an app. American smartphone video viewers were just as likely to watch videos through the two channels. Meanwhile, viewers in Russia, Australia, Brazil, Italy, China, and India were more likely to watch videos through the mobile web than through apps by a considerable margin.  The reverse was true for viewers in South Korea and the UK.


So, not only does the data provide us a snapshot on mobile video consumption, it provides new mobile video marketers ideas on how to customize campaigns based on content type and device type, which go hand-in-hand when it comes to optimizing mobile video ad campaigns. Customizing mobile video ad campaigns by video type and platform are just as important as targeting by demographics and psychographics when it comes to maximizing reach.




Based on the charts above, below are some key highlights and takeaways I think are important for mobile marketers & advertisers to consider.


  • Amongst tablet viewers, 34.9% streamed movies, while 33.8% of mobile phone viewers streamed user-generated content.
  • Roughly an equal amount of tablet viewers watch user-generated content and TV shows (24.3% and 23.4%, respectively).
  • Twice as many mobile phone viewers watch music videos as tablet viewers.
  • Smartphone video viewers in the US were just as likely to watch their videos through the mobile web as through apps.



  • Video type and device type are essential factors to take into consideration when strategizing mobile video ad campaigns.
  • Global marketers need to customize placements of mobile video ads by country.
  • Mobile video consumption may be shifting from PC to mobile and tablet in the US.
  • Are user-generated content just as popular as movies with American consumers?

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