Top Video Trends & Opportunities: Mobile, Social, Ads & TV Everywhere [Report]

Video is a powerful way to reach audiences both for publishers and advertisers. Marketers already know people are watching online video more than ever, but what are they watching? When are they watching it? What are consumers’ preferred methods of watching?

The Adobe Digital Index team explored these questions and several other topics that are important to making a bigger splash through video. The team recently shared the findings of its research in The U.S. Digital Video Benchmark.

The Adobe Digital Index team looked at 19.6 billion video starts on media websites to confirm the growth of broadcast video consumption across connected devices. But the useful insights don’t stop there. Here are the top trends found in The U.S. Digital Video Benchmark.

Year-Over-Year Increase in Video Viewing

Based on data recorded by the Adobe Marketing Cloud customers, video consumption has grown dramatically over the past two years. To put that into context, the 15 billion video streams measured in Q4 of 2012 are 11 times more than all of the U.S. movie ticket sales in 2012.

Adobe’s research found:

  • Digital video consumption has grown 30 percent year over year in Q4 2012.
  • From Q3 to Q4 2012 alone, video consumption grew 13 percent.
  • There has been 50 percent growth in video streams since Q1 2011.
  • New TV and sports content drove the highest growth in video streams in Q4 2012.

This means publishers should find ways to create personalized digital video experiences for their viewers, visitors, and advertisers. While most videos are consumed on PCs, views on mobile devices have tripled from 2011 to 2012. Publishers should look for opportunities to weave more video content into their marketing channels, such as social media.

Video on Mobile Devices


Mobile video consumption is on the rise. By Q4 2012, mobile video starts – including both smartphones and tablets – have tripled year over year and currently account for over 10 percent of total digital video starts.

Adobe found:

  • Video starts on smartphones tripled year over year from 2011 to 2012.
  • Tablet video consumption slightly outpaced smartphones in video starts.

The growing mobile audience provides incremental engagement and revenue opportunities for advertising. Tablet viewers, in particular, are early adopters who typically spend more money, book more trips, and consume more media content. Publishers can capitalize on this target audience with high CPMs and incremental impressions.

Social Media Marketing and Video


Social media and digital video are a natural fit. For brands, video content generates more engagement. For publishers, Facebook-referred traffic improves video completion rates.

The research found:

  • Although more people use search or go direct to video, socially-referred video starts are more likely to be completed.
  • Facebook dominates the social referrals but Twitter is three times more likely to refer to a video than other types of content.
  • During 2012, video social engagement jumped from 42 percent to 70 percent.
  • Viral reach of video also outpaces other types of content. In Q1 2012, viral reach share was 55 percent versus non-video content, and by Q4 had grown to 77 percent.

Offering more video content is one key to unlocking the value of social media. Brands should create more video for use in social marketing and publishers should increase social media marketing efforts to attract more engaged digital video viewers.

Ad Placement Impact on Click Rates and Impressions

Ads placed at the end of a video have a better click-through rate – about 3 percent –when compared to ads placed within or on the front end. Not surprisingly, ads placed at the beginning of a video result in significantly more impressions than the other two types of positions.

Adobe found:

  • Video ad click rates and ad impressions have remained consistent throughout 2012.
  • Mid-roll ads have the second highest reach but the highest completion. Depending on the opportunity, they may deliver more engaged brand impressions.

Although mid-roll ads produce completions, if the goal is simply impressions, then advertisers should front-load their ads. However, post-roll ads, which produce higher click-throughs, tend to appeal to direct response advertisers with a call to action.

The Rise of TV Everywhere

TV Everywhere has grown tremendously, wherein media providers are asking their customers to provide a secure login to stream their content. Adobe measured the rise in authenticated streams and saw a growth from 18.3 million streams in 2011 to 222.5 million in 2012.

The research found:

  • Unlike traditional online video, most authenticated video streams are viewed on mobile devices opposed to PCs.
  • Game Console and iOS (likely tablet) viewers watch the most video, consuming an average of 14 streaming videos per visitor per month in January 2013.

The growth in authenticated streams, in particular the growth of mobile access to these streams, offers additional reach, targeting, and impressions with affluent and sophisticated consumers. As media accessibility expands, publishers and advertisers require more intricate ad packages, digital ad content, and improved technology to take advantage of this emerging advertising channel.

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