Back in 2011, only 6% of YouTube views came from mobile devices. But, things have changed dramatically since then. YouTube views coming from mobile devices jumped to 25% in 2012, rose to 40% in 2013, and increased to 50% in 2014. Today, more than half of YouTube views and 65% of Facebook video views occur on mobile devices.
So, where and when can you reach Millennials? Well, as we learned a couple of weeks ago, you should probably try to be in the right place at the right during one of the micro-moments when they check their smartphones 150 times a day. Yep, whether you start with mobile or your start with Millennials, you end up in the same place.
In October 2014, Google and Ipsos asked 1,519 smartphone owners aged 18- to 34-years-old to keep detailed accounts of all of their online and offline video activity over 24 hours. Respondents had to access video via an app, so the study was limited to Millennials who owned a smartphone in 2014, But that still covered 81% of individuals age 18 to 34. The research found that smartphones were the top device to reach 98% of those Millennials, higher than tablets or desktops. The research also revealed that watching video on a smartphones was less distracting and disruptive for respondents, compared to watching video on a TV. Watching videos was the sole activity for 53% of the mobile video sessions.
Now, home wasn’t the only place Millennials were watching mobile video last year. 34% of mobile video minutes were watched while people were out and about. People watching digital video outside the home were also 1.8x more likely than average to be meaningfully engaged because they were likely to be watching video for active purposes, such as looking for information or exploring a passion. While marketers traditionally sought Baby Boomers’ attention in their living rooms, sitting in front of a television, mobile video consumption by Millennials has changed that dramatically.
Since the research was conducted a year ago, YouTube reports that users are spending more time per session watching videos. On mobile, the average viewing session is now more than 40 minutes, up more than 50% year-over-year. The number of hours people spent watching videos on mobile is up 100% year-over-year. And YouTube’s mobile revenue from advertising is up 2x year-over-year.
So, why did advertisers finally jump on YouTube’s bandwagon? Well, they were probably jumping on the mobile video bandwagon – and YouTube as well as Facebook have both benefited from this trend in the digital video marketing business. Advertisers realize that Millennials are twice as likely to be focused on the content while watching a mobile video as they are while viewing it via a television screen. Mobile truly is the first screen when it comes to this demographic.
This was validated by more research conducted by Google and Ipsos in February 2015. They wanted to see how this enthusiasm for mobile video translated for brands. So, they surveyed U.S. consumers who watch video on various devices. And this year’s research found that people who view videos on their smartphones are 1.4X as likely to watch ads as those who view videos on TVs or desktop computers.