JW Player index puts tablet viewing ahead of smartphones, desktops

Enterprise video services provider JW Player released its first-ever quarterly index, and its findings are similar to those in Ooyala's recent video index: Tablet users watch the most online video each month, with PC and smartphone users falling into second and third place, respectively.

Tablet viewers watch 40 minutes of video per month, while desktop users watched 30 minutes and smartphone users 20 minutes.

The report didn't break down views by long-form or short-form content, but did note that tablet users make up just 6 percent of the audience measured, while desktop users make up 77 percent and smartphone users 18 percent.

JW Player's index, like Ooyala's, is based on measurements of its customers' streams. Its analytics service launched with version 6 of its software and gives its publishers network-level insights into their users' behavior, as well as performance of their content and advertising.

The provider tracked video streams between May and October 2014.

Other interesting notes:

  • JW Player's publishers have "clearly standardized" on the H.264 video compression format along with the AAC audio format.
  • Akamai still rules the CDN world, with 17 percent of all JW Player video plays worldwide delivered via their network. Fastly and Edgecast placed second and third, with 8 percent and 7 percent, respectively. Amazon Web Services landed in fourth place with 6 percent of all plays delivered.
  • Video ad monetization per user is $14.50 in the United States, based on ads per unit of time. Users watch about 20 online video ads each hour, or about 10 minutes of ads total (compare that to TV viewers' average of 16 minutes of ads watched per hour). Pre-roll ads are much more popular than mid- or post-roll ads.
  • Facebook's LiveRail is the most popular advertising server for JW Player publishers, with 37 percent market share. Google and SpotXchange placed second and third with 13 percent and 12 percent of the market, respectively.
  • Google's Chrome is used by 40 percent of JW Player customers' video viewers, far and away the leader. Firefox and Safari are used by 15 percent and 13 percent of viewers.

Ooyala's Global Video Index, also released this week, found that tablet and smartphone views through its publishers grew 114 percent year-over-year. Tablet viewers in particular love long-form video content, while smartphone users prefer much shorter video plays of 1 to 3 minutes.

Of course, both these service providers are measuring usage of their own online video publisher clients. But overall industry trends point to increased mobile device usage as well. Nielsen found that streaming rose 60 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of 2014, while traditional TV viewing dropped almost 4 percent. Nielsen deploys "measurement tags" to collect data on page views and video streams, and calibrates total video streams with device-specific census data. The ratings company has only just begun measuring Netflix and Amazon streaming data, so those views aren't included with its most recent report.

So, what does the increase in tablet viewing mean for overall sales? So far, it doesn't look like buying will pick up. IDC cut its 2014 sales forecast by 3.6 percent back in March, to 260.9 million tablets worldwide, and cut it again in August to 233.1 million units, saying that stabilizing tablet prices will affect consumer purchases.

For more:
- see the press release
- download the report

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