Ooyala: Massive shift underway in way we watch online video

editor's corner

Jim O'NeilOnline video platform Ooyala, which prides itself on its ability to produce online video analytics on a granular level, this week released its first quarterly VideoMind Video Index report, an even deeper dive than it usually takes.

The Mountain View, Calif. company, which processes more than 1 billion daily analytics pings, said it has compiled the viewing behavior of more than 100 million unique monthly users in more than 100 countries.

Its findings?

Not surprisingly, the report points to a tectonic shift in the way users watch video online.

Ooyala found that the type of device viewers use influenced how they watch. Tablets dominated viewer engagement across all videos played, a conclusion that Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Barnes & Noble are likely to celebrate as those companies' two devices, the Kindle Fire and Nook, respectively, roll out this holiday season.

The fact that Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad made up 97 percent of all video plays in the third quarter is likely to change dramatically as the Android tablets gain traction. It's interesting to note that Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) has just released apps for the Kindle and Nook, but not the iPad (see this story).

The numbers make it clear that publishers will need to take a harder look at establishing a video strategy that includes tablets as a major component.

Users watching video on tablets stayed with the video 30 percent longer than if they were watching on their desktop computers, and they were more than twice as likely to watch an entire video. They watched an average of 28 percent longer than users watching content on laptops or desktops.

But, Ooyala said, bigger screens still rule when it comes to watching long form video that's more than 10 minutes in duration.

"For videos more than 10 minutes long, viewers using connected TV devices and game consoles were more than twice as likely to complete a video as viewers on desktops," said Adam Sewall of Ooyala.

Long form video accounted for 75 percent of hours watched on connected TVs and game consoles; overall video plays on those devices tripled during the quarter, positing continued growth, especially with connected TVs.

President of products and co-founder Bismarck Lepe points out in the report that watching video has become more social, with Facebook, according to Ooyala's data, becoming the most popular way to share video.

"I think the figures paint an incredibly promising story," said Lepe. "Simply put, the potential audiences have never been bigger."

Download the report here; it's worth a look.--Jim