Video plays on tablets, smartphones and connected TVs nearly doubled in the fourth quarter, compared to the previous quarter, Ooyala reported this morning in its second Video Index, forecasting that "we're on a clear and irreversible course toward an IP-delivered future."
The online video platform said it took an exhaustive look at data from about 150 million unique users, in more than 100 countries, hosted on more than 1,000 different domains for several hundred publishers and across all devices.
People still watch more traditional TV, said Bismarck Lepe, co-founder and president of products for Ooyala, but streaming growth is rapidly eroding that lead.
"Looking at non-desktop video views, the fourth quarter was the second straight quarter of nearly one hundred percent growth," he said. "The Video Index also shows people are far more engaged on tablets, which are closer to TVs than they are to smartphones when it comes to viewing behavior."
Tablet viewers, he said, are 45 percent more likely to complete at least 75 percent of videos played, and users were spending increasingly more time watching longer videos online, too.
"What's really been interesting to us is that the average stream rate is growing pretty dramatically," Lepe told FierceOnlineVideo. "Now were starting to see the average stream length north of 10 minutes on most of these connected devices."
Overall, Lepe said, online video views grew 5 to 8 percent across all regions of the world from the third quarter to the fourth quarter, with the U.S. market expanding about 6 percent. Gaming consoles, he said, continue to make up a significant portion of online viewership.
The increased availability of content has been the most significant force in increasing viewership, Lepe said.
"I think consumers follow content," he said. "If there had been more content available three or four years ago we'd probably be in the same spot today. The way consumers follow these trends is that first it's about access, then it's about user experience and then it's about quality."
As viewership increases, he said, the economics of the space have begun to change.
"We're beginning to see that online served ads have higher CPMs because they're better targeted," he said. "I think we'll begin to actually see parity between the traditional TV ad business and the online ad business."
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