Mobile devices are expected to make up half of all streaming by 2020.
New research by Ericsson predicts that the ubiquity of mobile viewing will continue to grow – perhaps even to a point where mobile viewing overtakes fixed-screen viewing.
The report categories viewers into five categories. TV Couch Traditionalists – heavy viewers of broadcasted TV via a traditional TV screen. Screen Shifters – users of any screen, anywhere for all kinds of TV and video. Computer Centrics, who mainly consume streamed and downloaded TV and video via their computer screen. Mobility Centrics, who primarily use their mobile screen to watch content. Average TV Joes, who watch an average amount of TV and enjoy light viewing of ther video content. And TV Zeroes, who only watch a light amount of TV and video.
Since 2010, TV Couch Traditionalists has shrunk significantly as a group – almost 40 per cent – while Screen Shifters has grown by over 40 percent, and Mobility Centrics by more than 320 percent. The fact that Mobility Centrics is the fastest-growing group is an indication of future trends, argues Ericsson, highlighting the importance of a good user experience on the small screen.
Viewing time on mobiles is certainly on the up. Since 2010, the smartphone has been the main device responsible for this growth – it has more than doubled its share of viewing time since 2010, and now makes up almost a fifth of the time consumers spend watching TV and video, or six hours per week. This is due to a rise in viewing time per user, as well as an overall increase in the number of consumers using their smartphones to watch TV and video. Today, approximately 70 percent of consumers watch videos on a smartphone – double the amount from 2012.
By 2020, Ericsson therefore forecasts that that half of all TV and video viewing will be done on a mobile screen – an 85 percent increase since 2010. Almost a quarter will be on smartphones alone, which is an increase of almost 160 per cent since 2010. Total viewing time is also set to increase, reaching approximately 31 hours per week by 2020 – roughly an hour more than today.
Overall, the mobile viewing trend is likely to continue beyond 2020. This will mean an increased need for mobile-friendly content, higher network demands, and also opportunities for new revenue streams.
Both scheduled linear TV and on-demand services stand to benefit from this transition, concludes Ericsson, as long as business models are adapted to cater for mobile and on-demand access.