Half of smartphone owners use them to access video

Sept. 13, 2019
According to a multinational survey conducted by IHS Markit, the smartphone has taken a major step in its evolution from a voice-centric device to a media-centric platform, with ...

According to a multinational survey conducted by IHS Markit, the smartphone has taken a major step in its evolution from a voice-centric device to a media-centric platform, with more than 50% of owners now using their device to access video services on a monthly basis.

An average of 53% of Internet users across six countries now utilize their smartphones for video services both in and out of the home, IHS says. Video-service usage varies widely among different countries, ranging from 42% of smartphone owners in Germany to 73% in India.

Owners across the different countries report using an average of 3.5 video services per month on their smartphones.

“Smartphones increasingly are transforming into multipurpose platforms—moving beyond voice communications to become media entertainment systems,” said Fateha Begum, associate director at IHS. “As a result, video has become a key component of mobile strategies with smartphones adopting larger screens, more processing power and better picture quality. Wireless carriers now are bundling video services with data plans, a trend that’s likely to accelerate with the launch of 5G.”

Of the six markets surveyed, respondents in India were most likely to say they watch video content out of the home via mobile devices. Indians also view this content more frequently than residents of any other country surveyed, with nearly half claiming to do so at least once a day. Viewing rates are similar for live and on-demand content, with Indian respondents most likely to engage in both viewing types.

Smartphone owners in India access 5.9 video services monthly, the highest of any country surveyed.

In Brazil, two-thirds of Internet users claim to watch video content out of the home on a monthly basis, with similar rates of viewership seen across live and on-demand content. A total of 73% of those watching out-of-home content in Brazil select long-form content types as their most watched out of home, higher than any other market. Films are most watched on mobile devices out of the home with 41% selecting it, while TV shows lead in nearly all other markets.

“Smartphone owners in the developing economies of India and Brazil watch more video on smartphones due to lower broadband penetration and a lack of other connected devices capable of receiving Internet video services,” Begum said. “In India, smartphones account for nearly eight in 10 Internet connected devices, compared to a global average of four in 10.”

YouTube is the most accessed video service on smartphones across all countries. More than 80% of people who use smartphones for video access are using them to watch videos on YouTube on a monthly basis.

Other developments in the out-of-home viewing market indicate:

Those in urban areas are 60% more likely to stream live content out of the home on mobile devices than rural populations are.

Data plans and content partnerships have been key in driving out-of-home video viewing in the past few years, particularly with the launch of 4G. Nearly two-thirds of consumers who stream content out of the home on a monthly basis select long-form content types as their most watched type of video.

Despite the high usage of smartphones as video consumption devices, only 14% of all respondents surveyed selected their phone as their first choice for a device when looking for something to watch.

"Out of Home Video Viewing Report 2019" from IHS Markit is based on consumer surveys conducted in April 2019. The online survey was conducted across six markets: the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and India. Surveys included a nationally representative (by age, gender and region) sample of 2,401 Internet users aged 18 to 64 in each country. In India, the survey was conducted among the English-speaking population only.        

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