The Importance Of Optimizing Video Content For Mobile Devices

Optimizing your videos for mobile use

Audiences for both local and national news are increasingly getting news from mobile devices, as shown in a 2014 Pew Research report. According to the research, in 2013, 82% used their computer to access news, and 54% used a mobile device, like a phone or tablet.

A recent Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) survey found 36% of respondents used their phones to watch videos that were five minutes or longer at least once a day. It went on to say that 35% of participants reported watching more video on their phones now than they did last year, with those numbers being highest in the U.S., at 50 percent.

News Outlet Websites Have More Mobile Traffic Than Desktop

Another Pew Research study showed that 39 of the top 50 news sites had more mobile visitors than desktop in the time frame studied. Four had approximately similar numbers for mobile and desktop, while only seven reported more desktop traffic than mobile. Digital news providers, including CNN,, and, even found that mobile viewers spent more time on their sites than desktop viewers. Although overall, audiences still stay longer on desktop visits.

The Increasing Importance of Mobile News in Digital Ad Revenue

The Pew report also shows that mobile advertising spending is on the rise, with $19 billion spent on mobile in 2014, vs. $10.7 billion in 2013—a 78% increase. Mobile ad spending currently makes up 37% of all digital ad spending, 25% higher than last year. For the digital sector as a whole, video ads are gaining on banner ads, with video ad spending increasing by 56% in 2014. It now comprises 27% of total display ad expenditures, a 14% increase since 2010.

The top five companies for mobile ad revenue—Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pandora, and Apple—owned almost two-thirds of the market in 2014, for a total of $6.4 billion. Facebook had the largest share, claiming 37% of all mobile display ad revenue for the year—a growth of 131%, while Twitter experienced a 111% increase.

Both networks had a growth percentage of mobile display advertising that mirrored the decline rate of desktop display ads, which fell about 10 percentage points. Overall, U.S. mobile ad revenue has grown from a meager $1.45 billion in 2011 to $18.99 billion in 2014.

Longer Content on Shorter Screens

According to a recent Video Ink article, the amount of time viewers spend watching video on mobile devices is also increasing.

Previously, shorter clips dominated mobile viewing, with consumers preferring larger screens for longer videos. Ooyala’s global data, presented in the Video Ink piece, shows people spend about 59% of their viewing time on tablets watching videos that are at least 10 minutes long.

This is good news for broadcasters, whose packages are usually two minutes or shorter. Previously, TV journalists expected viewers to watch shorter clips, like 30 second previews or teases, on mobile, and watch the full story on a desktop or TV. But with the increasing quality of phone and tablet screens, and improvements in mobile video streaming (many phones now offer 1080P HD), news viewers are increasingly watching whole packages and even streaming live newscasts on their mobile devices.

Optimizing Video Content for Mobile

Making broadcast news easily accessible to mobile viewers has many advantages. It helps increase revenue for pre-roll ads, attract younger viewers, provide up-to-the-minute reports on breaking news to anyone who isn’t near a TV, and reach audience members who spend less time watching traditional news.

When optimizing video for mobile, it’s important to make sure your organization’s website is mobile-friendly. A dedicated landing page for mobile viewers and responsive page design are two key factors. Ensuring videos are properly encoded to run on mobile devices is another important consideration. Also be sure your call-to-action (CTA) button is easily seen and clicked on with a small mobile device.

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