From the development of radio to television to the PC, technology has always impacted the way we consume content. Over the past several years the rapid growth of the web enabled mobile devices has had a similar impact.
According to a recent study by the ITU the number of global mobile broadband subscribers have been grown by 40% annually over the last three years. This has led to a situation where the number of mobile broadband subscribers now outnumber fixed broadband subscriptions 3 to 1.
The rapid growth of the mobile web has important implications for anybody involved in video marketing.
Mobile As An Entertainment Device
In a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review it was found that 46% of the time spent on mobile devices is engaging in activities defined as "Me Time". This is time that the user spends relaxing or consuming entertainment. One of the most popular activities is consuming video content. One of the most common misconceptions about mobile is that it is primarily used as a communications tool rather than as an entertainment device. In fact as the HBR study, entertainment is central to how mobile devices are being used.
In 2011 only 6% of YouTube traffic was mobile. By 2014 this number had grown to 40%. YouTube has made it easier to use mobile phones as an entertainment device. This includes enabling people to minimize videos but keep the audio playing. This allows YouTube users to search for fresh content while still listening to music. Essentially YouTube has now become a music streaming device.
Why Video Is Perfect For Content Marketing On Mobile
Reading content on the smaller screen can be challenging. In contrast video content is much simpler to consume on a mobile phone. For businesses video enables them to deliver more in-depth content in an engaging format.
Advertising platforms are also offering increasingly sophisticated video marketing options. Recently Twitter announced that it would be introducing promoted videos to select advertisers. This follows a similar move by Facebook's own branded video offering for it's news feed.
Video Benefits From Spread Of Free Wi-Fi
In the past the consumption of video on mobile devices has been limited by data plans. Consumers have been reluctant to absorb the additional cost of exceeding these plans. However, there two trends are making video a much more attractive option. Firstly, according to the HBR study detailed earlier, 68% of mobile phone use occurs at home. Typically these users will have access to their home wireless broadband connection which provides fast and inexpensive video content.
Wi-Fi is also becoming increasingly available in public as well. It was only in the early 2000's that Wi-Fi was first introduced on a commercial basis. Since that time it has been offered in multiple locations including cafes, restaurants, bars, trains, bus stations, offices, shopping malls and sports stadiums. In certain European cities such as Bristol and Barcelona there is free Wi-Fi throughout the city limits. While Wi-Fi is not without it's own limitations - slow viewing times being one - it does reduce the cost barrier to consuming video content.