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We recently released a research report called “TV is Total Video: Predicting OTT and the Future of Video Advertising.” Based on data collected by independent research firm Kagan, a subset of S&P global Market Intelligence, the report revealed the trends driving shifts in video strategies for media owners and advertisers.  

One of the key findings was that the rise in video consumption on smartphones is seen as the most important change in viewer habits. This week, we sat down with Allen Klosowski, SVP of the Advanced Solutions Group at SpotX, to learn more about this trend.

Q. What factors are contributing to the rise of smartphone video streaming?

A. The first is that the amount and variety of video content available on smartphones has increased significantly. A few years ago, video content on mobile was mostly short-form, or available only for subscribers of a major video provider like Netflix. Today, nearly every major broadcaster, programmer and MVPD is offering live, linear & video-on-demand content optimized for the smartphone interface.

Mobile data connections have also become faster and cheaper over the last several years. Most mobile carriers in the U.S. now offer unlimited data plans so users are free to stream when they want to without incurring hefty overage charges.

The trend toward large, high-definition smartphone screens also plays a role. For example, the screen on the first smartphone was not much larger than a business card, but Android has since led the shift toward larger screens which are much better-suited to watching video.

The bottom line is that video on smartphones has improved so much that consumers no longer face a tradeoff—they can access the content they want, when they want it while enjoying a comfortable user experience.

Q. Is this a global trend?

A. Definitely. Not only are smartphones driving a global increase in mobile video viewing—they were also responsible for adding 500 million new Internet users between 2014 and 2017. This is because many developing markets have skipped right over “wired” internet connections and gone straight to mobile. In APAC—one of the fastest-growing regions for video consumption—mobile is the delivery point for video.

It’s projected that this year, 1.87 billion people around the world will use their mobile phones to watch video, up nearly 12 percent over last year. Smartphones are disrupting how video is consumed on a global scale, and advertisers and media owners are wise to adapt their strategies accordingly.

Q. How does video streamed on smartphones differ from video on desktops and televisions?

A. Considering how far smartphones have come over the last few years, it’s time to shift our thinking from how they’re different from other video screens and focus more on how they are similar.

The “best screen” for video is the one you have with you that allows you to access the content of your choice. If the experience and content meet the user’s needs, the delivery point is irrelevant.

To learn more about the future of cross-screen video, download the report.

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