YouTube: User Device Determines Viewing Behaviour

YouTube: User Device Determines Viewing Behaviour

Pixability put together and then crunched some numbers on how viewer behavior is affected by the device currently being used to watch YouTube video content. They report that more time is spent watching video on mobile devices, game consoles and connected TVs than on desktops. Even though more time is spent on those non-desktop PC devices, the majority of views do come from the desktop according to Pixability’s numbers.

NOTE: There is no methodology mentioned in the blog post from which this information was retrieved, not even the number of samples in the study.

How do Devices Affect the Behavior of the Viewer?

Pixability states that the average viewing time per video is higher on smartphones (8%) and tablets (10%) than on desktops and even longer on game consoles and connected TVs. That shows a slight based on screen size as the two largest screens have the longest times but desktops, presumably the third largest screen, lag when it comes to viewing time per video. They had this to say about their findings.

Our interpretation is that people select interesting content more consciously when watching on mobile devices, while desktop browsers are often used for superficial surfing, jumping from video to video quickly.

Again, no methodology so it’s hard to say where they made that leap from. The other question is, what about the game console crowd? They’re clearly sitting down and watching some lengthy YouTube content. Remember, this is all about YouTube content. Seems Twitch might have some staying power based on these numbers. Pixability does state that those two platforms (game console and connected TV) are less than 2% of all YouTube views in their study though.

iOS vs. Android

Pixability stated that the split on smartphone views is nearly even though some channels saw differences, presumably Apple-centric or Android-centric content channels one might imagine.

Here are the comScore January smartphone numbers.

Top Smartphone Platforms
3 Month Avg. Ending Jan. 2014 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Oct. 2013
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
Oct-13 Jan-14 Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Android 52.2% 51.7% -0.5
Apple 40.6% 41.6% 1.0
BlackBerry 3.6% 3.1% -0.5
Microsoft 3.2% 3.2% 0.0
Symbian 0.2% 0.2% 0.0

So Android has an edge in market share over apple but about a 10% margin. There are an estimated 156 million smartphone users (give or take), so 10% is roughly 15.6 million users and iOS users total around 65 million. So they accounted for 25% more views per users. Pixability suggested that marketers focus on these two platforms in terms of user experience because none of the other smartphone platforms showed appreciable video views.

This was all from part one of their two part study. The second part has not been published yet, but hopefully it will show some insight into ad viewing behavior and how users react to the ads based on device.

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