Ooyala’s first quarter 2012 Video Index report shows consumers are spending more time with premium, long-form entertainment. Where online viewing used to consist largely of consumers watching short video clips, a growing number of users now are watching movies and full TV shows, often on smaller screens, when a large screen TV also is available.

That is interesting as it is a reversal of the traditional thinking that people generally will use the largest screen available to them at any particular point in time, when interacting with the Web, applications or watching video.

For the first time, long-form content (videos longer than ten minutes in length) accounted for over half the content consumed between January 1 and March 31, 2012 across Ooyala’s footprint of nearly 200 million monthly viewers worldwide.

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This means people are spending more time than ever watching full-length TV shows, feature films and sporting events, while short-form video consumption is decreasing as a percentage of overall usage.

“There is a fundamental shift in the way people are viewing television,” says Jay Fulcher, chief executive officer for Ooyala. “The spike in tablet and smart phone viewing during weekend nights and commutes shows how the living room experience is fragmenting across devices.”

Anecdotally, there is now growing impressonistic evidence that tablets have begun to change viewer choices about which screen to watch, even during the prime time TV hours.

Nick Bilton’s experience might not be so unusual these days, and may illustrate a new trend.

“Every night, I get home from work, drop onto the couch and sit there surfing the Web or watching videos on my 3-1/2 inch iPhone screen,” he says. “My big-screen HDTV sits powered off on the other side of the room. What is broken is the entire television experience.”

Other highlights from the Video Index reportsuggest that overall share of time watched on smart phones grew by 41 percent last quarter, while the share of time watched on tablets grew by 32 percent.

On a typical weekday, a full third of tablet video plays occur between 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., while only about 17 percent of PC plays take place over that same period.

The point is that the traditional rule that users prefer to use the largest screen available to them is changing, in the area of video consumption, because of tablets and even smart phones.

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