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Summary:

Mobile video is still a small part of overall online viewing, but it’s a part that Apple dominates. According to new data from video ad startup FreeWheel, the vast majority of video views that occur on mobile devices happen on Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

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UPDATED Mobile video is still a small part of overall online viewing, but it’s a part that Apple dominates, according to a new report by video monetization startup FreeWheel. In its Q1 2011 Video Monetization Report, FreeWheel said the vast majority of video views that occur on mobile devices happen on Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

FreeWheel reported that four-fifths of all mobile video views happen on Apple iOS devices. The iPhone and iPod touch each account for about 30 percent of all video views that happen on mobile devices, with the remaining 20 percent being attributed to Android devices, according to the report. Other devices account for less than one percent of all video views on mobile devices, according to FreeWheel.

The video ad startup attributes Apple’s dominance in mobile video to the early lead the company had in the mobile video market and the longer period of time consumers have had to get used to watching video on its devices. FreeWheel also hypothesizes that greater viewership on Apple devices  represents the priorities of video publishers and mobile developers as well, who build for iOS devices first before moving on to other platforms.

The most surprising finding might be that despite having sold just 20 million tablets worldwide, Apple’s iPad already accounts for 20 percent of videos viewed on mobile devices, according to FreeWheel. We thought the iPad would be an ideal device for viewing video when it was announced, but the extent to which it has been embraced by even traditional video producers and distributors speaks to the power of the platform. TV networks like ABC and HBO have built applications for the iPad, as have pay TV operators like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and others.

While mobile video viewing accounts for just one percent of all online video views, according to the report, much of it was driven by news and live events. Mobile views peaked during Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, and also during the March Madness tournament, when viewers turned to their smartphones and mobile devices because they weren’t near a TV.

Update: As some commenters have noted, the data in this report only includes video views from FreeWheel’s ad clients, which include professional content creators and distributors. It doesn’t include user-generated content or videos from subscription or VOD services like Netflix.

  1. Steve Crowley Monday, May 23, 2011

    FreeWheel’s report seems on a subset of all video data. From the report’s fine print (literally): “The data here represents only video that is rights-managed: aggregate monetization data for professional content from FreeWheel’s customers, and does not reflect trends for user-generated content.”

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    1. Nice detective work Mr. Crowley.

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    2. I suspect that it doesn’t matter to those for whom this report is generated: marketers.

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  2. Are the results for the USA or World wide?

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  3. I wonder what percent of this is from Netflix? We watch a lot of Netflix on our iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

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    1. Moreliterate Thanyou Tuesday, May 24, 2011

      None of that was counted, nor YouTube so… this is an extremely inaccurate picture…

      I would suggest the extremely misleading title of the article be changed however it’s clear that it’s only to suit/attract certain parties…

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  4. Hello to you all from FreeWheel!

    Mr. Crowley is correct, and we include that distinction up front in the overview as well. This is aggregated data across our customers’ video advertising efforts (www.freewheel.tv/clients), and those customers represent professional content owners and distributors (ESPN, Turner, VEVO, etc.). This does not reflect the monetization of user-generated content (UGC).

    To answer modelmotion’s question – this includes worldwide viewership, though the majority of the data is U.S. based, as are most of our customers.

    To answer Mr. Nordquist’s question – much as we would love for Netflix to be a customer, they are not (yet). So, this does not include their mobile video view volume.

    Thanks for the questions!

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  5. Ryan Lawler Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Thanks for everyone’s comments. As JoAnna has written, this report only includes data from FreeWheel clients. We’ve updated the post with a note to reflect that.

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  6. also Netflix for Android was only released two weeks ago..

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