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Surprise! Sports and long-form content are driving mobile video

Mobile video consumption continues to surge, according to Ooyala’s Global Video Index from the fourth quarter of 2013 that was published this week. The video technology provider said mobile and tablet video share grew 43 percent during the period, and the number of minutes viewed on those devices have grown 719 percent in just the last two years.

That may not surprise given increasing popularity of both tablets and large-screen smartphones, but a couple of emerging trends on phones may raise your eyebrows: Viewing sessions that lasted 10 minutes or more accounted for an astounding 75 percent of overall video consumption on mobile phones, and 53 percent of all mobile video consumption occurred during viewing sessions of 30 minutes or more. Meanwhile, mobile viewers watched three times as much live sports as they did on-demand video, and 62 percent of the time spent by sports fans watching mobile video was generated by clips of ten minutes or more.

Consumers who watch mobile video have clearly expanded beyond merely “snacking” on short clips, and they are increasingly willing to watch live sports and related news and highlights on the small screens of their phones. And those viewers are very likely to be young, male adults with a fair amount of disposable income — you know, the kind of audience many advertisers dream about. If I’m a marketer, I’m working hard to figure out how I can best approach those users on their phones.