Minimal mobile video engagement puts marketers under pressure

Minimal mobile video engagement puts marketers under pressure Marketing Tech’s editor has more than a decade of editorial experience spanning computing, performance marketing and, currently, enterprise digital strategy. Simon’s career began in print, where he edited the news section of business computing title PC Plus and contributed to a variety of other special interest titles, including MacFormat and Computer Arts. He then made the transition to digital journalism, joining PerformanceIN where he covered a sector of the marketing industry where advertisers only pay on a performance basis. Most recently, Simon became editor at TechForge Media where he manages the editorial strategy of Marketing Tech and the company portfolio’s newest launch Connected Car.


Mobile video watchers have a relatively short attention span when viewing content on YouTube, meaning marketers have to have a small window of opportunity to make an impact.

According to a study by software company Citrix, 90% of mobile YouTube viewers watch video for less than five minutes at a time, whereas 55% of mobile Twitch viewers watch content for five minutes or less.

Content quality makes a big difference to mobile video viewership. On paid-for service Netflix, 77% of mobile subscribers watch more than five minutes of video due to the length and premium nature of the video.

3G vs 4G

The type of network also has a bearing on the amount of video being consumed. On 3G, one Netflix video is played for every seven on YouTube, while on 4G LTE the ratio decreases to one Netflix episode or movie for every four YouTube videos.

Elsewhere, Sports content is a mobile video rising star. Citrix reported that it has more than doubled from 21% of all sports content over mobile in Q3 2014 to 50% in Q1 2015 thanks to larger screen sizes offering a better experience.

As for the time each mobile data subscriber spent engaging with their device, this stood at a daily average of 4.6 minutes and ranged from 2-10 minutes per session. At noon, 21.00 and 22.00 mobile data engagement was at its lengthiest time of nine minutes.

One device, multiple uses

Mobile engagement increases as the day progresses, which could be down to concentration levels waning at work and consumers seeking a distraction. Engagement rose from a 2.7-minute average at 04.00 to 6.7 minutes at 21.00.

A trend marketers will want to pay particular attention to is the one revealed by Chris Fleck, vice president of mobility solutions and alliances at Citrix, who says employees are using the same device for business and pleasure.

“The line between personal and business mobility continues to blur as people routinely use the same smartphones and tablets across every part of their lives,” he said. “It’s no longer possible to maintain artificial boundaries of personal and business mobility.”

Although marketers may be restricted on time to target a user, it does seem that the amount of devices a consumer moves between is lessening based on Citrix’s hourly engagement findings and Fleck’s own views.

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