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  • Writer's pictureRussell Vilardi

6 Mobile Video Trends for 2022 and Beyond

What's happening with mobile video in 2022? The trends are clear—mobile video viewing is on the rise. Why is mobile video so popular, and what else is happening in the segment? Here are six of the most important mobile video trends today.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Short-form videos are an increasingly important part of mobile viewing

  • Mobile users more frequently shoot and view mobile videos vertically

  • Captions are important for silent viewing on mobile devices

  • Mobile viewers like to share their favorite videos with others

  • More and more mobile viewers are downloading instead of streaming videos

  • Home viewers are increasingly viewing videos on their mobile devices

Mobile Video Market Size and Growth

The growth in mobile video viewing tracks along with increasing smartphone usage. The more people use their smartphones, the more mobile video viewing increases.

Experts estimate that there are 6.64 billion smartphones in use worldwide today. They project that number will rise to 7.33 billion by 2025, an increase of more than 10%. Users spend four and a half hours each day on their phones—more time than they spend watching TV at home.

Because of this, more people today watch videos on mobile devices than on any other type of device. According to Statista, 63% of viewers watch videos on mobile devices, compared to the 56% who watch on smart TVs or the 32% who watch on streaming media players. This trend is even more pronounced among younger viewers.

Mobile video is also increasingly important for marketers. Video marketing trends such as live video and social media stories are driving unprecedented mobile video use for online marketers. App Annie's State of Mobile 2022 report notes that mobile ad spending grew 23% in 2021 and may reach $350 billion by the end of 2022.

Six Important Mobile Video Trends

This growth in viewership is just one of several important trends affecting mobile viewing this year. Here are six more important mobile viewing trends worth your attention.

1. Short-Form Videos

Perhaps the biggest mobile video trend is the explosive growth of short-form videos, as exemplified by video-focused media such as TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram. TikTok alone has more than 1 billion monthly users worldwide, 138 million of them in the U.S. That's an increase of 45% over 2020 numbers. The average TikTok user watches 52 minutes of videos each day—with the longest videos capped at 10 minutes, max.

The age of lengthy YouTube videos is waning. Viewers today, especially younger viewers, want their videos short and easily digestible.

2. Vertical Video

The trend toward short-form videos on social media contributes to another important trend—vertical videos. Instead of traditional horizontal widescreen videos, mobile users prefer vertical videos that don't require them to rotate their phones. Users hold their phones vertically for practically all other activities—why should video viewing be different?

This is a big change in thinking for video creators accustomed to producing content in the landscape format for viewing on home TV and computer screens. Mobile screens are different, however, defaulting to the vertical orientation. As mobile viewing becomes more widespread, the need for device-specific orientation increases.

The takeaway is that if you want to improve viewability and engagement, create vertical videos for those media where viewers expect it. This also goes for ad content. You don't want to present a horizontal ad in the middle of vertical content. Embrace the vertical orientation.

3. Captions for Silent Viewing

Here's another trend unique to how people watch videos on their mobile devices. Unlike home viewers, mobile viewers frequently watch videos with no sound. That's because it's often difficult to turn the sound up on a mobile phone when you're out in public. Mobile viewers have the choice of plugging in their earbuds (not always available or practical) or just turning down the volume.

Silent viewing makes it more challenging to watch video content. Research reveals that 41% of all videos are incomprehensible when muted, so onscreen captions are increasingly important. Viewers can tap on closed captioning and read what characters are saying on screen. No sound necessary.

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Another approach, useful for instructional videos, is to overlay text instructions on screen. Even if they're listening with the sound up, this is useful for viewers trying to learn something from your videos.

Adding captions or onscreen instructions has an additional impact. Facebook found that adding captions to a video increases viewing time by 12%. This is an important reason for advertisers to add captions to all mobile ads.

4. Video Sharing

Unlike people who watch streaming videos on their living room TVs, mobile viewers like to share their favorite videos. Research shows that 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others. That helps increase the reach of mobile videos and mobile video advertising, providing more bang for the buck for both content producers and marketers.

5. Mobile Downloads

Another important mobile video trend is that of mobile downloads. An increasing number of users are choosing to download videos to their mobile devices instead of relying solely on streaming. Mobile downloads enable users to watch their favorite content when they're on the go, even if they don't have a reliable Internet connection.

Mobile video downloads aren't exclusively or even primarily used during commuting or traveling though. Our research shows that viewers play 80% of downloaded videos when connected to the internet.

6. Mobile Viewing at Home

Along those same lines, experts used to think that people only watched mobile videos when they were away from home. That isn't true anymore. People view videos on their mobile devices anywhere and everywhere. This even applies to downloaded videos; our research shows that 35% of viewers say they watch downloaded videos while they're at home.

Why do people prefer watching videos on their mobile devices when at home? There are four primary reasons:

  • To watch in rooms without a TV

  • To not fight over the remote

  • To keep volume levels low

  • For convenience

Let Penthera Help You Optimize Your Mobile Video

The experts at Penthera are dedicated to improving the mobile video viewing and advertising experience. Our 2nd Look platform reduces uneven ad distribution that can impact your OTT advertising effectiveness, and our streaming solutions eliminate last-mile issues such as buffering and startup failure that can affect viewership. In addition, Penthera Download lets you offer reliable mobile downloading to your viewers. Our solutions are currently deployed on more than 100 million devices in 36 countries—and used by clients such as Paramount+ and Beachbody.

Penthera is a flexible and unique solution that works with almost any existing video infrastructure. We help OTT publishers create a seamless customer experience with no lag, so you no longer lose valuable viewers and revenue.

Contact us today to learn more about optimizing the mobile video experience.


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