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Mobile to drive 19.8% increase in online video consumption in 2016

The average amount of time people will spend consuming online video each day will increase by 23.3% in 2015 and by a further 19.8% in 2016, according to the Online Video Forecasts, a new report by ZenithOptimedia in conjunction with Newcast, ZenithOptimedia Group’s global branded
content network.*

This growth in video consumption is being driven by the rapid rise of smartphone and tablet penetration across the globe, together with the resulting changes in consumer behaviour. Video consumption on mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablets) is forecast to grow by 43.9% in 2015 and 34.8% in 2016. Meanwhile, video consumption on non-mobile devices will continue to grow, though at more moderate rates, increasing by 9.5% in 2015 and 6.5% in 2016.

ZenithOptimedia expects mobile to become the main platform for viewing online video next year. In 2012 mobile devices accounted for 22.9% of time spend watching online video worldwide. By 2014, this proportion had risen to 40.1%, and we expect it to reach 52.7% in 2016 and 58.1% in 2017.

 

Total number of regular linear TV viewers to start declining in 2016

ZenithOptimedia predicts that the number of people regularly watching traditional, linear TV will peak this year, and will start to decline for the first time in 2016. We forecast that the number of regular linear TV viewers will rise 3.1% in 2015 but then shrink by 1.9% in 2016 and 0.9% in 2017. As we reported in our Media Consumption Forecasts 2015 report (published in June), the amount of time people spend watching linear TV has been in slow decline for several years; we now predict that next year the number of viewers to start to decline as well.

The number of regular linear TV viewers has been in decline in France and Russia since 2013, in the UK and the US since 2014, and is expected to start to decline in China this year. The decline of linear TV viewing is in direct correlation with the increasing quantity and quality of content available online, both from short-form platforms like YouTube and long-form platforms like Netflix. ZenithOptimedia forecasts that the number of regular online video viewers will increase by 5.8% in 2015, 5.1% in 2016 and 5.3% in 2017.

The number of regular online video viewers is increasing at double-digit rates in 12 of the markets included in this report, including in major markets like China (27.2%), France (50.0%), Germany (27.5%) and the US (12.3%).

 

Advertising expenditure on online video will soon account for an eighth of total internet adspend

Online video’s share of global digital adspend is rising rapidly: it was 8.8% in 2012 and 10.2% in 2014; by 2017 we expect it to rise to 12.8%, an eighth of all internet adspend. Online video is the fastest-growing category of internet advertising: we forecast it to grow by 28.9% to US$16.1 billion worldwide in 2015, followed by 22.5% growth in 2016 and 19.7% growth in 2017, when it will total US$23.7bn.

The US online video market is by far the largest: US$8.5 billion in 2015, 52.9% of the global total, although we expect its share to drop to just below half of the global total – 49.9% – in 2017. The US also tops – jointly, with Italy – the list of markets with the highest proportion of total internet spend going to online video (16.5% each in 2015), followed by Taiwan (15.8%) and Latvia (13.0%).

Consumers all around the world are rapidly embracing online video, because it offers them a near limitless array of engrossing content. Some of the keenest users are the young, affluent viewers who are hardest to reach on television. Brands are finding online video a particularly effective way to reach these valuable audiences, not just with advertising, but also with branded content; content that can inform or entertain consumers in a deeper and richer way than is possible with short, interruptive ads.

Mark Waugh, Global Managing Director, Newcast

*Note that figures for video consumption and number of viewers refer to the 40 key markets covered in this report. The figures for online video adspend are global.