Mobile Video Discovery: How and where do people find mobile videos?

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Data Highlights

  • Word of mouth drives mobile video discovery for more than half (53%) of all viewers.
  • People find mobile video via social media (42%), links (29%), and mobile ads (24%).
  • Consumers visit video content providers (72%) to find videos.
  • YouTube (62%) is the top video content provider.
  • Social media (42%) and search (20%) also attract mobile viewers.

Word of mouth drives mobile video discovery

One possible scenario of discovery is when people stumble across a video. They have no agenda of viewing a video. But they come across videos through word of mouth or while browsing online. We call this scenario Unintentional Browsing.

Word of mouth is the top discovery source during unintentional browsing. More than half (53%) of viewers discover mobile video through word of mouth. Word of mouth comes from people they trust – friends, family and relatives. Trusted recommendations drive people’s choices. Consumers watch videos without a paid media prompt when others they trust recommend it.

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Social media is the next big discovery source during unintentional browsing. More than two in five (42%) of viewers discover mobile video when browsing social media sites. Availability of apps and improved mobile network drives passive browsing of social networks. Consumers turn to social media apps like Facebook and Twitter to kill time. They come across videos posted by friends and brands they follow. Trust in content shared by the online connections motivates them to watch videos.

Outside of social media, consumers are prone to click on links they stumble upon. The links could be on a website like Buzzfeed or in their email inbox. Almost three in ten (29%) viewers find mobile videos by clicking on links. The random tendency to click on links drives greater discovery compared to mobile ads. Less than a quarter (24%) of viewers discover videos through mobile ads.

Just over one in five (22%) viewers click on algorithm generated recommended videos. This is the same proportion of viewers who discover videos through search and news.

The Mobile Video Experience Report

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Video content providers are top discovery platform

A second scenario of discovery is when people go online to find and watch videos. They have a focused agenda. This scenario is Intentional Browsing. Viewers likely have a mental list of sites to visit.

The top discovery source during intentional browsing is video content providers. More than seven in ten (72%) viewers discover mobile video on such apps. The leading video content provider app is YouTube. More than three in five (62%) viewers go to YouTube to find videos to watch. Just over one in ten (13%) visit apps from TV networks to find and watch videos.

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Just over two in five (42%) visit social media sites during intentional browsing. The figure is identical to unintentional browsers who discover videos on social media during. Social media does little to promote video discovery. Consumers are as likely to find videos via social media by chance as they are to find via a campaign. They are even less likely to search (20%) for a video.

A significant finding is that mobile ads play negligible role in video discovery. Their influence is lower for intentional browsers compared to unintentional ones. Just over one in ten (14%) viewers discover mobile video via ads. Consumers come across video ads on news apps (12%), their browser (11%) or info apps (10%).

Video content providers are the leading discovery source for viewers in all markets. North America (75%) has a slight lead ahead of Latin America (74%). East Asian viewers are least likely to discover video on social media but most likely to find it via search.

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The Mobile Video Experience Report

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