We now spend 30 minutes a day watching videos on our phones

We now spend 30 minutes a day watching videos on our phones
Image: AP Photo/Ahnn Young-joon
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More likely that not, you were peering down at your phone the last time you watched a video online. According to Zenith, a media agency, we now spend around 30 minutes per day on our phones watching videos, up from just four minutes in 2012. That’s 10 minutes more per day than on personal computers or internet-enabled TVs. Two years from now, the gap between fixed and mobile will be three times as large.

Zenith counts any video viewed over an internet connection as “online video,” which includes the likes of Netflix and Hulu, as well as YouTube and Facebook. Fixed devices include smart TVs, desktops, and laptops. The agency’s estimates and forecasts are based on data from 63 global markets.

With people spending so much more time watching videos on their phones, it’s no wonder that advertisers are diverting more of their budgets to mobile content. For the first time, next year more money will be spent on mobile video ads than on video for other internet-enabled devices, Zenith says. Advertisers will spend some $20 billion on mobile video in 2019, up from $2 billion five years earlier. That means mobile video will account for nearly a fifth of all digital display advertising in two years.

Tellingly, Facebook’s strategy is now “video first,” founder Mark Zuckerberg told investors earlier this year. “Our main focus is obviously on mobile,” added CFO David Wehner.

Mobile video still has a long way to go to catch up with traditional TV in terms of both attention and ad dollars. People around the world spend an average of 170 minutes per day watching broadcast television, and advertisers spend nearly $190 billion trying to reach them.