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More video content is being watched than ever before – but its on mobile, says Snapchat study


It’s well-known that live TV viewership is declining, but a new study by The National Research Group and Snapchat has discovered that more video is being consumed than ever before, as the smartphone democratises content creation and plays an increasingly important role in consumers’ media diets.

According to the study, people are still watching video, but it’s being consumed in different ways – today, 29 million consumers watch videos on their smartphones, increasing four times since 2011, when only 7 million watched mobile video.

Meanwhile, young people, in particular, watch more mobile video content than ever before – of every hour online, 33% is dedicated to watching video. Over 2/3 of Gen Z and Millennials have increased the amount of mobile video watched over the past year.

Consumption of premium short-form content is becoming increasingly important for young people, with nearly two-thirds of Gen Zs and Millennials watch premium mobile short-form content (videos 10 minutes or less) at least weekly, and about 40% watch daily.

According to a 2018 report from the UK Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB), traditional linear TV viewing among UK citizens of all ages is on the decline. The decrease is sharpest among Gen Z and Millennials, who spend 34% less time with traditional TV than they did in 2012, and approximately 15% less time since last year.

However, looking at viewership holistically, including streaming and time-shifted TV, it is clear that content consumption is actually growing. BARB predicts that by 2022, the UK will reach new heights in terms of viewing minutes per day—but that viewing will be diffused across an ever-growing selection of devices to fit viewers’ situations and desires.

Consumers attribute their boost in mobile video viewing to advances in technology, more choices in video content, and more overall time spent on the internet. It comes as no surprise that over two-thirds of Gen Z and Millennials say they have increased the amount of mobile video they watch over the past year.

Emergence of short-form content as the leader in mobile

Additionally, consumption of premium short-form content is becoming an increasingly important part of young people’s media routines. Nearly two-thirds of Gen Zs and Millennials watch premium mobile short-form content (videos 10 minutes or less) at least weekly, and about 40% watch daily. As broadcast TV viewership falls precipitously for these groups 20, mobile short-form viewing is predicted to rise.

On average, 2 in 5 Snapchatters watch Discover feed content every day. As a mobile video destination, Snapchat continues to prove itself successful as a platform offering short-form content to today’s Gen Z and Millennial audience.


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