Contrary to popular opinion, mobile screens are regularly being tapped for streaming longer-form video.

This is according to Mobile Video Usage: A Global Perspective, a new comprehensive survey of consumers from 24 countries around the world who watch smartphone video, published today by the global Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

South Africa recorded the second highest 42% year-over-year increase in the viewing of video on smartphones, tying with New Zealand and Canada and surpassing the UK (40%). The country with the most prominent uptick in video on their smartphones was the US (50%).

A trend towards watching more video content on mobile phones ultimately impacts the actual content that is being watched and how long it is watched for. 36% of the respondents said they watch videos that are 5-minutes or longer on their phones at least daily.

Longer programming, such as movies and full-length television show episodes, are also viewed by audiences on mobile devices, with Chinese viewers being the most inclined to watch both films and TV shows on their mobile screens. Consumers in China (37%) and Singapore (35%) report the highest incidence of watching less TV due to streaming more on mobile.

When mobile video viewers watch traditional television, 22% are regularly doing so while watching video simultaneously on their phones. This video dual-screening tendency is evident across all markets measured, with the exception of Japan.

“The popularity of digital video is evident across small screens the world over,” says Anna Bager of IAB. “The fact that people are not only watching short snippets of programming, but committing to longer form content on their phones, opens doors for brands to be part of this impressive mobile engagement. However, the findings are that viewers around the world are now video dual screening while watching TV, points to an emerging challenge for marketers: How do you grab a viewer’s attention when it’s divided between two simultaneous video feeds?”

Mobile video viewers use several sources for finding videos: YouTube (62%); social media platforms (33%); search results (20%); and advertising (14%).  Advertising has even more influence in the US (22%) and Canada (18%).

Nearly half of respondents overall (48%) said that they “only” or “mostly” leverage mobile apps to stream video on their phones. By contrast, only 18% said they “only” or “mostly” use mobile websites to view video.

28% of viewers across the participating countries said they often see ads on mobile video that they’ve already seen on TV.   In the U.S. that percentage is higher (35%). But, marketers might be missing out with this approach – since 80% or more of consumers in most markets expressed interest in tailored ads versus no tailoring.

The study shows that there is potential for mobile video monetization through subscription and pay-on-demand models. In several markets, viewers already demonstrate a willingness to pay for video content that is streamed to phones: China (33%); UK (25%); Canada (23%); US (23%); and Australia (21%).

Still, there are barriers to overcome for further success in pay-for models – and much need to grow mobile video advertising revenue. 78% of respondents overall stated that they would rather have free mobile video supported by ads.

Adapted from an article by IT-Online.