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Cable Technology Feature Article

August 25, 2014

About 25 Percent of Internet Users Globally Watch Internet Video Each Day

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor

It remains to be seen whether trends in consumption of online video in most developing market customer segments will approach habits of developed market users. For the immediate future, trends likely will remain disparate.

But the broad trend is clear enough. Already, 25 percent of surveyed consumers globally watch content on a PC, laptop, tablet or mobile daily, according to researchers at TNS (News - Alert).

Those trends have clear implications for mobile network capital investment, as consumer video now drives global network traffic.

Viewing of Internet-delivered video is about 33 percent in China and Singapore and 32 percent in Hong Kong. With the caveat that Chinese markets already are different from those of South Asia and Southeast Asia, it might be reasonable enough to assume that at least some segments of the mobile user base in most developing markets increasingly will rely on mobile-delivered video content.

In many global markets, some form of Internet video is viewed on a connected device of some type on a frequent basis, TNS reports.

In many markets, that will begin with middle class consumers, but likely will not reach the broader population of mobile users until 3G and 4G networks and tariffs, plus content sources, are adapted for price-conscious consumers.

Where price or handset capabilities are less an issue, consumption of Internet video already is substantial, including those who watch at frequencies ranging from “every day” to “less than once a week.”

Consumption ranges from a low of 71 percent in Germany to a high of 96 percent in South Korea, according to TNS.

In Hong Kong, more people actually choose to watch TV and video online rather than on traditional sets. After dinner, 26 percent watch Internet-delivered content, compared to 14 percent who watch video on televisions, according to the Connected Life study. That figure includes both mobile and fixed network access.

Among other enabling trends, smartphone adoption, availability of 3G and 4G networks and carrier pricing of data plans account for adoption patterns in various regions. According to Sandvine (News - Alert) data, mobile phone users in the Asia-Pacific region had the highest data consumption, on average, in 2013.

They consume an average of 1.1 gigabytes per month, with half of them using more than 336 megabytes.

The lowest consumption was in Africa, where the average mobile phone user in 2013 consumed 21MB of data per month. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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