Consumers to Watch 25% More Video a Day in Five Years

Viewing on Computers, Mobile Phones Will Drive Increase

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Consumption of video content is expected to rise 25% to five hours per day by 2013, compared with the four hours now watched in 2008, according to Forrester Research. The firm suggests the increase will be driven by consumers watching programming of all grades via computers, mobile phones, portable media players and even digital photo frames.
'People love their content and want to watch it no matter where they can get it. They'll even watch it on a small device, if that's the option they have,' said James McQuivey, the Forrester analyst who authored the study.
'People love their content and want to watch it no matter where they can get it. They'll even watch it on a small device, if that's the option they have,' said James McQuivey, the Forrester analyst who authored the study. Credit: AP

"There will be more advertising inventory coming from this extra hour of video," said James McQuivey, the Forrester analyst who authored the study containing the prediction about the increase of video consumption. "People will still be watching, but it probably won't have the same form that we're used to."

Content's ubiquity
TV as a medium has already begun to overspill its screen, as it were. Video displays are available in the living room, of course, but also at gas stations and in taxicabs, to name just a few places. Content is being produced by everyone, from professional Hollywood studios to amateurs transferring shots from their mobile phones. Forrester calls the phenomenon "OmniVideo," and expects it to continue to be driven by high-speed internet connections, consumers' ability to store megafiles of data (including video) and cheap display screens.

Forrester forecasts that the percent of video viewed on demand will increase to 45% in 2013 from 20% in 2008. The percent of video delivered via the internet climbs to 35% in 2013 from 10% in 2008. The percent of video consumed on mobile or portable devices increase to 15% in 2013 compared with 8% in 2008. The amount of "personal" video -- i.e., created by oneself or one's peers -- is predicted to increase to 10% in 2013 from 2% in 2008.

Predictions by firms including Forrester, PQ Media, eMarketer and the like are best taken with a grain of salt. The numbers can often be wildly ahead of consumers' ability to achieve them. More often than not, however, the predictions are directionally in tune with mass behavior.

Mr. McQuivey does not believe TV networks would be hurt by an increase in video consumption, although the Forrester report does note that, already, 39% of viewers watched some type of video on either a desktop or laptop computer, as per a survey conducted in the fourth quarter of 2007.

"People love their content and want to watch it no matter where they can get it. They'll even watch it on a small device, if that's the option they have," said Mr. McQuivey. Consumers and advertisers still want high-end video content, he said, which YouTube does not specialize in. "YouTube video, as fun as it is, is forever a niche and it fills certain gaps in people's lives, but it doesn't take over. It doesn't become dominant." TV networks are likely to fare better than cable providers, who will see audiences migrate to other means of video distribution.
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