Adobe Digital Index/ Online Media

ADI Report: Online TV Viewing Hits New High, Up 250%


Online video content consumption is exploding, driven by increased use of mobile devices, gaming consoles, and over-the-top (OTT) content, according to Adobe Digital Index (ADI). What’s more, Apple iOS app usage has taken the lead among various access points.

One of the key findings from ADI’s “U.S. Digital Video Benchmark” report for the first quarter of 2014 is that year-over-year (YoY) growth for TV Everywhere (246%)—which lets customers use their cable networks to access content via Internet-based services, such as dedicated desktop, mobile, and tablet apps—is outpacing online video start growth across all devices. The number of unique visitors per month for TV Everywhere is up 157% YoY and 49% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) across all access points, according to ADI.

In addition, the report found that total global online video starts reached a record high—35.6 billion—during that period, representing a 43% YoY increase.

The report’s data is based on consumer video viewing in 2013 and 2014. It is comprised of aggregated and anonymous data from media and entertainment sites gathered from Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime. (Note: Adobe is’s parent company.) Sample information includes 151 billion total online video starts and 1.3 billion TV Everywhere authentications. 

“More and more, the notion of having ‘a television’ is becoming an archaic concept,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst with ADI. “That thing hanging on your wall or standing in your corner is just a really big screen. Accessing content is no longer a matter of holding one controller. Between the new holiday gaming console gifts, new Apple TV and Roku add-ons, larger screen smartphones, and proliferation of tablets, online television viewing has never been more accessible.”

ADI points to the new Xbox One and PS4 gaming consoles and OTT access points (Apple TV, Roku, etc.) as likely drivers of growth. These devices have seen the largest uptick in video starts (123%). ADI also reports a whopping 539% share growth of TV Everywhere authenticated video from gaming consoles and OTT. Comparatively, smartphone video starts grew at a lower, yet still impressive, 48%, but tablet viewing grew only 16%.

Engagement with TV Everywhere is also up dramatically, ADI reports. The number of TV Everywhere videos watched per visitor each month increased YoY by 133% across all devices types.

ADI’s report found that iOS apps drove 9.2 video starts per user in January 2014 versus 5.1 for January 2013. For those same months, Android apps saw 9.6 versus 3.9 starts per user; gaming consoles and OTT saw 7.2 versus 2.1 per user; and browsers saw 5.5 versus 2.4 per user.

”We were surprised to see iOS app access take over the lead in terms of most commonly used device to access TV Everywhere,” said Joe Martin, lead analyst for video at ADI. “The other surprise was that the percentage of households using TV Everywhere jumped from 16% to 21% in just the past six months. Sports viewing plays a pivotal role in getting new users to access digital video, so with World Cup coming in a few weeks, we expect to see another big jump when we do our Q2 report.” 

How are people accessing TV Everywhere? IOS apps are now the most popular access point for TV Everywhere content, surpassing even desktop-based TV Everywhere consumption. IOS apps have a 43% market share, while browsers clocked in with a 36% share (47% in Q1 2013). Android apps came in third place, with 15% share, while gaming consoles and OTT devices (6% combined) were in last place.

“Marketers need to recognize the growth in TV Everywhere,” Martin said. “People are using those apps to watch content that they missed from the day before or to binge on content that they may not have seen before. The growth in this area could mean that marketers can look at TV Everywhere content to reach a more targeted audience.”

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