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Tablets take off with mobile video consumption: study

When it comes to watching mobile videos, consumers are turning to their tablets with 50 to 175 percent more viewing taking place on the devices versus smartphones, according to a new study from Rhythm NewMedia.

Rhythm NewMedia?s latest quarterly report found that not only are consumers watching video on their devices, in some cases mobile might be becoming the primary way that consumers watch TV. Additionally, mobile video advertisers that use a combination of social media and display ads are particularly effective at targeting consumers, per the company.

?The trends that contribute to the explosion of mobile video consumption in general also influence the rise in tablet video viewing,? said Lisa Abramson, director of marketing at Rhythm NewMedia, Mountain View, CA.

?With the development of faster connections through Wi-Fi and 4G, sharper screens, higher capacity batteries and availability of content that consumers love, the trend of consumers watching video content on mobile is going to continue its tremendous growth,? she said.

?Consumers increasingly desire to watch their favorite shows and clips on their time and on the go. It makes sense that mobile advertising performs better when utilizing social media calls-to-action.?

Rhythmn NewMedia sells and serves mobile video and rich media advertising to premium media companies. Examples of brand advertisers include Ford, Macy?s and Procter & Gamble.

Mobile engagement
Rhythmn NewMedia claims that mobile in-stream videos, which run as either a commercial break or before a video plays, generate an 89 percent completion rate. To compare, Web in-stream videos average a 68 percent completion rate, marking a 31 percent increase for mobile.

During the first quarter of 2012, 93 percent of Rhythmn NewMedia?s campaigns included an in-stream component. This is a 41 percent year-over-year growth, showing how brands are increasigly interested in targeting users while they watch video content.

According to the company, Rhythmn NewMedia?s media properties represent 32 percent of all monthly mobile in-stream viewing.

Paired with findings from Nielsen Co. that mobile consumers watch an average of four hours and 20 minutes of video on their devices, it is clear that for some, mobile devices are the primary way that consumers watch TV.

A mobile video ad inside the iPhone app

Connected audience
With mobile serving as a primary channel for video, consumers might be more receptive to advertising, which opens the opportunities for marketers to target consumers with relevant, creative content.

Not only are consumers watching video on their devices, they are also going back to content multiple times. For instance, out of the top ten monthly most-viewed entertainment news videos, 50 percent were watched twice for each unique visitor, according to the report.

Therefore, it is crucial for marketers to not only include video as an advertising tool, but also target users with engaging ad campaigns that do not feel repetitive to users.

Display ads were used in 88 percent of Rhythmn NewMedia?s campaigns in the first quarter of 2012, pointing to the growth of in-app advertising.

Additionally, the combination of full-page ads with in-stream videos increases engagement by 15 percent compared to full page-only campaigns, per the report. The average full-page tablet ad generates a 20 percent engagement rate.

Giving consumers an option to take a direct action on a mobile ad is always a smart marketing tactic. However, engagement increases when a social media layer is added, per Rhythmn NewMedia.

For example, by including a button to let users click to a mobile Web site, a Rhythmn NewMedia campaign averages a .9 percent engagement rate. However, when users can tap to visit a social network, the engagement rate increases to 1.48 percent, representing a 64 percent growth.

?Social media is now a required part of any advertising - consumers are less and less trusting of brands and increasingly more trusting of their friends and family's opinions,? Ms. Abramson said.

?Mobile devices take advantage of this change in trust because they are extremely personal and social in nature ? they are always with us and are our gateways to connecting with friends and family, through text, calls or instant social media updates,? she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York