The latest Nielsen State of the Media Mobile Usage Trends survey has revealed a significant leap in the number of Americans watching video on a mobile phone over the last half of 2010.
The data shows that the number of US mobile subscribers watching video on their mobile devices rose more than 40% year-over-year in both the third and fourth quarters of 2010.T This resulted in a total audience at the end of Q4 2010 of early 25 million people who on average watched four hours and 20 minutes of mobile video per month in both the third and fourth quarter of 2010. This represented a 33% and 20% year-over-year increase in each quarter respectively.
In terms of age demographics, the key markets were the 25-34 and 35-49 year old categories, which made up respectively 31% and 26% of audiences in Q3, and 32% and 27% of audiences in Q4. For both periods, the gender split of viewers was 55/45 male/female.
The TV consumption analyst attributes the growing popularity of mobile video to in part the rapid adoption of video capable devices such as smartphones and tablets. Making the point, the analyst notes that whereas in Q4 2009 only 23% of US mobile subscribers had smartphones, by the end of 2010 smartphone penetration had reached nearly a third (31%) of subscribers. Nielsen also suggested that viewing was given a further boost by the fact that it also has become easier to find, view and share mobile video, either via mobile apps or the mobile web.