The NPD Group Connected Intelligence Smartphone and Tablet Usage report found that streaming video is the number one driver of cellular and Wi-Fi data consumption on mobile and fixed networks, accounting for just over three-quarters of the total data used by smartphone owners, with streaming video apps like YouTube and Netflix driving the greatest data demands.
Overall, 57% of US smartphone users access video content via an app at least once a month, with iOS users more likely than Android users to access mobile video content, 66% versus 49%, respectively. YouTube was the top-ranking video app for both iOS and Android users, with 45% of smartphone users accessing the app on a monthly basis, Netflix boasted the second highest usage rate with 18% of users launching the app monthly. Notably, report found that iOS smartphone users are much more likely to access Netflix, with nearly a quarter of them using this app within a given month, compared with 10% of Android users.
“Smartphone penetration is continuing to grow and the battle among mobile carriers to retain current subscribers, as well as grow their base is fierce,” observed Brad Akyuz, director, industry analyst for NPD’s Connected Intelligence. “Access to content is becoming a key differentiator for carriers, in addition to unlimited data plans that allow consumers to watch over-the-top (OTT) video at home and on the go with peace of mind. As the installed base of smartphones with large displays grows, we expect mobile video data consumption will do the same.”
“Through partnerships with content providers like Netflix and DIRECTV, mobile carriers are extending their reach into the consumer’s living room,” added John Buffone, executive director, industry analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence. “As mobile carriers continue to bundle access to content and remove barriers, such as data limitations, video usage both at home and on the go will continue to thrive.”
Looking at how people are also looking to their TV-connected devices to stream content, NPD’s research revealed that at the end of the second quarter of 2017, consumers that use TV-connected devices to stream video grew annually by five percentage points versus the same timeframe a year ago. In total, 57 million US households own a TV-connected device, up from 50 million year-ago, which is driving an increase in usage across the top video streaming services.