More people watching video on iOS devices than Android

Android might be the smartphone leader, but 60% of video views are taking place on iOS

Technology trends and news by Faith Merino
February 12, 2013
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Update: a company spokesperson tells me that because the report is meant to highlight content consumption shifts for advertisers, so it doesn't take non-ad supported video into account. In other words, no Netflix or Amazon Prime, which would probably shift the data points.

I never thought I would read entire books on my smartphone because the screen size would make it too difficult to read, but now I do at least half of my reading on my phone and the other half on my Kindle. It comes in particularly handy on those days when the baby falls asleep in the car and moving him would mean certain disaster, so I just pull over, hop on my phone, and read my book. WHY DIDN’T I START DOING THIS SOONER?!

That said, I’m still afraid to watch a movie or TV episode on my phone, partly due to the time commitment, but also because—like my book worry—I’m afraid I’ll just be disappointed.

But it looks like I’m in the minority. A report released Tuesday by reveals that video viewing on a mobile device or video game console grew six-fold in 2012 to 12% of all online video viewing, compared to just 2% at the end of 2011. Online video viewing as a whole grew 23% in 2012.

Interestingly, iOS devices account for 60% of all non-PC/Mac video viewing, while Android accounts for just 32%. The iPhone as a single device accounted for the largest chunk of views, with 30%, while the iPad accounted for 24% and the iPod accounted for 6%. The report did not break down Android’s share of video views according to device, other than to say 32% of all video viewing took place on an Android device. The obvious question here is how much of that Android video viewing took place on a Kindle Fire, since its overall purpose is to drive consumers to Amazon for more content.

Jeff Bezos admitted last year that the Kindle Fire margins are more or less breakeven. Amazon isn’t in the business of selling hardware—it’s in the business of selling content. Amazon only accounts for 11.5% of the tablet market, according to IDC.

Additionally, Apple's domination of the tablet market is shrinking, down to just 43.6% in Q4 2012, compared to 51.7% a year ago. 

The report also noted that video viewing on iOS devices grew more dramatically in 2012 than Android devices. Video views on an iOS device grew to just over 1.2 billion in 2012 from just under 200 million in 2011. By comparison, video views on Android devices grew to just over 600 million in 2012 from under 100 million in 2011.


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