photo-1464368116928-8e56edaa92e3

We still love our big screens…

But now we have options. Lots of options. Starting with mobile, we have Snapchat Discover, YouTube, Periscope, and our Facebook News Feed, which is increasingly dominated by video.

Of course, if you’re looking for something more long-form, then you probably have at least one of these on your iPad, computer, or TV: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO GO, HBO NOW, Crackle… and on and on. (…Not that you have to turn to the big screen for long-form content; one out of three videos watched on mobile–and 57% of those watched on tablets–are longer than 10 minutes.)

So, how is mobile shaping our video experience? And how is it shaping our understanding, as marketers, of what it means to create a meaningful, contextually relevant video? Think With Google published some recent insights with research from Flamingo and Ipsos Connect in “Redesigning the Remote: How Online Video Changes the Way Viewers Tune In.”

“Anytime, Anywhere, Any Screen”
Four years ago this tagline would have been a big selling point for any video service; now it’s just expected. We want (and believe we should have!) our content on all of our devices, anytime, anywhere. Many carriers, like T-Mobile (see their Binge On program), have even created partnerships with OTT content services to deliver video without eating up the user’s data.

A few stats from Think With Google show the tremendous ways these new mindsets and expectations affect our behaviors:

  • One in three adults between ages 18 and 54 use their smartphone as their primary device for watching online video.
  • Half of YouTube users who watch YouTube videos on their smartphones watch while at home. (A reminder, as tech VC Benedict Evans often says, that mobile isn’t about location.)

Speaking of “any screen,” this concept is bigger than traditional TV moving onto mobile and the PC. Users are also receptive to the idea of taking what was once “internet video” and putting it up on their TV. Consider, for example, the fact that the time people have spent watching YouTube on their TV screens has more than doubled year over year!

What People Watch on Mobile, Computers & TV
According to Think With Google’s report, “those who watch beauty, fashion, entertainment, and pop culture YouTube videos prefer to watch on their smartphones.” Other types of content, such as travel and video, tend to be more popular on desktops and laptops. When it comes to news, sports, and comedy, though, the big screen is still supreme.

Your Move.
So, what should you create, and how should you do it? Google suggests content creators “think holistically,” considering how video content will work on a variety of screens. Then, consider context and how individual videos fit into your larger brand image. Should the content have ads? If so, where? Should it be hosted on YouTube or published natively on Facebook? Should the story be glossy with high production value, or could it be told in a raw format on Snapchat?