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Facebook Poised to Overtake YouTube for Mobile Video, says Openwave Mobility

5 months ago
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Facebook Poised to Overtake YouTube for Mobile Video, says Openwave Mobility Image Credit: Openwave Mobility

While YouTube remains the most popular for mobile video, Facebook is rapidly closing the gap in some markets – and has even overtaken YouTube in others, according to latest findings from Openwave Mobility's Mobile Video Index (MVI).

This is the second edition of the MVI, a regular analysis of traffic data aggregated from live deployments in over 30 mobile operators. 

In most developed markets, Facebook video is now trending upward relative to YouTube. While in a number of emerging markets, Facebook video has already overtaken YouTube. Bearing in mind Facebook’s depth of user engagement and insight, by turning its attention to video and ads, Facebook is executing a direct and credible assault on YouTube.

Alongside the data from live operator deployments, this edition of the MVI incorporates an independent consumer survey of mobile video user habits covering 3,000 subscribers in Western Europe. Despite larger mobile screens with higher resolutions, consumers revealed that they prefer to watch videos on Standard Definition (SD) rather than High Definition (HD) which can suffer buffering. This goes against industry trends as most Over The Top (OTT) video services are now offering HD content on mobile devices.

The study in Europe found that consumers are happy to pay an extra €7.50 per month for videos with less than two seconds of buffering. Operators can ill-afford to ignore the monetization opportunities staring them in the face, said the Company.

Indranil Chatterjee, SVP of Products, Sales & Marketing, Openwave Mobility
The MVI also found that while video playback times on mobile are increasing, average playback buffer time remains stubbornly high at 7.2 seconds. However, subscribers will only put up with 6 seconds of buffering before abandoning a video in frustration. For subscribers, every second counts and consumers blame their operators – not OTTs - when they suffer poor Quality of Experience (QoE)

Gorkem Yigit, Lead Analyst, Analysys Mason 
Inspired by operators such as T-Mobile in the US, research shows that zero-rating and unlimited data plans significantly increase video engagement time. With the right traffic management techniques, operators can contain network costs and launch viable pricing models and deliver a differentiated QoE.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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