4G Drives Mobile Video Consumption

The ability to download or stream video on a mobile device is one the main selling points of 4G contracts, and a recent study from Strategy Analytics has shown that the use of 4G is one of the three biggest drivers when it comes to increased video consumption. Whether they’re using a smartphone or a tablet, users with access to 4G are more likely to watch mobile videos.

BBC iPlayer on 4G

The study by Strategy Analytics’ Global Wireless Practice (GWP) was undertaken during December 2013 and included more than 500 mobile users across China, France, Germany, Spain and the USA as well as the UK. Users were asked questions relating to media use on their mobile devices, focussing specifically on the use of video on their smartphones.

The results highlighted three key factors that are driving greater consumption of video content on smartphones, which are larger screens, increased video quality, and access to a 4G network. 29% of the mobile users surveyed indicated that access to a 4G network would drive them to watch more video on their smartphones.

The study also revealed some interesting patterns in video consumption between countries. In the UK we are relatively low consumers of mobile video, with only 63% reporting that they ever use their smartphone for watching video, significantly less than the global average which was 72%. This activity is most common in China, where 85% of respondents said they did use smartphones for video, with 59% doing this on a daily or weekly basis. Only 12% of the participants from the UK watched videos on their mobiles every day, which is less than the overall average of 15%. A further 23% of UK users watched mobile videos weekly.

4GEE Mobile Living Index

Strategy Analytics isn’t the only company that’s been measuring mobile video consumption, with video featuring heavily in EE’s latest Mobile Living Index. The network has reported that almost a quarter (23%) of the data used on their 4G network between 1st January and 10th February 2014 was used for video downloading, uploading, and streaming. The only activity that customers used more data for during this period was web browsing and e-mail, which accounted for 40% of overall data. EE has revealed that the ten most popular apps on the 4GEE network during this time were YouTube, Dailymotion, BBC iPlayer, Apple Adaptive Http, Vimeo, Skyplayer, Skygo, CNN, Netflix, and RTVE Alacarta.

Vodafone and Netflix

Vodafone is currently using the connection between 4G and video to run a Netflix promotion. From 1st July Vodafone customers that are on a Vodafone Red 4G plans priced from £26 and above can opt for six months of Netflix pre-paid. Access to the internet television network will allow Vodafone customers to watch movies and TV box sets on their mobiles, including House of Cards, Arrested Development, and Orange is the New Black.

According to Cindy Rose, Consumer Director for Vodafone UK, “When we launched our 4G service 10 months ago, we knew that 4G speed wasn’t the only thing our customers wanted. They wanted a reason to use 4G – which is why we provide them with the best possible content from the best possible partners. Building on our Spotify and Sky Sports Mobile TV offers, we are delighted to now be able to offer customers the brilliant content offered by Netflix on both smartphones and tablets.”