Encoding.com just released new numbers pulled from Vid.ly which show that Android is gaining on iOS in terms of video viewing. It's no surprise as the operating system has been steadily stealing market share quarter after quarter and is available on far more different devices than iOS.
Since Vid.ly is a universal URL for videos and does browser and device detection, it knows exactly what it's streaming that video to. That means all they need to do is keep track of the operating system on the device and they know who's watching what. But not in the creepy Big Brother sort of way, or at least, I hope not in that creepy way.
Android Video Viewing Gains On iOS
So how did 2011 break down in terms of video viewing at Vid.ly for mobile platforms? Take a look below and you can see that Android is on a steady rise.
*Other Mobile devices include: Blackberry, Linux, Windows, Symbian, and Nokia
You can see that early in 2011 iOS was taking up 8 of 10 video views but at the end of the year was down to half that while Android OS viewing doubles and others mobiles almost quadrupled. So is it the end of iOS as the dominant mobile platform for mobile video viewing?
"While mobile videos views on Vid.ly were dominated by Apple iOS devices early in the year, we've seen video viewing from Android devices growing significantly in the second half of 2011," said Jeff Malkin, President of Encoding.com. "I believe this is a lagging trend of not only increased Android device sales throughout the world, but an improvement in devices to better support viewing video.”
I think it's actually an issue of economics and of product availability. In early 2011 there was pretty much no real contender to iOS but over the year Android grew quickly in both adoption and the number of devices that it is available on. Couple that with the fact that iOS devices were both costly and mostly locked into AT&T at the time and you can see the cause of the landslide move away from iOS as the main platform for mobile video views.
Now, there are hundreds of Android devices that account for millions of users and that is certainly going to beat any iOS that is locked into just proprietary devices purely on the basis of availability. Now take into account the average cost of an iOS device versus that of an Android or other device and you can see why it's been such a rapid downward spiral I think.
This is an area that will continue to grow in terms of numbers of video views because the world is smartphone/tablet crazy at the moment. I wasn't able to get the number of video views from them in time for this article, but I imagine it to be in the hundreds of millions or perhaps billions over the course of last year.