How exactly do we share video when it comes to our mobile devices?  The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) just did a study on this very thing, (hat tip, eMarketer) and related it to the new Twitter video app, Vine.  While Vine is in its infancy, has had a quirky beginning, and hasn't been around long enough to retrieve a large sample size to make real predictions, the methods by which we currently share mobile video is enlightening.  Since mobile video usually makes up a giant portion of total views, it's important to know how people will share it using tablets, smartphones, etc.

eMarketer's Study on Mobile Video Sharing

First, let's take a look the graph that shows the distribution of sharing:

Mobile Video Sharing and the Human Response emarketer331299

It totally makes sense we share on Facebook more than half the time, but good old fashioned "handing the phone over to our friends," or "getting a group around to watch a video on my tablet" accounts for 44% of the sharing.  We forget at times when we talk about "sharing" that it can actually involve two or more people being in the same room.  And then there are times when we don't need to share with everyone, we just know people in particular who will like a video and we text (37%), e-mail (30%), or send it through YouTube's social sharing services (30%), which either e-mails or sends it to Facebook, Twitter, G+, etc.  Tweeting actually gets 12%.

Another graph I find interesting is the length of the videos people are watching on their mobile devices.  We think of mobile video as an "on the go" type of activity, so surely videos that aren't that long get watched very often, right?  Well, videos of all kinds of lengths get watched on mobile devices.  Sure, there's that happy zone of 3-5 minutes that get half the views, but videos of all lengths get watched on mobile devices, and I can attest to this, since I have found myself waiting in airports or sitting in a waiting room or sitting on a bus...generally waiting, and videos of 8-10 minutes are no big deal.  Here's eMarketer's graph:

ALSO ►  YouTube: Mobile Watch Time, Programmatic Ad Revenue on Increase

Mobile Video Sharing and the Human Response emarketer344287

Guys, I know you look at a graph like this and say, "Only 5% of people watch videos of 30 minutes or more," but that's a lot.  And it's comparable to the next 2 lower minute levels.  I imagine that 3-5 minutes gets 50% mainly because most videos are that length.  Really, what this graph represents to me is that people are willing to sit through almost any length.  While you might want to try for 3-5 minutes at first, there's really no reason to tailor your video according to that.  If you have 6 minutes of good content, keep it 6 minutes.

Thanks, IAB, for your hard work in creating this study!

  • Grant Crowell

    It's also important to be clear on the content type of video matching the video length. The "sweet spot" being cited is an overall figure, not something specific to any video content type such as product demos, FAQs, how-to's, testimonials, etc. You also have to consider where people are in the user/customer funnel and tailor the length of those videos accordingly. This seems to speak more to just publisher (B2C) video content than necessarily commerce-related or even business-related.

  • Grant Crowell

    Correction: The study was conducted by the Internet Advertising Bureau. eMarketer just reported on the study and created their own pie charts. Be sure to quote the original source next time. (Heck, eMarketer even did so right in their pie chart you're featuring, so it's not hard to miss!)

    • Chris Atkinson

      Thanks, Grant...corrected.

      • Grant Crowell

        You're welcome, Chris. I'm sure the ReelSEO audience appreciates the quick follow-through, too. (I myself have sometimes gotten eMarketer confused with what's their own original research versus what they pull from other sources.)

  • Marcus J.

    Interesting data; one thought that comes to mind: 3-5 minutes = Music videos.