Online video viewing will rise 20 percent in 2017, according to data from advertising giant Zenith, meaning global consumers will spend an average of 47.4 minutes a day viewing videos online this year, up from 39.6 minutes in 2016. In Online Video Forecasts 2017, the firm’s third such report, it is estimated that UK consumers will overall watch an average of 53.3 minutes a day of online video, rising from 47.9 last year. Viewing on mobile devices is set to nearly double, rising from 10.9 to 20.3 minutes. The report predicts that 2017 will be the peak year of fixed-device video, which global consumers will spend an average of 19 minutes a day viewing. Viewing on smart TVs is set to continue to rise, but not rapidly enough to compensate for the decline in viewing on desktops and laptops, as consumers shift their attention to mobile devices. Zenith forecasts viewing on fixed devices to shrink 1 percent in 2018 and 2 percent in 2019.

Zenith adds that the amount of available video content is rising rapidly across all platforms, but social media platforms have been particularly quick to embrace video over the last couple of years. It regards social media platforms as having added tools to encourage users and brands to create and share videos. Evidence of this is the fact that social media is seeing use broadcasting live video streams, such as sport events. In many markets, Facebook is now the second-biggest supplier of video content, after YouTube.

The report predicts that in 2018 mobile video viewing will grow 25 percent, averaging 29 minutes a day, and by 29 percent in 2019, driven by the spread of mobile devices, improved displays and faster mobile data connections. By 2019, mobile devices will likely account for 72 percent of all online video viewing, up from 61 percent in 2017.

All this, says the company, is proving very lucrative. Zenith believes that the rapid growth of video consumption is leading to equally rapid growth in video advertising and forecasts that global expenditure on online video advertising will grow 23 percent in 2017 to USD 27.2 billion, up from USD 22.2 billion in 2016. In the UK, it predicts a rise to GBP 1.7 billion from GBP 1.1 billion in 2017. Yet Zenith sees annual growth as having peaked at 37 percent in 2014, and has since fallen gradually as online video advertising has grown in scale. It forecasts 21 percent growth in 2018, and 17 percent growth in 2019, when online video ad expenditure will likely reach USD 38.7 billion. Online video advertising is set to be mobile-first in 2018.

“Online video is one of the fastest-growing channels of advertising, triggering heavy demand from brands for high quality content,” said Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting and director of global intelligence at Zenith. “Video platforms that can capture the attention of the most consumers with the best content will reap the highest rewards.”

“Online video gives brands the opportunity to use powerful digital technologies to engage with consumers as individuals, not demographics, in the sort of high-engagement environment that makes television advertising so effective for brand-building,” added Zenith global brand president Vittorio Bonori. “Television and online video and television work well together as complements, the former offering reach and shared experiences, and the latter offering targeting and personalisation.” – Rapid TV News