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We're watching more video, just not on TV

Data: Consumer Technology Association; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

A new Consumer Technology Association study finds that video viewership has increased more than 30% over the past five years to 16.8 hours per week, but almost half of all video viewing is being done on devices other than television (smartphone, laptop, desktop, tablet, etc.) — the highest rate its ever been. According to the study, that near 50/50 split represents a dramatic change from just four years ago, when consumers viewed TV video 62% of the time. Desktop video viewership has also declined by over 50% since 2012.

Why it matters:

  1. TV is facing sharp advertising and subscription declines in response to diminishing viewership. Experts predict that 2017 will be the first year digital advertising spending eclipses TV. A portion of the CTA report released to Axios earlier this week showed that for first time, more people are using streaming services for content than paid TV.
  2. Around 1/3 of consumers say that even though they are accessing more content on mobile, the video viewing quality isn't great. This is because publishers and advertisers are still creating horizontal video products with desktop and TV viewership in mind, instead of optimizing their content for vertical viewing experiences on smartphones. Nieman Lab argues that the lack of adaptation comes from uncertainty in the publishing world about how to best make vertical video.