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When is it time to back away?
As much hype as there is surrounding the growth of mobile media, the market for mobile video is still nascent. And despite the proliferation of Android-powered devices, it’s still all about Apple.
That’s the finding of a new report issued by FreeWheel, a well-funded technology firm that helps companies like ESPN and Turner manage rights and monetization for Web video. Per the FreeWheel report, just one percent of Web video views occurred on mobile devices in the U.S. in Q1 2011, with Apple devices accounting for 80 percent of all moblie video views.
That dominant market share is driven by two factors, according to FreeWheel. For one, even though Android devices are catching up, Apple was first to market with smartphones and tablets. It attracted an early adopter crowd made up of heavy video consumers. For example, in the tablet space, iPads already make up 20 percent of mobile video views, reads the report.
At the same time, FreeWheel found that content companies prioritized Apple devices when embarking on their first mobile content distribution, further perpetuating Apple’s dominance.
Consumption of mobile video is only likely to rise over time, according to the report as more quality long-form content becomes available. FreeWheel saw evidence of that in March, as mobile video usage soared during the NCAA tournament, which was available for free to iPad users, and during the earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan.
FreeWheel arguably has one of the better views of the online/mobile video market. The company says it served over 5 billion video ads Q1 2011 and helped its media companies make ad delivery decisions on over 10 billion video views.
Among the other more interesting nuggets from the report was the fact that at-the-office video consumption may not be as big as most believe. FreeWheel found that Saturday was the biggest video consumption day of the week, as viewership in Q1 was 13 percent larger than the day that the lowest consumption of the week, Tuesday.
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