Verto Analytics at the asi APAC TV Conference in Singapore: Mobile Apps & Video Consumption

I had the honor to be a speaker at this week’s asi APAC TV conference in Singapore. Many thanks to Mike Sainsbury (asi Chief Executive) and Richard Marks (asi Research Director), for creating such a unique and insightful conference agenda! The event hosted great speakers, from Magnus Anshelm (MMS Sweden) talking about the measurement of Netflix, to observations around video advertising presented by Anusaya Kukade (Facebook) and Rob Veisler (Metrixlab). It’s fantastic that we have been able to get asi to Asia, which is ahead of so many other regions in terms of digital and video innovation.

Similar asi conferences have taken place in Europe for quite some time, gathering leading clients and vendors to discuss key topics surrounding the measurement of TV and radio. However, as I have been saying for a long time, the whole notion of traditional TV — or radio — channels or broadcasters is becoming less relevant today. As we have previously reported to the market, an increasing amount of video and audio consumption is moving to the online or mobile environment. The same content can be accessed via linear TV, time-shifted TV, over the top streaming devices and services, on smart TVs, and through the variety of video-heavy mobile apps or sites. I prefer to discuss video and audio as aggregated forms of content, and focus on the specific devices and channels people use to consume this video or audio content.

Media Consumption in an Increasingly Global Market: Will Netflix Take Over the World?

Another trend worth observing is that of globalization: today’s video content and digital services know no borders — at least, not to the same extent that national broadcasting companies or local cable companies faced in the past in Europe or the US. Netflix, for example, has announced that their major goal is to conquer the whole world. Mobile messaging apps, building on top of video content (user-generated or commercial), are thinking about audience acquisition across the globe.

Given this trend towards globalization, there is no better place to host a conference about the state of TV than Singapore. Here, the local government has supported various initiatives, from accelerated innovation in the mobile space, to new methodologies to measure TV. Singapore is also a hub for many global companies operating in South-East Asia. From here,  it’s easy to see the rapid shifts in the media consumption market: Indonesia, India, Malaysia, China and other Asian countries have more mobile users than Europe and the USA combined. Moreover, many of the companies operating here are not bound to a given country, but instead drive strong growth across borders. I am waiting for the day when one of the big Chinese giants acquires significant stakes (if not all) in the leading Western Internet or media companies. Will Yahoo end up in Alibaba’s or Softbank’s net as early as this month?

Audience Measurement Unbound: Examples from the Chinese Mobile Market

Following great discussions with Doug Peiffer (Oztam), David Ellem (Nielsen), and Magnus Anshelm (MMS), I joined Ian Garland (Milton Data) and Chris O’Hearn (3M3A) on stage to discuss audience measurement across platforms. Several interesting comments were made, but everybody agreed on one major point: better measurement of today’s video consumption is essential. I highlighted the evolution of the Chinese market as an example of how differently things can evolve. China started with very poor landline and broadband connections, but rapidly accelerated to  a mobile-heavy and radically different online ecosystem of today due to these challenges and poor adoption of desktop Internet.

I also spoke about recent Verto Analytics research on the Chinese cross-device digital video usage. Some notable highlights:

  • 77% of the Chinese online population accesses video content via mobile vs. only 54% via PC
  • Top mobile apps are more heavy on video content than web sites – the mobile app user experience drives video consumption, 5 out of top 10 mobile apps are video-heavy
  • 50% of the Chinese population is online vs. 89% in the US. However, these Chinese online users are very mobile-heavy – as many as 94% of all Chinese online users are using smartphones. The mobile-only audience in China (not using PCs) is 19%.
  • Smart TVs have relatively high penetration in China, and have potential to drive significant digital video consumption in the future.
  • Chinese online users’ time spent on smartphones is quickly approaching that of PCs. The Chinese spend as many as 49 hours a month on smartphones.
  • The mobile market is driven by messaging and social networking apps – mobile video apps come as the 3rd biggest app category in terms of time spent.

Overall, it was a great experience to have such a rich variety of talks with great industry people. I hope asi will return to Asia again next year — how about Hong Kong?

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