KEY POINTS

  • Video viewing accounted for half of total global mobile traffic in 2015, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report. The rise in mobile video viewing can be attributed to several factors: an increase in overall time spent on mobile, the convenience of on-demand viewing, a preference for digital video viewing, and the increased availability of mobile video content.
  • As video becomes mobile-first, YouTube's hold on the short-form video industry is waning. The number of videos that are uploaded to the platform per month has remained stagnant over the past year, according to Socialbakers data shared with BI Intelligence. 
  • Facebook is in the best position to upset YouTube as the go-to place for brand and media companies to upload videos and for users to watch these videos. Its total number of native videos — or videos directly uploaded to Facebook and not shared from YouTube or other sites — saw year-over-year (YoY) growth of 350% in October, according to Socialbakers.
  • Although Snapchat may not be competing with Facebook and YouTube on volume, the video- and photo-sharing app is driving the future of mobile video. Snapchat is changing how mobile users, brands, and publishers are all using mobile video for communication, news and entertainment, and live-event coverage. 

Introduction

In 2015, video viewing became mobile-first: Mobile video accounted for 50% of global mobile traffic last year, according to data from Ericsson. Mobile users are spending more time than ever watching video on their mobile devices, particularly on their smartphones.

So while Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have been competing to capture audiences with their longer-form video content, another war has been brewing in the background — one that involves companies that specialize in short-form video, or content that's less than 20 minutes long. The major players in this new war include Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter — all mobile-first platforms that are rapidly expanding their video offerings to attract content and viewers.

In this report, BI Intelligence will take a look at the explosion of short-form mobile video. We will discuss how YouTube, historically the dominant force in short-form video, was slow to implement a mobile video strategy, opening the door for new players to emerge. We will also take a look at how winners will begin to emerge in distinct video content categories. YouTube, for instance, will rely heavily [...]