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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : July 18, 2012

Poll: Most video viewers prefer faster streams to higher def streams

When it comes to streaming video over mobile devices - particularly smartphones - US viewers say they want faster connections/streams rather than more definition. That according to a new poll out from Harris Interactive and Skyfire. More than three-quarters (86%) of those polled said faster, smoother streams than higher-definition streams which buffer often.

by Kristina Knight

Other interesting findings from the Harris/Skyfire report include:

• 57% of smartphone users polled say they've streamed video on mobile
• Men (62%) are more likely than women (52%) to stream video via smartphone
• Wealthier viewers ($75,000 household income or more) are less likely (54%) than their poorer counterparts (66% have streamed mobile video)

"We're seeing a sea change in the way consumers are using and thinking about their mobile devices, with higher quality content becoming the norm," said Skyfire CEO Jeffrey Glueck. "This survey shows clearly that when connections are poor, users define a quality experience much more by fast video starts and smooth play, rather than HD fidelity in their video. Moreover, other than price, better data speeds now beat voice coverage and device selection as the most important factor when switching carriers. 'Can you watch me now?' is the new 'Can you hear me now?'"

Meanwhile, data out from Nielsen suggests Netflix users are streaming more TV content at home. The latest data finds 19% of Netflixers are now streaming television shows, up from 11% in 2011; 47% are streaming movies, down from 53% in 2011.

This increase in mobile consumption - both from printed content and video - will push touch-screen revenues to more than $16 billion finds a new forecast from NPD Display Search. By year's end, researchers predict touch-screen revenues will push to at least $16 billion and by 2018, those revenues are expected to exceed $31 billion. Smartphones will account for the biggest portion of touch-screen sales, at least through this year, finds the report.

Tags: Harris Interactive, mobile content, mobile video, Nielsen, NPD Display Search, Skyfire, video content trends, video trends

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  • George

    I think the "wealthy" vs "poor" users may really a disguised youth angle, my younger relatives get nearly all of their video news (for example) from their smartphones, while the older adults still watch TV. And the news the youthful people watch is not mainstream, it is from the "cool" category (you tube for example).  As a result they are not even aware of many current events that older adults feel over-exposed to.

    My point being that the poll, as reported in the article, may be missing one of the driving factors leading viewers to watch video on their phones.  These "poor" youths actually represent people that will eventually be counted among the wealthy.  The video game culture of the youth has steered their activities in a way to reduce their exposure to TV when at home, and increase their video consumption when away from home (such as when eating dinner with their boring parents).  Video is frequently used as a distraction to allow them to avoid social interaction (or substitute a more desirable social interaction).

  • Mike Dawson

    Appetites for more, a culture of wanting, when faster is not good enough, they just want it now. If only the appetite was for the product or service purveyed, eh? In the business of marketing we know the quarry may not be directly looking for what we have to deliver, but  we'll go to any lengths to ensure it gets delivered, and that it meets its objective - It's what we do. If the sales video is pre-roll or other, the client must above all else enjoy the experience as much as possible. The delivery cannot result in a negative impression of the vending business - Faster connection speeds remove that potential for negativity inflicted by delays, they ensure swifter delivery and seamless integration of content and advert.
    Mike Dawson of




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