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Facebook Video is Poised to Overtake YouTube

Openwave Mobility released the latest findings from its Mobile Video Index (MVI). This is the second edition of the MVI, a regular analysis of traffic data aggregated from live deployments in over 30 mobile operators. The study found that while YouTube remains the most popular for mobile video, Facebook is rapidly closing the gap in some markets – and has even overtaken YouTube in others.

In most developed markets, the Facebook video is now trending upward relative to YouTube. While in a number of emerging markets, the Facebook video has already overtaken YouTube. Bearing in mind Facebook’s depth of user engagement and insight, by turning its attention to video and ads, Facebook is executing a direct and credible assault on YouTube.

Alongside the data from live operator deployments, this edition of the MVI incorporates an independent consumer survey of mobile video user habits covering 3,000 subscribers in Western Europe. Despite larger mobile screens with higher resolutions, consumers revealed that they prefer to watch videos on Standard Definition (SD) rather than High Definition (HD) which can suffer buffering. This goes against industry trends as most Over The Top (OTT) video services are now offering HD content on mobile devices.

Indranil Chatterjee, SVP of Products, Sales & Marketing at Openwave Mobility said: “The MVI also found that while video playback times on mobile are increasing, average playback buffer time remains stubbornly high at 7.2 seconds. However, subscribers will only put up with 6 seconds of buffering before abandoning a video in frustration. For subscribers, every second counts and consumer blame their operators – not OTTs – when they suffer poor Quality of Experience (QoE)”.

Gorkem Yigit, lead analyst at Analysys Mason examined video monetization strategies for this edition of the MVI. Yigit added: “Inspired by operators such as T-Mobile in the US, research shows that zero-rating and unlimited data plans significantly increase video engagement time. With the right traffic management techniques, operators can contain network costs and launch viable pricing models and deliver a differentiated QoE”.

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