Survey: MP4 Is Top Format For Web and Mobile Videos

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When you watch a video on the web or your mobile phone, the odds are pretty good you are using the MP4 video format and the H.264 codec. There are a lot of choices when it comes to video formats. But, MP4 is the top pick for both web and mobile viewing, according to a new survey released this morning by Sorenson Media.

69% of video professionals use MP4 regularly for the web, and 58% use it for mobile. Nearly four out of every 5 pros say they use the H.264 codec for file compression.

The report has some bad news for WebM, Google’s sponsored royalty-free open video compression format. WebM came out on the button with just 5% usage on the web and 3% on mobile.

Here’s the full results for web video by percentage of video pro users:

  • 69% MP4
  • 54% Flash
  • 45% QuickTime
  • 34% Windows Media
  • 5% WebM

(Note: A majority of those surveyed selected more than one format, so the results total more than 100%.)

For mobile videos:

  • 58% MP4
  • 16% Flash
  • 16% HTML5
  • 9% Windows Media
  • 3% WebM

Video formats have undergone major changes since the early days of streaming when Windows Media and Real were the dominant players.

To create the distribution formats above, the pros use very different input formats. Apple’s QuickTime Reference Movie was the favorite source format.

Here’s a look at the preferred inputs:

  • 28% QuickTime Reference Movie
  • 25% .mov
  • 10% ProRes
  • 9% AVI
  • 8% DNxHD
  • 7% MPEG-4
  • 3% MPEG-2
  • 2% FLV
  • 2% WMV

Where do all these videos wind up? The web is the most popular platform but there are many other destinations:

  • 89% Web
  • 67% DVD
  • 46% Mobile
  • 45% Corporate
  • 43% Broadcast

The survey, released during the National Association of Broadcasters convention, was conducted by Sorenson Media, a leading video encoding solutions company, with users in a majority of broadcast station groups in the U.S.