iOS Apps Pass Browsers For The First Time As The Most Popular Way To Watch Online TV

In a report about video data consumption trends released this morning by Adobe, the company noted an interesting statistic about the changing habits of online TV watchers. For the first time, iOS applications have surpassed desktop browsers as the most popular access point for online TV content, with a 43 percent market share versus a 36 percent share, respectively. In addition, Android applications are now the fastest-growing access points, with a 202 percent increase, outpacing both iOS and browsers.

The report is full of record-breaking statistics that paint a picture of just how quickly we’ve shifted the way we watch TV online (something Adobe refers to as “TV Everywhere” in its report, available here.)


For instance, online video consumption across mobile devices is now at an all-time high of 25 percent, with 57 percent year-over-year growth in the U.S. from Q1 2013 and Q1 2014. In addition, Q1 2014 set a new record with 35.6 billion global online video starts, and a 43 percent year-over-year increase.

For its analysis, Adobe used aggregated and anonymous data from over 1,300 media and entertainment sites using Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime between Q1 2013 and Q1 2014, the company notes. The data includes 151 billion online video starts and 1.3 billion TV Anywhere authentications.

While Android is outpacing iOS and browsers in terms of growth, gaming consoles and other over-the-top devices continue to be the fastest-growing devices for online video overall, with a 123 percent year-over-year increase in online video starts (meaning any browser-based unauthenticated video start).

In addition, smartphones are growing more than tablets, with 48 percent year-over-year growth versus 16 percent, respectively, in terms of video starts.


Meanwhile, the total amount of authenticated video grew 246 percent year-over-year.


Market Share

And, as noted above, iOS apps (43 percent) are now the most popular way to access “TV Everywhere,” seemingly at the expense of browsers, whose marketshare has dropped from 47 percent in Q1 2013 to Q1 2014.

Android apps are in third place, with a 15 percent share (up from 11 percent in Q1 2013), and gaming console and other over-the-top devices have a 6 percent share (up from 1 percent).


What’s especially notable is the type of content that’s now being viewed on these mobile devices. Apparently, kids are leading the charge here, as they grow up in a world where the iPad has always just existed, and where it has grown to become parents’ go-to digital babysitter, at times.

Notes the report, over 80 percent of children’s TV Everywhere content was viewed through iOS apps.

But parents, and other adults, aren’t too far behind on this trend, with 50 percent of broadcast channel authenticated videos viewed on iOS. But half of news videos are still being viewed in the browser.

Finally, Monthly unique visitors for TV Everywhere have grown 157 percent year-over-year, with Q1 2014 seeing a surge in viewership with a 49 percent quarter-over-quarter increase.


More data and stats are in the full report here.