Rise Of Mobile And Internet Video Usage In The UK

Even though it is a new concept for many in the world, the internet in some form has been around for several decades. Nevertheless, it has recently revolutionised how we live in very fundamental ways. A new wave of change – in the form of mobile video internet usage, specifically – continues to change our way of life. Below, we explore the rise of mobile and internet video usage throughout the UK.


Back in 2010, internet video consumption was well-known but not as prevalent as we might think. People would often watch YouTube videos and comparable short clips of events and whatnot, but there wasn’t a steady stream of subscribers for streaming services. Many people still used traditional television to consume mass media. Times change.

With substantial double-digit growth in each following year for those who admit to watching TV while browsing the web, the time in which people combined both of these acts was quickly approaching.


Besides the traditional television connected to cable or satellite, how are people now consuming video?

One popular way is through their video game consoles. With these entities now including a variety of apps for streaming services, it is no wonder that a majority of households with traditional TVs in the UK now also have video game consoles. The number of UK households that use video game consoles and traditional computers to access internet video has increased by more than twenty percent since 2010, with the number of hours of internet video being watched on a daily basis increasing by roughly the same amount.

Mobile phones are also a heavily-popular way in which to access mobile internet video in the UK. Over the same five-year time period, the number of people accessing mobile internet video via their phones increased by roughly fifty percent, fuelled in large part by increased availability of mobile data for more affordable prices.

At this point, over one-third of all UK households that have high-speed internet access are now using devices other than a television to access their favourite programming and videos via the web on a daily basis.


While the adoption of mobile internet video solutions may be driven to a large degree by a younger audience, some findings have shown that everyone is getting in on the action.

One-third (33%) of everyone who accesses internet video through non-mobile devices is over the age of 50. Approximately one-fourth (24%) fall into the 2-24 year-old demographic. The remaining 44% of internet video watchers on traditional devices are ages 25-49.

When it comes to mobile devices, the numbers more closely resemble the suspected generational gap. Only 12 percent of all mobile internet video watchers are ages 50 and up. Thirty-two percent are between the ages of 2-24, while a whopping 56 percent are between the ages of 25 and 49.


Streaming services today are by far the most popular destination for content such as TV shows, feature films and other series, but where are people going on the web to watch internet and mobile video content in general?

YouTube by far is the most popular source, scoring hundreds of millions of unique user visits from around the world (and approximately 30 million within the UK) every single month.

Coming in second is Yahoo!, which receives roughly 12 million unique visits from within the UK each month for various internet video content. Vevo is third, with 10 million UK residents viewing content on a monthly basis.

From there, the list drops off considerably. It is important to note that social media websites – particularly Facebook – may generate more unique visitors on a monthly basis who are seeing videos than any other source but YouTube, but it is impossible to determine how many Facebook users see video content in their status feeds. It is also worth noting that most people do not go to Facebook specifically to see mobile internet video content and nothing else.


Internet video subscription services have become increasingly popular, as major networks and video companies have had to find new ways to compete against the illegal downloading of their programming.

Rather than paying in excess of £50 per month or more for subscription programming, many people discovered that content could be acquired via torrents and back-door sites for free. Much as this revolutionised the music industry, many premier shows, videos and other forms of content can now be accessed for just a few pounds per month.

It is wholly expected that services such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and SkyGo will continue to become more popular in the coming years, in part because their services can be accessed via the home on the computer or while on-the-go via mobile.

In addition, the amount and percentage of programming accessed through these mobile apps and devices will almost certainly overtake that of traditional internet video streaming within the next decade.

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