Bold Content 16 – 24 Year Old’s Watch More Video On Smartphones Than TV + More Findings From New AdReaction Study

Young people now spend more time watching video on smartphones than live TV, according to a recent Millward Brown. The study “AdReaction: Video Creative in A Digital World” surveyed more than 13,5000 multiscreen users aged between 16 and 45 in 42 countries. The study provides interesting insights into the way that people find, select and watch video content. It also shows how viewers are responding to video advertising and highlights opportunities for brands to increase the exposure of their video ads.

Key Points From The Video Study

77% of smartphone video viewing occurs at home – Home is still the preferred location to view video across devices. That 92% of live TV viewing occurs at home mobile viewing devices is no surprise but that tablets and smartphones are still predominantly used at home to watch video perhaps is.

Young people prefer smartphone to live TV – The 16 – 24 age bracket is currently the only age group which spend more time each day watching video on smartphones compared to television or computers. Groups 25+ still show a strong preference for live TV, although they are also spending a significant time watching smartphone and computers.

Perception of tracking was often negative – Retargeting has become a popular way to reach target audiences using video marketing. However, the study points to the perception of retargeting as often being “creepy”.

Social is an important way people discover new content – Social sharing is an important way people discover new video content with 31% of those surveyed finding content that had been shared socially. Interestingly one third of these were offline recommendations showing the continuing importance of word of mouth.

Summary & Insights

Young people now have a preference towards viewing video on smartphones over traditional television. While, the over 25 age group continue to favour live TV this is likely to change in the future. Viewing habits of older age groups tend to follow younger users. Also, today’s teens are tomorrow’s thirty somethings and so over time there should be a natural shift towards greater video viewing on smartphones (barring the development of some newer, more popular technology which supersedes smartphones.)

One of the most interesting findings of the study is that video on mobile devices is overwhelmingly watched at home. One of the arguments for shorter video content for mobile audiences is to do with data costs. As people generally use WiFi at home, removing concerns over data, this argument may have less validity.

Empowering viewers to skip ads or click to play improves their perception towards the advertising. While this insight does show the importance of giving viewers control over the viewing experience is important, it also creates challenges for video creators.

The reason why people choose not to skip ads depends on a country by country basis. But, the predominant reason cited for not skipping an ad is humor. 37% say that they primary reason that they choose not to skip an ad is because they find it funny. Brand awareness and product alignment with interests also rate highly as reasons not to skip. 30% said that they don’t skip if it is a category that they are interested in. This shows the importance of careful targeting when creating video sads if skip rates want to be minimized.

Lastly, viewers show a much more favorable attitude toward branded content which aren’t traditional ads. 64% had a positive preference towards tutorial videos and 55% have a positive attitude towards expert review videos. Given the viewers predilection towards ad blockers and skipping ads there appears to a be strong argument in favor of greater investment in branded content over traditional video advertising.


Millward Brown. AdReaction: Video Creative In A Digital World. Retrieved from: