Today, Internet users are ‘going mobile.’ This trend has been accelerating for the past few years, and by 2013 half of all mobile phones are projected to be smartphones. That is two full years sooner than many of the most optimistic previous predictions. Coupled with the growth in 4G/LTE networks, smartphone users enjoy more options for consuming video and other rich media content than ever before, and they are taking advantage of that opportunity every day.
What does this mean for you and your business? Well, for one thing it means you need to make sure you’re delivering your content to these users as efficiently as possible. It means that now, more than ever, you need a Content Delivery Network (CDN) designed to facilitate distribution to mobile networks and devices. It also means a rich variety of content types are available for you to use in communicating with your customers – and the use of video in particular is on the rise.
Drivers for mobile content growth
Why should we expect mobile video and rich media to grow more quickly over the next few years? Let’s look at four catalysts:
- More content is available, from movies and TV shows to live streamed events and User-Generated Content (UGC)
- Video quality is improving, both via stronger compression algorithms and better UGC recording quality
- Better screen technology, including Retina displays and larger smartphones
- The rise of 4G/LTE networks, delivering speeds many times faster than more traditional 3G technologies
Gartner’s report, “Market Trends: Worldwide, the State of Mobile Video” estimates that mobile video users will grow rapidly, from 429 million in 2011 to 2.4 billion by 2016, with a CAGR of 41%*. While a majority of mobile video will be viewed via Wi-Fi, over 700 million of those users are projected to be using 3G/4G/LTE access. These faster network speeds means that users located in non-Wi-Fi locations will have access to video, and they will be watching.
Meeting user expectations
Mobile users won’t stay engaged if the user experience fails to meet expectations. They will stop watching video that is not high quality, or if a video stalls and starts buffering content multiple times. Users will have apps and games on their devices, competing for time and attention. So if you want your customers to watch your video content – from a product demonstration to an online ad – you need a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to makes sure your content is delivered as quickly as possible. And that means you need a CDN with fast connections to the major mobile networks, and direct access to viewers connected via Mobile, Broadband, and Wi-Fi.
Regardless of the solution you choose, the explosion in mobile video demands that you take the steps needed to provide your customers the best viewing experience possible, on smartphones, tablets, and any other device.