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eMarketer: 78% of digital video viewers watch on their phone

More than three quarters of digital video viewers globally will use their mobile phones to watch digitally streamed content in 2018, according to eMarketer.

The research firm said that 1.87 billion people – almost a quarter of the world’s population – will watch video over a mobile phone this year, almost double 2014’s figure. This is tipped to rise to 2.33 billion people in 2021.

According to the report, some 78.4% of digital video viewers will to use their mobile to watch streamed or downloaded video at least once a month this year – rising to 80.5% in 2019, 82.1% in 2020 and 83.4% in 2021.

eMarketer also said that this year 1.58 billion people will watch video on YouTube at least once per month, a 9.2% year-on-year increase. Some 66.4% of viewers worldwide are expected to watch YouTube this year.

“Video’s proliferation on social networks and the growth of over-the-top streaming platforms are major drivers of digital video viewing worldwide,” said Oscar Orozco, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer.

“However, an understated driver of video viewing is the use of chat apps. We forecast that close to 55% of internet users will be active on chat apps by the end of 2018. Watching and sharing digital videos is a major feature on chat apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat, and for many internet users, it’s their first experience with digital video. We expect this will continue to be a significant driver of mobile video consumption.”