Facebook ‘closing the gap’ on YouTube in mobile video

Facebook is “rapidly closing the gap” on YouTube in terms of mobile video traffic, according to a new report by Openwave Mobility.

The Mobile Video Index study, which is based on data from more than 30 mobile operators, said that while YouTube remains the most popular service for mobile video, Facebook is making strides in this space.

The report found that in most developed markets Facebook video is now trending upward relative to YouTube and that Facebook has already overtaken YouTube in a number of emerging markets.

The report also found that in Western Europe, consumers prefer to watch video in standard definition rather than high definition as this often results in less buffering.

“While video playback times on mobile are increasing, average playback buffer time remains stubbornly high at 7.2 seconds,” said Indranil Chatterjee, senior vice-president of products, sales and marketing at Openwave Mobility.

“Subscribers will only put up with six seconds of buffering before abandoning a video in frustration. For subscribers, every second counts and consumers blame their operators – not OTTs – when they suffer poor quality of experience”.

“Our study in Europe found that consumers are happy to pay an extra €7.50 per month for videos with less than two seconds of buffering. Operators can ill-afford to ignore the monetisation opportunities staring them in the face.”

Openwave Mobility offers traffic and data management services to mobile operators via a scalable network function virtualisation (NFV) platform. Its stated goal is to empower mobile operators to manage and monetise encrypted and unencrypted traffic.