Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

For Vevo’s Music Video Viewers, “Mobile” Might Mean “In Bed”

If you’re watching a music video on the Web, there’s a very good chance you’re watching it on Vevo. The video site, co-owned by some of the big music labels and powered in large part by YouTube, has been a hit with viewers since a rocky launch a couple years ago.

And if you’re watching a video on Vevo, there’s an increasingly good chance you’re watching it on an Android phone, an iPad or some other mobile device. The company says that 85 million of its three billion video streams came from mobile platforms in May; that mobile number was up 64 percent from the previous month, and up 365 percent from January.

Not a big surprise. A bit surprising: Where those mobile views are taking place.

Vevo says its research shows that mobile viewing isn’t really “mobile” at all — it happens most frequently in the bedroom, and second-most frequently in the living room.

A few more statistics help clear the picture up. Vevo also says that half of its users are 13 to 24 years old, and that most of its mobile views come in the evening and the afternoon. So here’s my interpretation of the data: Instead of coming home after school and watching MTV on the couch like the youngsters of long ago, today’s kids are coming home and watching videos on their own personal screens.

Some Web video purveyors — notably Netflix CEO Reed Hastings — have played down the impact of phones and tablets on their business. They’re most interested in what happens when people watch their stuff on TV screens, in their living rooms. But Vevo’s videos are practically designed for small-screen consumption — so much so that people seem happy to watch them even when much bigger screens are a couple feet away.

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