Tablet owners, and more specifically iPad owners, are much more likely to be engrossed in watching video, a new Ooyala study uncovered. On average, they watched one minute and 17 seconds of video for every minute of viewing on the desktop, or more than a quarter of viewer. They were also more than twice as likely to reach the end of a video; only 30 percent of desktop viewers even passed a quarter of the clip.
Smartphones as a whole were also more likely to get sustained viewership, but not often as high as on the desktop.
The research also showed that iOS largely dictated mobile viewing and had a near-monopoly of tablet video viewing. Android won out in smartphone conversion rates, or the ratio of actual plays versus just displaying the video, at 45 percent to 22 percent for the iPhone. In tablets, however, Android was a virtual non-threat as the iPad made up 99.4 percent of displays, 97.7 percent of the total play count, and 95.7 percent of the hours.
iPhones also won out in sheer plays and displays in the smartphone sphere, by smaller majorities.
Ooyala explained the tablet engagement as a virtue of having a larger screen, but it didn't explain the discrepancy between Android and iOS. The iPad has been helped simply by having a dominant market share, although its ratio of use is well out of proportion and suggests many Android users don't play video at all.
The difference might come from app selection. At 140,000-plus iPad apps versus just a few thousand Android tablet-native apps that are difficult to find in Android Market, iPad owners are more likely to find an app that plays the video they want to see. Historically, video service apps have come to the iPad well ahead of their Android equivalents, as it took roughly a year for Netflix to get a tablet-native Android port; Hulu Plus still doesn't have a native Android tablet app. A splintered device platform and inconsistent, rough support for copy protection have sometimes made it difficult to port an app over or have stopped developers outright.