UAE viewers prefer watching videos on smartphones, study

Report by Vuclip reveals content freshness and video quality important for local viewers

Tags: TelevisionUnited Arab EmiratesVuclip (www.vuclip.com/)
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UAE viewers prefer watching videos on smartphones, study Smartphones the video watching device of choice for majority of UAE viewers.
By  David Ndichu Published  February 8, 2016

Vuclip, provider of mobile video on demand (VOD) services in emerging markets, has released its Global Video Insights Report for the year 2015, comparing developing markets such as UAE with developed markets in terms of video consumption behaviour of users.

The insights are a result of an online survey of 4600 users across six developing (India, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, UAE and Philippines) and four developed (USA, UK, Singapore and Australia) markets.

The survey insights fall under the four broad categories of OTT VOD service features that viewers consider important, device preference, types of video content consumed and video consumption behaviour.

Key Insights of the Vuclip GVI Survey include:

OTT VOD service features that viewers consider important

UAE respondents lay greater emphasis on freshness of content (50%) as against those in developed nations (46%).

UAE respondents reported a fair balance between quality and content as being the most important features in an OTT app:

- 49% lay emphasis on a buffer free experience

- 47% of viewers reported high definition video quality as being a key consideration

- 46% preferred apps offering a smooth user interface

42% reported preference based on availability of international content

- 42% of UAE respondents view high data consumption as a key inhibitor to video consumption on smartphones

Device preference for video consumption:

69% of respondents in the UAE indicated smartphones as being the preferred device for consuming video unlike other developed (40%) and developing (44%) markets where laptops and PCs are the devices of choice.

In the UAE, users have evolved to larger screen sizes with 46% of respondents reported to be viewing videos on screen sizes in excess of 5 inches. 31% of respondents across developing markets and 38% across developed nations reported to have evolved to viewing videos on screen sizes in excess of 5 inches.

75% of UAE respondents reported using smartphones for daily video consumption. This in stark contrast with other developed (52%) and developing (54%), nations where television is the most preferred choice for daily video viewing.

Video viewing features high on the list of online activities on smartphones with 42% of UAE respondents reported to doing so in comparison to 32% across the wider developing markets and 34% across developed nations.

Type of video content consumed across devices

79% viewers in UAE consume short form video content (run time of under ten minutes) on smartphones as compared to 70% on laptops and 35% on television. However user generated content is (UGC) consumed more on smartphones (19%) than on laptops (12%).

Across the UAE, the television is the preferred device for both long form consumption (81%) such as films and videos with run time of more than ten minutes in addition to live broadcast videos (25%).

The proportion of UAE respondents reported to consume long form content on smartphones (45%) exceeds that of the developed markets (33%).

Video consumption behaviour

Unlike developed nations where usage of Wi-Fi (51%) and mobile networks (49%) for accessing mobile internet is similar, Wi-Fi usage (54%) in the UAE is significantly higher than mobile network usage (44%). This can be attributed to the advanced telecoms infrastructure and ready availability of free Wi-Fi zones across the nation and is also the reason why video consumption while travelling is considerably higher in UAE (51%) as compared to developed nations (46%).

The study reports increasing use of mobile networks in the UAE, with 35% reported to be using 4G and 9% reported to using 3G networks for mobile internet connectivity. Across the developed nations, 39% reported to be using 4G and 10% reported to using 3G networks.

Viewers in the UAE reported a higher propensity to download video content (93%) as compared to the developed nations (58%). 23% of viewers in the UAE reported to be using laptops to download content, while 34% reported to download content on smartphones, this is stark contrast to developed nations where the use of laptops (21%) for downloading videos far exceeds use of smartphones (13%).

The preference to stream videos across both laptops/PCs and smartphones remains similar at 43% in the UAE. In comparison, across the developed nations, the usage of smartphones for streaming (65%) outweighs the usage of laptops/PCs (41%).

Downloads via torrent (66%) are dominant in UAE as compared to download through other free websites (26%). Propensity to purchase videos is higher in developed nations (52%) compared to UAE (46%).

Commenting on the release of the report, Arun Prakash, COO, Vuclip said, “With more than eight years of video consumption data, we at Vuclip have always used consumer insights such as these to convert data into viewer delight. It is real time data backed insights that help us to know what our audience wants and enables us to be able to effectively exceed consumer expectations whether it be with content, service features or user experience. 2016 will see Vuclip introduce exciting and innovative way for subscribers in the UAE and wider Middle East region to consume entertainment.”

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