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Social Recommendations Are the Number One Way US Adults Discover and Watch Mobile Video, According to New Survey from Telly conducted by Harris Interactive

American mobile video watchers are almost twice as likely to watch videos shared by friends as they are via web search finds new report


SAN FRANCISCO – (May 23, 2013) –Today Telly is releasing the results from a new study, which was conducted online in April by Harris Interactive on their behalf among over 2,000 U.S. adults. The study reveals that 78 million American mobile device owners [1] (35%) watch video on their mobile device. Of these 78 million, 52 million mobile video watchers (67%) discover content from friends via social recommendations, versus 32 million American mobile video watchers (41%) who find videos on their mobile devices via search engines.
Of the 52 million mobile video watchers who rely on social recommendations to discover video, many cited multiple ways in which they are finding videos from people they know. 35 million say they discover videos from connections on social networks, while 28 million Americans site that they discover videos from email sent from friends and family, and 23 million find content to watch from texts/MMS.
This echoes a major shift, from search to social, in the way consumers discover and consume digital video content on their mobile devices verses desktop, which is also reflected in Adobe’s April 2013 study [2]. Social recommendations are so powerful that 1 in 10 people who watch videos on their mobile device, or 12 million, say the only thing holding them back from watching more video on mobile is that they will only watch videos sent to them by friends. All of these findings indicate that consumers want a more social way to easily discover video on mobile. Telly’s findings support Adobe’s April 2013 study that stated, “social engagement jumped from 42% to 70% in terms of how likely referrals on networks like Facebook were to prompt a video viewing completion.” It’s clear that social influence plays a strong role in video viewership on mobile.
“We’re experiencing a new dawn in digital video. Mobile users are looking for an easy, low effort way to quickly find great content while on the go. Social recommendations are a natural fit to quickly guide consumers to great content, especially in a mobile environment where it’s difficult to search,” said Telly CEO Mo Al Adham. “We believe this means there’s an enormous opportunity to create easier discovery technologies and services for mobile video.”
When it comes to OS, the study shows that Android users are much more likely to consume mobile video than iOS users. Of mobile video watchers, 36% are on iOS, 46% are on Android, 12% on Windows and 3% on Blackberry [3]. In recent studies, this separation was much more dramatic. The results of Harris’s study show a significantly higher percentage of mobile video watchers on Android when compared to a February 2013 report released by Ooyala [4] that stated iOS accounted for 67% of individuals watching video on mobile devices, while Android made up the remaining 33%.
79% of American mobile video watchers 18 and over say there are certain things holding them back from consuming more video on their mobile device. Remarkably, 4.8 million Americans don’t know how to find other good videos on their mobile, which prevents them from watching more. Cell phone connections and data costs are also a major hurdle for video consumption. 20.4 million American adults would watch more mobile video if they weren’t worried about seeing a spike in their bill from data overages. Another 20.4 million Americans would watch more mobile video if their connection were faster. However, according to this Cisco February 2013 study, [5] mobile connection speeds are doubling year over year in the USA.
Another interesting finding is that households with children, 107 million (48%), are more likely to watch mobile videos than households without children, 67 million (30%). Of mobile video watchers, 37% live in the South, 21% in the Midwest, 20% in the West and 22% in the Northeast. Mobile video is also more popular with younger demographics; the study found that US adults ages 18-44 are three times as likely to be a mobile video watcher than those over 45.
Survey Methodology: This survey was conducted online within the United States between from April 22-24, 2013 among 2,066 adults ages 18 and older (of whom 1,879 were identified as mobile device owners) & April 29-May 1, 2013 among 2,071 ages 18 and older (of whom 1,877 were identified as mobile device owners), by Harris Interactive on behalf of Telly via its Quick Query omnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.  All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Christina Shatzen at

About Telly
Telly is a social video community that gives you a simple and fun way to discover videos you’ll love. We bring together the web’s best video content – from Telly’s own library of hosted content as well as videos from top sites like CNN, ESPN and YouTube – and make smart social recommendations based on what your friends are engaging with across the web. Telly also lets you easily create and share your own personal videos with our mobile apps. Originally branded when the company first launched in 2009, today is a fast growing social video community of over 8.5 million members who use Telly to discover and share the best videos online. To start discovering your new favorite videos, visit

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client’s research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients—stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit
[1] Based on 2010 U.S. Census data of 234,564,071 U.S. adults aged 18+
[2] Adobe’s April 2013 Social Video Study
[3] Caution, extremely low base size for this group
[4] Ooyala Global Video Index
[5] Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2012-2017


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