(Note, I'll share details of online viewing of Super Bowl ads and the game later today…I'm still pulling all of the relevant data together.)
We're just a month into 2015, and there are already abundant signs of online and mobile video's momentum, with lots more growth to come as the year unfolds. Here's what's hit my radar so far:
- Facebook announced it's up to 3 billion video views per day (from 1 billion per day last September), as the social network ramps up its emphasis on video. Facebook's decision to auto-play videos in users' feeds is clearly the big driver.
- Amazon revealed that it spent $1.3 billion on video in 2014, and grew Prime users (who can access licensed and original video) into the tens of millions, up by 53% globally. Amazon also won 2 Golden Globes, announced a new movies initiative and signed Woody Allen for a new series. Amazon's Twitch game streaming site also doubled its monthly viewers to 100 million.
- Netflix revealed plans to blanket the world by 2017, expanding to 200 countries, while it also announced more than 57 million subscribers globally.
- Apple blew past all expectations, selling 75 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices in the holiday quarter. As I've previously written, iPhone 6's larger, crisper screen sizes, faster processors and longer battery life all combine to be critical drivers of mobile video's ongoing growth.
- Twitter unveiled a 30-second native video feature to augment Vine's 6-second videos. Twitter is still the main social media network for real-time news sharing, and the expanded, streamlined format will give mobile users even greater incentive to capture and share.
- Last but not least, Snapchat, the fast-growing social network, particularly among young women, released "Discover," a gorgeous feature showcasing video from media partners eager to reach Snapchat's user base. In addition, Snapchat is launching its first online original series, plus AT&T will sponsor one too.
These are just some of the biggest video stories from January, but there are plenty of others worth noting (e.g. Sling TV, NFL-YouTube, Vessel beta release, lots of OTT plans, etc.). Meanwhile, one of the most significant trends to watch this year will be the ongoing erosion of linear TV audiences, which are in turn are pressuring TV ad revenues and bolstering online video advertising.
Taken together, 2015 is already shaping up to be the biggest year yet for online and mobile video's growth.