How the Pandemic has Shaped Mobile Video Consumption

BY Rachel Cagle
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We are bored. We’ve all been so incredibly bored since March. And that boredom is changing the way we are interacting with media in our day-​to-​day lives. Our smartphones are now more important to us than ever as a primary way to stay connected with our loved ones we can’t visit right now. Smartphones also keep us entertained. Mobile video is one of the primary ways Americans have been entertaining themselves during the pandemic. Members of younger generations, such as Generation Z and millennials, are the primary drivers of this medium’s growth.

The Growth of Mobile Video During the Pandemic

According to a report by Mobile Marketer, 73% of millennials and members of Gen Z say that they are watching more mobile videos on their smartphones than they were last year. Why is this? It could be that the majority (86%) of these consumers say that the format is part of their coping mechanism to make it through this year’s pandemic and its resulting social distancing mandates. The primary reason younger consumers are watching mobile video is for entertainment (88%). But 76% also feel more connected to others by watching videos. 59% also use mobile video as a way to stay updated on local and national news reports.

Social distancing has also taken a mental toll on many Americans, Gen Z and millennials included. Younger generations are turning to mobile video to combat negative effects on their mental well-​being. Videos highlighting the topics of personal growth and overall wellness are being regularly consumed by these generations as they’re stuck at home.

Advertising to Younger Generations Using Video

Overall, these younger generations are turning to mobile video to fill the human connection void made by the pandemic. So, it’s no surprise that 82% said that they have been watching user-​generated videos (videos made by people, not retail companies) every single day. But that doesn’t mean your clients can’t target them using video ads. Last year, according to AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SaleFuel, 46.1% of Millennials and 50.8% of Generation Z took action after seeing pre-​roll video ads.

There are a few things that your clients should keep in mind when coming up with a mobile video ad strategy:

  • Remember, younger consumers are primarily watching personal growth, wellness, and news-​related videos. They're also watching content that makes them feel connected to other humans. Make sure to attach your client's pre-​roll video ads to this popular content.
  • Younger consumers prefer to watch shorter videos. Mobile Marketer reports that, “About seven out of 10 respondents said they would rather engage with a lot of shorter videos than be immersed with a longer video.” So, plan accordingly. Attach your client’s pre-​roll video ads to shorter videos. Also, make sure their ads are short as well.
  • Millennials and members of Gen Z also said that they prefer to watch vertical video formats. This is because it feels more personal (76%) and immersive (74%). Keep that in mind when creating video ads and choosing videos to attach those ads to.