Ericsson ConsumerLab told Mobile World Live 33 per cent of all TV content in the US will be viewed over a smartphone, and revealed in a report more than 50 per cent of TV content globally will be viewed on a mobile device by the turn of the decade.

Today, 54 per cent of US consumers watch TV and video on their smartphones, up 172 per cent from 2012. Smartphones currently account for 14 per cent of total viewing time across devices, at around 4.3 hours per week, but the figure is forecast to rise to 33 per cent of all viewing time by 2020, Ericsson said.

The shift to mobile video is already being felt by stateside operators. AT&T in June noted video now accounts for more than 50 per cent of the data traffic flowing over its network. At T-Mobile US, the proportion of video traffic stood at more than 60 per cent in 2016.

Global shift
In its TV and Media 2017 report, Ericsson ConsumerLab revealed worldwide on-demand viewing is creeping toward parity with live and scheduled linear viewing, accounting for 42 per cent of viewing hours compared to 58 per cent for traditional viewing.

Smartphones are proving to be the catalyst behind the global shift to mobile viewing. Around 70 per cent of consumers overall watch TV and video content on their smartphone, up from 35 per cent in 2012, and handsets now account for 20 per cent of time spent watching TV and video each week (six hours). By 2020, 25 per cent of global TV viewing will be via smartphone, the company predicted.

Younger consumers are leading the way toward a mobile TV future, with 16- to 24-year olds already watching on-demand content more than half the time. Consumers aged between 25-years and 34-years aren’t far behind, watching on-demand 45 per cent of the time. However, on-demand viewing amounts to less than 33 per cent of time spent for 45- to 59-year olds, and under 25 per cent for the 60- to 69-year old age group.

Ericsson ConsumerLab’s findings were based on online interviews with more than 20,000 people from Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK and US.

In a separate report, Cisco predicted video traffic will grow at a CAGR of 54 per cent through 2021. By then, 78 per cent of mobile data traffic, or around 38.1 million TB per month, will come from video, Cisco said.