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Is There a Mobile Video Primetime in the United States?

In its quarterly report, TubeMogul finds that video viewers take to their tablets after hours.

Wednesday 04th of September 2013 12:00:00 AM

Download the full report as a PDF

Key Findings

- Primetime is Tablet Time. Tablet viewing peaks in the evening, with primetime hours (8 p.m. to midnight) representing 25.7% of total views. iPad viewing peaks at 10 p.m., slightly later than viewing on Android tablets.

- The Android Phablet Effect. While iPhone viewership tends to decline during primetime, 33.9% of all views on Android phones take place between 8 p.m. and midnight.

- Mobile Video Viewing Peaks Late in the Week. Half (49.0%) of mobile video ads are watched between Thursday and Saturday. Weekends see the highest completion rates.

- Click Through Rates Higher on Mobile than Non-Mobile. Click rates are higher on mobile than non-mobile devices, at 4.9% versus 0.6%.


Mobile devices are ubiquitous — they are in every purse or pocket, are seldom left behind when away from home and are usually the best way to contact someone. They are the most personal devices we own. Consumers’ constant connection to their mobile devices offers marketers a unique opportunity to deliver hyper-relevant information based on content, demographics, even location, in ways not possible on non-mobile devices.

During the second quarter of 2013, TubeMogul collected data on mobile in-app pre-roll ads bought programmatically, pinpointing the best days and times for marketers to target viewers.


Data for this report comes from top brand campaigns run through TubeMogul’s media buying platform in the second quarter of 2013, spanning millions of mobile pre-roll video ad views. Unless otherwise noted, data is from the United States and reflects an entire campaign’s lifecycle, which typically lasts 3-6 months. All time zones are localized.

Mobile Views by Time of Day

Views by time of day and device type: While viewing patterns are similar between tablets and smartphones, the gap starting at 7 p.m. suggests a tradeoff: viewers favor their tablets over their mobile phones during primetime (8 p.m. to midnight), which represents 25.7% of the day’s views.

Tablets: Views by time of day: iPad and Android tablets have similar viewing patterns throughout the day, reaching highs during morning and primetime hours. Interestingly, iPads peak  between 10 p.m. and midnight.

Mobile phones: views by time of day: iPhone users have higher views during the morning hours beginning around 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. as compared to Android users who have higher views during the evening hours. One exception is midnight, when iPhone viewers appear to watch videos before bed.

Mobile device completion rates by day and time: Completion rates are higher on weekends regardless of device type, averaging 52.2% on weekends versus 44.4% on weekdays. This suggests that Saturdays and Sundays are the best days for mobile video ads to run.

Mobile Views by Day of Week

Percent of mobile views by day of week: Most viewing peaks on Thursdays, representing 17.0% of all weekly views. Saturday comes in at a close second with 16.7% of all views.  Views drop at the beginning of the week and remain lower during the workweek.

Views by day of week and operating system: Views tend to be the highest on weekends, especially for Apple users. Saturdays and Sundays see the highest views while views are lower from Monday through Wednesday.

Mobile Interaction by Country

Daily mobile video ads available for programmatic buying

Mobile completion rates by country: Completion rates, while lower than desktop pre-roll, are clustered between 45-65%, with the US seeing 7.1% growth month-over-month.

Mobile click-through rates by country: Click through rates (CTR) tend to be higher for pre-roll ads viewed on mobile devices than for pre-roll ads viewed on non-mobile devices. Specifically in the United States, Australia and Canada, mobile video ads receive significantly higher CTRs, averaging 3.4 percentage points higher than their non-mobile counterparts.

In Conclusion

The positive changes in engagement with mobile video ads presents a great opportunity for brand marketers to reach consumers in ways not possible via traditional devices such as desktops and laptops. With data showing viewers are mostly engaged at night and on weekends, targeting opportunities are even greater. Marketers can now combine the power of video branding with the accessibility of a global market and a connection with consumers that is right in the palm of their hands.

For more information, contact:

David Burch, Director of Communications