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By now, there’s little doubt that mobile is the future of video—look no further than your pocket for proof. Screens are getting larger, data speeds are skyrocketing, and “selfie” is now officially enshrined in our collective lexicon. Even CBS is cutting the cord. Crazy, right?

Maybe we should have seen this coming. After all, smartphone adoption in the United States has surpassed 60%, up from 36% just two years ago. Mobile download speeds doubled in 2013, and monthly data usage on mobile devices rose to 1.5 exabytes per month—50% more data than the entire internet used in 2000. But where is all this traffic going?

The mobile traffic monster

As it turns out, it’s going to YouTube and Netflix. Together the two companies account for a staggering 43% of aggregate U.S. internet traffic during peak hours, with YouTube reporting that nearly 40% of its traffic comes from mobile devices. YouTube continues to be the largest single source of real-time entertainment traffic (the leading category of mobile data usage), making it the leading source of internet traffic in the entire world.

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Mobile growth shows no signs of slowing down, either. In 2012, 4% of global video was viewed online; this portion grew to 15% by the end of 2013. Likewise, mobile ad spending has grown versus desktop spending: 2015 is projected to be the first year that mobile programmatic spending eclipses desktop. Cisco projects that mobile will account for 70% of all video by 2018.

What does this mean for your brand?

All these stats have real implications for your brand and business. In a recent study from Google, 98% of 18- to 34-year-olds reported using their smartphones daily to consume video (TV came in second, with 81%). Moreover, 18- to 34-year-olds were twice as engaged with video content on their mobile screens compared to television. The content consumption experience depends less and less on our cable boxes, especially for younger generations.

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What does all this mean? In the immediate future, it means you should upgrade your data plan. Once that’s finished, take a look at your mobile content strategy. If you’re concerned with what you see, contact [email protected]—we’re happy to help.

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