Better Screens, Longer Content
Although shorter videos are the de facto standard
when considering producing online video, long-form
video still makes up the majority of content consumed
on all devices. This is likely the result of several factors. Our commutes are long. More of us are living in
urban areas and utilizing public transit. We’d rather
stare at a screen in front of us instead of the person
next to us. Mass adoption of self-driving cars is still
quite a ways off in the future, but it is coming. We can
expect to be able to stay glued to screens for virtually
the entire day when we don’t even have to put them
down for our drive time. Pixar’s vision in the movie
WALL-E isn’t sounding all that far-fetched now, is it?
Our screens are great, and they’re only getting better. The sharpness, vibrancy, and color accuracy of our
phones, tablets, computers, and TVs are phenomenal.
Viewing is easy on the eyes, so we can tolerate staring
at them for lengthier periods of time.
And speaking of those gorgeous screens, they’ve
not gotten much larger in 2017, but they have gotten a little weirder. Both the iPhone X and the Android-based Essential PH- 1 have the distinction of
screens that include a notch or cutout at the top and
bottom. Apple’s device is notable for the large, rectangular notch at the top. The PH- 1 has a much more
discreet notch, only large enough for the camera lens
to poke through. The largest segment of screen sizes, at 43.3%, is 5. 5"– 6". The second-largest segment,
at 29.5%, is the 4. 5"– 5" range. From 2016 to 2017 this
hadn’t changed much, but since 2014 we’ve seen a
massive shift. That year, we saw just over 30% of devices with screens measuring only 4"– 4. 5". Currently, the
5. 5"– 6" size is the biggest sweet spot for mobile users,
and don’t expect that to change any time soon. The
segment above, 6"– 6. 5", accounts for less than 2% of
devices. Looks like we finally hit the “phablet” ceiling.
Some phones are even getting display technology
that rivals our best TV sets. The LG G6 employs both
DolbyVision and HDR 10. The Sony Xperia XZ Premium also supports HDR content. Other mobile device
trends over the last year include water-resistant ratings in most flagship and higher-tier devices. Even
some lower end devices like the Motorola G5 Plus
have IPX2 ratings for moisture resistance. Given that
water damage is the second most common damage
to mobile devices, it makes sense that device manufacturers are investing in defenses against moisture.
5G Is on the Way
Across the U.S., mobile internet speeds have quickened considerably. In fact, according to Ookla, mobile
download speeds bumped up by 19.2% to an average
of 22.69Mbps. While this is a good improvement, it was
down from the previous year’s increase of 33%. Upload speeds only rose 4%, compared to 28% the previous year. So although our mobile network speeds
are still improving, the rate at which they are improving has slowed down. Chalk this up to what is becoming a nationwide saturation of 4G networks. T-Mobile
had the fastest network at 23.17Mbps, with Verizon a
close second at 21. 13.
Phones with larger screens, like the Essential PH- 1, are making it easier for consumers to
watch long-form videos on their mobile devices.
Some phones are even getting display technology that rivals our best TV sets. The LG G6
employs both DolbyVision and HDR 10 for high dynamic range video.