BOSTON: A better viewing experience would drive greater consumption of video content on mobile phones, with larger screens the most important factor according to new research.

The annual Global Wireless Practice (GWP) survey for Strategy Analytics, the data analysis group, polled 3,041 individuals across China, France, Germany, Spain, the UK and the US and found three main issues holding back the uptake of mobile video.

In addition to the need for larger screens, cited by 42% of mobile phone owners, better quality video (35%) and a 4G network (29%) were also significant drivers.

Overall, some 72% of consumers watched video on their mobile phones at some time, but only 44% did so at least once a week and just 15% did this on a daily basis. The potential for further penetration appeared limited as just 8% of mobile owners that didn't currently watch video on their phone indicated a desire or intent to do so in the future.

The Chinese were the heaviest users, with 59% watching mobile video every week, compared to 40% of Americans.

Within Europe, Spain (52%) led the way, followed by Germany (41%), France (37%) and then the UK (35%).

In terms of the time spent watching mobile video, 40% of respondents said they viewed less than 30 minutes per week, while 22% viewed between 30 and 60 minutes. A further 21% were watching between one and three hours and 14% over three hours.

Most were undertaking this activity through mobile browsers rather than apps (70:30), and were three times more likely to do so via WiFi (68%) than a mobile network (24%).

Unsurprisingly, YouTube was a widely preferred supplier of mobile video, with 64% citing this provider, but Strategy Analytics also highlighted the role played by others.

"A significant share also ranked their phone brand and mobile operator favourably too," noted David Kerr, svp, Global Wireless & Digital Consumer Practice, at 27% and 22% respectively.

"Consequently, providers of video content must continue to see handset vendors and operators as key partners in the effort to drive mobile video consumption," he added.

Data sourced from Strategy Analytics; additional content by Warc staff