Will Switch to Mobile Viewing Kill 4K?

by Hugh Brownstone9 Comments

Adobe Digital Index (ADI) report says online video viewing will overtake desktop by the end of 2016. Why bother with 4K?

Of course, “overtake” doesn’t mean “everyone.” And not every video we shoot is destined for the web.

But it really does beg the question: “What percentage of my work is going to be seen on devices where 4K — or 10-bit 4:2:2, for that matter – can offer a compellingly better viewing experience?”

Adobe’s CMO.com, publisher of the ADI, is aimed at “CMOs and senior marketers,” so the emphasis of the paper is advertising. But with this written, are the data any less relevant to those of us who produce the actual content?

Sure, we know that 4K down-rezing can lead to spectacularly sharper images – I remember clearly when the Panasonic GH4 first hit the street and test after test showed it — on the web at 1080p — eating much more expensive cameras for lunch.

And yes, shooting in 4K gives us more cropping options in post without losing resolution – but really, shouldn’t we be able to capture the shot we want in camera without having to resort to this?

I’m feeling a little Buffy The Vampire Slayer-esque at the moment to suggest such heresy (ignorance?), but there you have it: “that’s my suggestion.”

What do YOU think? [bctt tweet=”Will switch to mobile viewing kill 4k?”]

ADI: Mobile Quickly Becoming The Video-Viewing Platform Of Choice

Via CMO.com:

Adobe Digital Index (ADI) has released its “Inaugural Video Benchmark Report” (PDF), which, according to the data, predicts that online video viewing on mobile devices is set to take over desktop viewing by Q4 2016.

The implication for marketers, according to ADI, is that mobile video advertising could be a big opportunity in the near future, as consumer eyeballs increasingly flock to smartphones for video viewing.


In its research, ADI found that mobile viewing has steadily continued to increase its share of video views, with smartphone share up 75% year-over-year (YoY) in 2014, to 14%, and tablet share up 50% YoY, to 12%. This growth can be attributed to changes across the board from increased access to new mobile devices, to improved mobile connectivity and networks, to the sharp rise in mobile-friendly content, per ADI.


Additionally, larger-screen devices—such as the iPhone 6 and 6+—have given mobile video completion rates a boost. According to ADI the new iPhone release in Q4 2014 increased the percent of videos reaching the “halfway” point of 7% over Q3 2014.


Larger-screen devices are also increasing overall time spent viewing online video. This, too, is a big win for mobile video advertisers; it means more of their video ads will be seen. Smartphone viewers are spending 24% more time per month, quarter-over-quarter (QoQ). That said, it must be remembered that total time spent viewing video content on a tablet is still twice as long as time spent on a smartphone, while desktop time spent is 14 times longer, ADI pointed out.


“There’s no doubt that mobile devices are becoming a better environment for digital advertising,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst at ADI. “We already see that mobile cost-per-click rates are up as a result of the bigger-screen phones. These devices have a lot of benefits for mobile advertising from a pure real-estate perspective. We’re now seeing the same thing in video. People are watching more video via their devices, and the larger form factor is even driving them to watch videos all the way through.”

ADI’s report is based on 191 billion total online video starts and 2.67 billion TV Everywhere authenticated videos during 2013 and 2014. The analysis is comprised of aggregated and anonymous data from media and entertainment sites captured by Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime

Read full article at CMO.com “ADI: Mobile Quickly Becoming The Video-Viewing Platform Of Choice”


Note: it is our policy to give credit as well as deserved traffic to our news sources – so we don't repost the entire article – sorry, I know you want the juicy bits, but I feel it is only fair that their site get the traffic and besides, you just might make a new friend and find an advertiser that has something you've never seen before

(cover photo credit: snap from CMO.com)


  1. I’ve always said 4K is too much way too soon.  I don’t shoot for cinema or large screen venues so I’ve never had a client ask for it.  To be honest I’ve only had 3 clients specifically ask for HD….!  The general public doesn’t care about resolution just as long as they can get it easily and readily.  Only imaging professionals truly care about 4K because it’s so cool.  I’m not changing my workflow anytime soon to accomodate it.  I hope it dies and then experiences an all too necessary resurgence later on. But it won’t.

  2. I watch a lot of content on my tablet, and wherever possible watch the resolutions greater than HD, as it looks a whole lot nicer. My workflow has been 4K for a long time now. Going back to HD for me is like how watching VHS was compared to DVD after they had been around for a couple of years. 
    4K TV I think is a waste of time for the typical living room TV given the typical size / field of view of the normal setup, but that is becoming less and less of a way of consuming media. For a decent home theater or interactive media you just can’t beat it though.

  3. Antzkiwi This is interesting: 4K TV is a waste, but 4K tablet isn’t…I have to chew on that.

  4. HughBrownstone Antzkiwi I have a 32″ TV in my lounge, the difference between DVD and BluRay is only just noticeable at my normal viewing distance. However, I also have a 1080p projector for watching movies, and often wish for more resolution.

  5. John Brune 4k is the bomb…and if you don’t embrace it you will be left behind.  I still shoot most commercial things in 1080 but only because I dont have  RED or other decent CINE camera to do it.  My workflow is all 4k from my drone and some pocket stuff. If you see it on the screen compared to a 1080 people do go wow……that is sooo clear……and honestly it is a way better video.  The networks will still need to catch up but they are moving fast to do so……trust me……within 6 months it will explode…..

  6. ChrisWilcox1 John Brune Hey Chris… that’s what they said about BlueRay too… and it has “bombed” LOL. There’s no doubt that 4k downrezed to 1080 will be more detailed… but do people care? ESPN still delivers 720 to most people in the US… where’s the complaining about that? I just don’t see the huge outcry that people keep saying is coming ‘in 6 months’ – they’ve been saying it for years.

  7. planetMitch ChrisWilcox1 John Brune If you post on youtube or vimeo 4k is a must. Even here in Italy with only 6 Mb/s ADSL I can’t stand watching a video at 720. Even if I have to wait the buffer I want watch it in 1080. And if you see a video 4k resized in 1080 or a native 1080 well…. you can’t say it doesn’t worth it. Even if for the next 6 year people will not have 4k TV and youtube strem only in 1080 I will shoot 4k every time I’ll can.
    Sorry for my english

  8. planetMitch ChrisWilcox1 John Brune I don’t think BluRay has “Bombed” so much as just physical media is just going away in general. BluRay is still about 30% of physical media sales, and about 50% of the latest blockbuster titles. If I am buying anything for myself it is always BluRay, but most people do not buy BluRays for kids which makes up a huge chunk of the home video market.

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