Deceptive Numbers

Let this be a warning to everyone.  Don’t rely on what the media says, check the source material.  One word makes a huge difference.  A company named FreeWheel released this market study.  The Blog-o-Sphere and main stream media got a hold of it and publicized one statement.

In comparison to wired video viewing, consumers viewing video on their mobile devices is small and is currently driven by Apple devices, which make up 80% of all video views between iPhones, iPod Touches and the iPad. This majority reflects the number of these devices in market and their early dominance in the smart-device sector.

The report clarifies this statement further as

80% of wireless video views on FreeWheel systems take place on Apple platforms

But that media didn’t quite get to the clarification that this report is talking strictly about content made and distributed by FreeWheel clients and not the Internet as a whole.

FreeWheel provides technology to their clients so they can manage advertising sales rights as they syndicate and distribute their content across sites and devices.  They have a large list of clients.  Noticeably absent from this list are bandwidth champion Netflix and 3rd place YouTube which account for ~35% of all internet, mobile and wired, usage.

I contacted FreeWheel and a representative stated

This report was written based on 10B video views for the quarter, so you can safely assume we’re reporting on about 100M mobile video views of professional content in Q1 2011 (again, just professional video content, not user generated).

[The Report] states in both the overview in the beginning and the note about data at the end.  And is reflected in our customer set, all of which produce or distribute professional content.

we don’t touch Netflix

While the FreeWheel report does have a massive sampling of videos it is not a good representation of what sort content is watched on mobile devices.  Allot Communications released a Global Mobile Broadband traffic Report in which stated

YouTube continues as the single most significant website for video streaming and sharing, now accounting for 45% of the overall mobile video streaming traffic and 17% of the total traffic on mobile networks

With the massive gap in audience from YouTube,  Netflix, and all user generated content you can’t make the leap from what the FreeWheel report clearly states as

80% of wireless video views on FreeWheel systems take place on Apple platforms

to what the New York Times states,

the vast majority of video views that occur on mobile devices happen on Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Its just not a leap one can make.  Bad New York Times, bad.