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Common Functionality found in Video Services on iPad

Content recommendation appears in only 40% of the services we've looked at in our VUI Library research tool

You may be aware that as part of our VUI Library research tool we've been studying video user interfaces across platforms over the past few months. So far, we've looked at 57 different video services on iPad and I'm going to share some data with you about how those services are put together, the functionality that they use and how often that functionality appears.

25 Common Functions

To date, we've taken over 5,500 screenshots of 180+ video services from all over the world and across platforms. In the course of capturing these images we realised that video user interfaces (VUIs) shared a common toolkit of functionality. There are 25 functions that seem to appear again and again so that gave us an objective measure by which to score different video products. For each function that appeared we simply awarded one point.

By the way, you can read a description of each of the 25 common functions here.

Take a look at the screenshot below and you can see that Channel 4's '4oD' on iPad scored 16 out of 25 in our first round of benchmarking last August. However, you can now sign in or register to use the iPad app so when we re-benchmarked the service earlier this week, 4oD gained an extra point.  

4oD iPad Feb 2013

Functionality on the Platform Overall

So how often do these 25 functions appear across all iPad video services? You can see the full deck below but here are some highlights:

  • Less than a half of video services we surveyed have a 'Most Popular' section
  • Crucially, in terms of content discovery, only 40% of our iPad apps include content recommendation and only two-thirds have search functionality
  • Social sharing - the ability to share content with your contacts on Facebook, Twitter etc. - is on the rise
  • But personalisation features are not: users can set up playlists, for example, on only a fifth of iPad video services
  • Accessibility - subtitles, closed captions and being able to change text sizes - also only appears in one-fifth of services. 

iPad Video Service Functionality

I hope you find these figures useful. Three notes:

  1. Clearly, this is quantitative research but we'll be adding qualitative elements soon. In other words, we'll be asking consumers exactly what they think of these different functions, how often they use them and how important they think they are.
  2. We're continuing to add screenshots and benchmark scores to the VUI Library all the time. The data I've shared above mostly comes from our first round of iPad video service analyses last year. To get the most recent picture, I'd recommend that you subscribe to the VUI Library. Of course I would! Drop me a line if you want to find out more about it.
  3. We'll be publishing similar data about video services on Web and Android tablets over the next few days. Register with VOD Professional and we'll keep you posted.