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Mobile Video Users, Usage Is Exploding in U.S.

Number of people watching video on their phones rose 40 percent during second half of 2010

The number of Americans watching video on their phones skyrocketed during the second half of last year — as did the amount of video they watched.

So says a new "State of the Media" mobile usage report, published by Nielsen on Wednesday.

According to the report, the number of U.S. mobile subscribers watching video on their smartphones rose more than 40 percent year-over-year during the third and fourth quarters of 2010 — ending the year at 25 million. They watched an average of 4 hours and 20 minutes of mobile video per month during that period.

While that might not sound like a lot, it amounted to increases of 33 percent and 20 percent, respectively, during the third and fourth quarters.

The report attributes the jump in users and usage to more smartphones — 23 percent of all Americans had them at the end of 2009, while 31 percent did to close 2010 — and the proliferation of those mobile video apps Hollywood has been salivating over.

Perhaps not surprisingly, teens between the ages of 13 and 17 watch the most mobile video, averaging just less than 8 minutes per month. The average time spent watching mobile video per month decreases as age increases — something most people who use public transportation can attest to.

Black and Latinos spend less time watching mobile video than whites on average, according to Nielsen.

Click here for a PDF of the report.