Once upon a time, people poo-pooed the idea that consumers would watch news video on their mobile phones. But data shows otherwise – and consumption isn’t always as “mobile” as you’d think.

“We’re up to tens of millions of users a month on mobile,” ABC News’ head of mobile product development Peter Roybal tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “This is a big operation for us – we’re doing millions and millions of video streams. People are watching video on their phones like we never thought possible two or three years ago. About a third of our iPhone app usage is through WiFi.”

ABC News’ just launched version 4.0 of its smartphone app with personalized news alerts going to a new inbox.

Roybal says that feature arose because the newscaster considers existing news apps “pretty stale”, and merely “lists of headlines”. So ABC News sought to “reinvent” news apps by adding extra personalization. Notifications connect up to breaking news stories in video. The new app also introduces a watch-and-read feature, softening the harsh line between text stories and videos by letting consumers play video whilst continuing to read stories.

“A couple of years ago, we hardly had video in our mobile suite – we’re trying to get it to as many pages as is relevant to tell a story,” Roybal says.

Watch the full interview for more.