Streaming viewing climbs up 58% YoY but ad quality struggles: Conviva

MUMBAI: Conviva, which offers global streaming media intelligence has released its quarterly State of Streaming report for Q4 2019 across over 180 countries. Streaming viewing continues to climb – up 58% year over year – as consumers are motivated by new streaming services like Disney+ and Apple TV+ and the convenience of on-demand versus live streaming (66% of global streaming viewing is now on-demand).

Streaming Grows Internationally; Asia Ripe for More Streaming Adoption

Streaming is growing rapidly not just in the US, but also around the world. Streaming viewing is up 63% in the Americas year over year and 65% in Europe. Streaming growth in Asia is slower, showing just a 10% increase year over year. However, it’s worth noting the connected TV market in Asia only accounts for 2% in viewing hours, but netted 243% growth year over year, as compared to growth on mobile or PC devices in Asia, which inched up just 11% and 6% respectively.

Advertisers Still Struggling with Streaming Quality: Conviva analysed more than 11 billion ad attempts in Q4 2019 and found that while streaming ads are slowly improving in quality, the length of time a viewer must wait for the ad to start nearly doubled, going from 1.14 to 2.27 seconds over the span of a single quarter. As a result, viewers are more likely than ever to exit an ad, with exits before an ad starts surging 49%. Conviva found ad buffering also remains an issue with a 48% increase quarter over quarter.

In slightly more positive findings, 36.5% of streaming ad attempts failed to play as intended in Q4 2019, down from 39.6% last quarter. Ad start failures also improved, going from 35.7% in Q3 to 30.8% in Q4. Advertisers are also shortening their ads, with average time down from 38 seconds in Q3 to 26.6 seconds in Q4.

“From recent entrants like Disney+ to soon-to-be-launched services like NBC’s Peacock and HBO Max, we’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of streaming’s impact not only on consumer behavior, but also on the multi-billion dollar advertising and entertainment industries. As with any disruptive technology, growing pains are inevitable. The companies that win the streaming wars will be those able to offer viewers a fast, clear, reliable experience regardless of where in the world they live, or what device they use,” said Conviva CEO Bill Demas.

Roku Radically Improves Performance; Continues to Lead Device Category: Roku, a company whose market share remained steady in Q4 2019 with 43% of all connected TV viewing time, markedly improved performance in the past year, providing viewers with a more consistent and high-quality viewing experience.

Fire TV, the second-largest player in the device category with 18% of the connected TV market, reduced video start failures by 15% and buffering by 9%. However, Fire TV’s video start times increased 15% as compared with Q4 2018. Apple TV, which holds 9% of the connected TV market, still leads with the fastest start time, but saw increases in both video start times and video start failures, up by 25% and 19% respectively.

The Americas experienced the lowest rate of video start failures at .51%, the lowest rate of buffering at .31% and the best bitrate (picture quality) at 5.94 Mbps. Asia claims the world’s fastest video start time at 2.58 seconds while Europe lags behind in many quality categories, including the highest percentage of video start failures at 1.63%.

Android Dominates Mobile Streaming Viewing: Nearly a quarter, 24%, of all streaming time is spent on a mobile device, and Google’s Android phones represent the majority with a 60% share of the mobile devices used. Google is followed by two Apple products—the iPhone at 26% and iPad at 14% share. This represents a 47% increase year over year for Android phones and an 84% increase for the iPhone.

Social Video Core to News and Sports Organizations: Compared to Q4 2018, in Q4 2019 news organisations created 23% more videos on average across all social platforms as they leverage video on social platforms to boost audience engagement. Facebook, in particular, saw a sharp increase in live video content from news organizations as they posted 28% more live videos on average. Facebook also saw a 125% increase in average views per news video compared from Q4 2018 to Q4 2019. Overall, Facebook accounted for nearly 60% of all video views by major news organizations on social media platforms in 2019.

Professional sports teams also enjoyed a banner year on social with a game plan of more quality over quantity, increasing their average cross-platform views per video by 33% and engagements per video by 40% despite posting 9% less video content in Q4 2019 as compared to Q4 2018. Sports organizations saw the largest increase of average engagements per video (Q4 2018 vs. Q4 2019), growing on Instagram by 50% and YouTube by 47%. Instagram drove the most views for professional sports teams with 46% of their total views during 2019.

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