Streaming viewing hours have grown 130% over the last year while the quality of service levels have improved dramatically in that timescale says research from Conviva.
The Q2‘19 edition of the online video technology company’s State of the Streaming TV Industry report collected from Conviva’s proprietary sensor technology that is currently embedded in 3 billion streaming video applications, tracking in excess of a trillion real-time transactions per day in more than 180 countries.
It found that the surge in streaming was driven by the connected TV category which was up 143% in viewing hours. This was largely driven by Roku with 173% growth and an overall 43% share of connected TV viewing. Amazon Fire TV was up 145% in viewing with an 18% share. Apple TV was up 129% to account for a 10% share.
TV posted 28.8 minutes of watch time per play and Conviva added that while the on-the-go nature of mobile viewership means such devices command fewer minutes per play – just 12 in Q2 2019 – mobile viewing still grew more than twice as compared with the previous year. Even though the analyst highlighted the fact that PCs have generally fallen out of favor for streaming in relation to connected TVs and mobile devices, they captured 15.1 minutes per play and still grew significantly for a 75% increase in viewing hours.
The survey also revealed that an industry focus on getting it right for live streaming had resulted in 13.9% less buffering and 25.6% faster start times than on-demand content, with near-equal average picture quality.
Conviva found that ad buffering remained a direct threat to content engagement with little viewer tolerance for ad quality issues. Streaming ad length averaged 24.87 seconds in Q2 despite a dramatic 70% increase in audience abandonment during spots over 20 seconds in length as compared with those who abandon during 10-second spots. The study calculated that the difference between a viewer making it past the 5% mark in a stream was the difference between 0.40% and 1.59% ad buffering on average.
News media led with the largest growth in average total video views, up 197% year over year with Facebook and YouTube seeing 15% more videos posted in this regard. Entertainment led in growth of views per video, up 99% on an annual basis.
“Despite extraordinary growth, streaming is still a nascent market,” said Conviva CEO Bill Demas commenting on the State of the Streaming TV Industry report. “As the data shows, audience appetites for content are on the rise with more ways to consume than ever before. Competition for mind share and market share is driving remarkable improvements and innovations industry-wide. Publishers, service providers, advertisers, social marketers, and brands are all expanding their focus to optimize every moment of the streaming experience.”
In a call to action, Demas noted that while the industry was in his opinion “nowhere near” a saturation point, it was imperative that both established players and new entrants recognized that every stream mattered and took steps to address all dimensions of their streaming media businesses.