Study: OTT device use, big regional differences

Findings from streaming video infrastructure technologies provider Bitmovin suggest significant regional differences among the most popular OTT devices, including Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Roku.

The survey of 380 video developers in more than fifty countries, analysed what kinds of platforms and video infrastructure technologies developers are using to provide the best content experiences to consumers.

The disruptive video streaming market is expected to reach $83.41 billion by 2022, and major platforms are competing for the rising tide of cord cutters. Consumers are driven towards platforms that generate the best content, with Bitmovin suggesting its survey data is significant as it suggests which platforms are poised to enhance their content experiences and in turn, attract more consumers. Though it may be perceived to be an afterthought in the market, Roku is the second most targeted OTT device after Apple TV in North America. That, plus the recent news of its IPO, might suggest that Roku is actually poised to be a strong contender against Google and Apple in the streaming wars.

OTT Platforms Targeted by Developers

North America

  • Apple TV is the dominant OTT device amongst developers with an impressive 38 per cent adoption
  • Roku follows closely behind with 35 per cent adoption
  • Google Chromecast falls in third place with 31 per cent adoption
  • Amazon Fire has the least traction in this region with 24 per cent adoption by video developers

EMEA

  • Google Chromecast is the dominant OTT device with 37 per cent adoption
  • Apple TV comes in second with 27 per cent adoption
  • Amazon Fire retains a relatively high level of traction with 15 per cent adoption
  • Roku has a low level of traction with only 8 per cent adoption

APAC

  • Google Chromecast is targeted by the majority of video developers in this region with 41 per cent adoption
  • Apple TV follows closely behind with 34 per cent adoption
  • Both Amazon Fire and Roku have low levels of adoption, each with 19 per cent adoption

Latin America

  • Google Chromecast remains the dominant OTT device targeted by developers in Latin America with 47 per cent adoption
  • The next most popular device is Roku with 32 per cent adoption
  • Apple TV follows with 21 per cent adoption
  • Amazon Fire has a significantly low level of traction with only 5 per cent adoption

Apple Drives the Trend Towards the Next Generation of HEVC Video Codec

  • Nearly all of the video developers surveyed use H.264/AVC codec at 95 per cent adoption; however, the survey results also suggest an increase in the adoption of the new and more efficient H.265/HEVC video codec over the next year.
  • 28 per cent of video developers have already adopted HEVC and an impressive 40 per cent of developers plan to use HEVC in the next six months.

More video developers look to adopt HEVC in response to Apple’s support for HEVC on the new iOS 11 and MacOS High Sierra, and Bitmovin suggests that a future of faster video loading times and higher video quality in mobile applications can be expected. With an estimated 2 billion users of mobile video by the end of 2022, video developers will benefit most from the video technologies that are adaptable for mobile delivery.

More Video Developers Look to Use MPEG DASH In the Next Twelve Months

  • Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) is currently the most popular streaming format; however, 31 per cent of video developers look to use MPEG dash in the next twelve months.
  • This trend is likely due to the fact that MPEG-DASH is required for Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection across a different browsers and platforms, reported as the biggest challenge for 27 per cent of the video developers surveyed. Interestingly, 45 per cent of respondents already have some form of DRM or encryption system in place.

AAC Dominates, But MP3 Remains The Audio Codec Choice for Some Video Developers

  • The survey results show Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) as the dominating format with 90 per cent adoption.
  • An impressive 43 per cent of video developers still use the older MP3 codec which may be the result of MP3 being used for HLS streams, older Smooth Streaming or RTMP streams or audio-only progressive streams.

The Biggest Challenges for Video Developers

According to the survey data, nearly half of video developers claim that the biggest problem they currently face is getting playback to run on all devices, followed by issues on main platforms and devices. These challenges are not surprising given that 89 per cent of video developers currently use the HTML5 format, which is necessary as Flash gets blocked by more and more browsers but at the same time, HTML5 has not yet matured to deliver a smooth user experience across the increasing number of browsers and platforms.

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