Nielsen launches mobile video performance testing tool

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Global performance management company Nielsen has launched Nielsen Mobile Video Performance, which it says is the industry’s first and most complete video performance evaluation solution for IP-based video content delivery, aiming to provide clear understanding of network performance impacting consumer experiences.

Developed for mobile operators, Internet service providers, device manufacturers and content providers, Nielsen Mobile Video Performance evaluates streaming video quality on mobile and WiFi networks, benchmarks data across the industry and rates individual players on the factors which contribute most to positive customer experiences.

According to the first quarter 2017 Nielsen Total Audience Report, monthly US video consumption on smartphones jumped 81.5 per cent year-over-year from 151 minutes in 2016 to 274 minutes in 2017. With mobile video viewing on the rise, the quality of the video experience is more important than ever. Companies that can consistently provide better streaming experiences than competitors have a distinct advantage in the fierce battle for subscriber acquisition and retention.

Nielsen Mobile Video Performance focuses on four key performance indicators that can make – or break – the video experience in the eyes of connected consumers:

  • Video resolution: Percent of viewing time in different viewing resolutions ranging from mobile (Low Definition) to HD (High Definition)
  • Start-up time: The number of seconds it takes for video to load and play
  • Rebuffering: The total duration in seconds that the video stalls during playback
  • Video success rate: Ability to launch and play a video in 60 seconds

Nielsen Mobile Video Performance leverages a panel of 70,000 US-based participants to conduct a combination of active and passive video tests on mobile devices around the country. Nielsen’s passive testing method captures critical data on daily consumer mobile usage including network speeds of popular video platforms. Proprietary active testing techniques focus on the delivery and execution of pre-selected content centring on resolution, start-up-time and stalls. Combined, these tests provide mobile operators, Internet service providers, device manufacturers and content providers a holistic view of network performance by region, consumer consumption intelligence as well as marketing insights to maximise ROI, inform product development and refine market segmentation.

“With the growth in mobile video usage, operators need to know how well they are meeting consumer demand,” said Mike Greenawald, Senior Vice President of Nielsen Service Quality. “Our initial results point to some wide variances in the ability to deliver high quality video content consistently. As the industry’s first solution to evaluate video performance using active and passive techniques, mobile operators will now have the advantage of translating the benefits of fast speeds into high-quality consumer experiences.”

According to data gathered by Nielsen, the industry’s most notable mobile operators deliver HD (720p or greater) quality video 69 per cent of the time. By contrast, services at the opposite end of the spectrum deliver HD quality video only 39 per cent of the time. With the industry average at 53 per cent, Nielsen Mobile Video Performance solution identifies which players are over-delivering and those that are heavily under-performing high-quality video experiences.

Diving deeper, Nielsen Mobile Video Performance data, based on 120,000 tests conducted on mobile devices from September through October 2017, reveals the following:

  • Consumers in Orlando, Portland and Seattle enjoy the best video viewing experiences, receiving HD video more often than consumers in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • Consumers in Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Houston actually receive HD video less often than the national average.

By providing an understanding of how mobile operators measure up against competitors and industry benchmarks in addition to how well they work in specific locations and on individual devices, Nielsen Mobile Video Performance enables customers to focus network, product and partnership initiatives effectively as well as highlight key benefits in marketing efforts. Using this intelligence, the mobile industry can directly address slow video load times, rebuffering and playback failure, which is a critical step to increasing video consumption and usage.


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