The emergence of live-content offerings has the potential to serve as a major differentiator for survival in the crowded streaming market, yet more than one in four (27 per cent) of US adults who use a streaming service don’t think ‘live’ is worth paying for yet due to consistently poor streaming quality, according to findings in part three of end-to-end real-time video solutions provider Phenix’s Streaming Wars research series, The Streaming Wars: The Real-Time Differentiator.
The study, conducted online with third party research firm YouGov, uncovered that consumers have hesitation about the quality and access of ‘live’ content, and are not only cautious about their money, but also their time, as more than half (53 per cent) would abandon a poor-quality stream in 90 seconds or less. This underscores how dire it is to offer content in real-time and focus on the quality and delivery of these streams now before it’s too late. The report found that delays and buffering are beyond just inconveniences – they’re a complete turnoff and affect how consumers spend their money:
Previous research showed that consumers were willing to pay a maximum of $20/month on streaming subscriptions. Phenix’s latest survey shows how imperative it is to optimise back-end technology to win over those precious and limited subscriber dollars:
“We’re in the midst of an industry shift, seeing live-content offerings surface from platforms traditionally known for streaming pre-developed programming, like Hulu and YouTube, with many more to follow,” said Stefan Birrer, co-founder and CEO of Phenix. “‘Live’ has become the ‘survival of the fittest’ trait for streaming platforms, and recent updates like the Supreme Court’s ruling to legalise in-game betting shows how ripe the opportunity is. Many consumers don’t think ‘live’ content is worth paying for, however, and some haven’t even been willing to explore it yet because of everything they hear about regarding the poor quality from the media and more importantly, from their friends. Real money is on the line – whether in the form of platform subscriptions or in the near future, betting (which represents $150 billion) – and a stream that lags behind makes it impossible to engage in the way that consumers need. Across all avenues, especially interactive content like sports and esports, ‘live’ can only become a true differentiator once we make it a real-time experience by removing delays and buffering. We need an industrywide technological overhaul to achieve the lofty sights we’ve set.”
Offering sports is a logical entry point into the ‘live’ game, evidenced by Facebook’s successful debut with their MLB deal:
esports is exploding and provides an avenue for platforms to get into the live game. Of consumers who are aware of esports: