Advanced Television

Research: Mobile streaming frustrations growing

March 20, 2019

Frustration with mobile streaming video is persistent and on the rise, according to research by Penthera. The study found that mobile video viewers still run into issues such as having videos not start, rebuffering in the middle of play, and connectivity problems, even as usage continues to surge worldwide.

As more and more OTT viewers cut the cord, they demand on-the-go options but are less tolerant of technological and experiential shortcomings than they were even a year ago, according to the study.

Penthera reports that, surprisingly, frustrations have grown since the initial assessment in 2018 (from 81 per cent to 88 per cent in 2019). Even more noteworthy, the survey revealed that people are less tolerant of streaming frustrations in general, suggesting that as more providers enter the space, consumers have higher expectations for service. This year 43 per cent reported that they “accept” streaming can be frustrating, down from 50 per cent last year. In short, viewers are more frustrated as innovation for optimal experience has languished, and less likely to stick around and deal with their frustrations.

“Providers must take into account that connectivity is not a given for viewers. So the ability to watch video when connectivity is limited or non-existent isn’t a perk — it’s mandatory,” said Penthera Chief Strategy Officer Dan Hurwitz. “In fact, our survey shows it’s non-negotiable, and 59 per cent of our respondents said they expect video providers to offer a download option. You’ll not only fail to win new customers, but you’ll lose existing ones if you don’t get this right. This represents an immediate opportunity for VSPs to step up, innovate to retain happy customers, and find new ways to nurture their loyalty over time.”

Key Insights Include:

  • The most common frustrating experiences were video re-buffering in the middle of playback (59 per cent), video taking too long to start up (48 per cent), and annoying advertisements (48 per cent)
  • 69 per cent of those surveyed said that they stream video on their mobile devices at least weekly if not more often, compared to 52 per cent in 2018
  • 59 per cent expect a streaming service to offer a download option, while 2/3 said they would be willing to pay a premium for the feature


Categories: Articles, Consumer Behaviour, Mobile, Mobile TV, OTT, Research