Study: Connected TVs favoured for OTT sports

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According to the Q3 Video Index from video cloud services provider Brightcove, sports content is steadily moving into a major role among streamers, with viewers watching on every device, in and out of the home.

The report analyses hundreds of millions of recent data points from Brightcove’s media customers globally to provide insights into how viewers are watching video content, which devices they are using, and what types of content they are consuming across these various devices.

Brightcove notes that a recent survey from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found 56 per cent of consumers said they’d pay more for a streaming channel than their current pay-TV sports offering.

Furthermore, Brightcove found strong global consumption growth in streamed sports content, with more than half (54 per cent) of sports content views beginning on smartphones globally, up 49 per cent from a year ago.

“Sports rights are among the most expensive video rights in the world today, but that’s not stopping streaming services from going after them aggressively,” notes Jim O’Neill, Principal Analyst, Brightcove, and author of the Q3 2019 Global Video Index. “With sports content becoming a fan favourite to view on all devices, streaming services understand they must evolve alongside consumers’ viewing habits and expectations to keep viewers’ attention. In Q3, for example, we saw streaming views on smartphones increase 46 per cent year-over-year, with connected TVs close behind at 34 per cent.”

The data shows viewers watch sports content on all devices, with smartphones getting 54 per cent of all sports video views. Other findings the report uncovered include:

  • Completion rates hover near 42 per cent on smartphones, the lowest for any device — an indication that mobile devices are used primarily to ‘touch base’ with an event, check scores, watch highlights, and the like.
  • Computers account for 40 per cent of sports viewing and have a completion rate of 60 per cent, which is the second-best of all devices.
  • Only 6 per cent of video views are on tablet devices, and that’s after a 31 per cent increase in views in Q3, and a 41 per cent increase in Q2. Tablets have a completion rate just slightly higher than smartphones (45 per cent).
  • Connected TV views made up less than 1 per cent of all sports video views, completion rates are the highest among all devices (68 per cent), and average viewing minutes are 4x higher than any other device.

Furthermore, the length of content also impacts completion rates. Connected TVs see the highest completion rates in medium-form content (75 per cent), followed by short-form content (71 per cent), long-form content (66 per cent), and lastly, ultra-long-form content (36 per cent). While the report’s findings show that bigger screens lead to higher completion rates, every device’s completion rates exceed 30 per cent for all content lengths.

“Sports content is not the only content that saw year-over-year gains, we saw increases in video views across every device and in nearly every region,” reports O’Neill. “Time spent watching video was up; video completion was up and, regionally and globally video engagement was up. Simply put, over-the-top video is centre stage, something content owners and distributors need to focus on — especially if they hope to attract younger viewers.”


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