Conviva, a specialist in global streaming media intelligence, has released its quarterly State of Streaming report for Q4 2019, revealing streaming viewing continues to climb – up 58 per cent year over year – as consumers are motivated by new streaming services like Disney+ and Apple TV+ and the convenience of on demand versus live streaming (66 per cent of global streaming viewing is now on demand).
Advertisers Still Struggling with Streaming Quality
Conviva analysed more than 11 billion ad attempts in Q4 2019 and found that while streaming ads are slowly improving in quality, the length of time a viewer must wait for the ad to start nearly doubled, going from 1.14 to 2.27 seconds over the span of a single quarter. As a result, viewers are more likely than ever to exit an ad, with exits before an ad starts surging 49 per cent. Conviva found ad buffering also remains an issue with a 48 per cent increase quarter over quarter.
In slightly more positive findings, 36.5 per cent of streaming ad attempts failed to play as intended in Q4 2019, down from 39.6 per cent last quarter. Ad start failures also improved, going from 35.7 per cent in Q3 to 30.8 per cent in Q4. Advertisers are also shortening their ads, with average time down from 38 seconds in Q3 to 26.6 seconds in Q4.
“From recent entrants like Disney+ to soon-to-be-launched services like NBC’s Peacock and HBO Max, we’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of streaming’s impact not only on consumer behaviour, but also on the multi-billion dollar advertising and entertainment industries,” said Bill Demas, CEO, Conviva. “As with any disruptive technology, growing pains are inevitable. The companies that win the streaming wars will be those able to offer viewers a fast, clear, reliable experience regardless of where in the world they live, or what device they use.”
Roku Radically Improves Performance; Continues to Lead Device Category
Roku, a company whose market share remained steady in Q4 2019 with 43 per cent of all connected TV viewing time, markedly improved performance in the past year, providing viewers with a more consistent and high-quality viewing experience.
In Q4 2019 Roku (as compared to Q4 2018):
Fire TV, the second-largest player in the device category with 18 per cent of the connected TV market, reduced video start failures by 15 per cent and buffering by 9 per cent. However, Fire TV’s video start times increased 15 per cent as compared with Q4 2018. Apple TV, which holds 9 per cent of the connected TV market, still leads with the fastest start time, but saw increases in both video start times and video start failures, up by 25 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.
Streaming Grows Internationally; Asia Ripe for More Streaming Adoption
Streaming is growing rapidly not just in the US, but also around the world. Streaming viewing is up 63 per cent in the Americas year over year and 65 per cent in Europe. Streaming growth in Asia is slower, showing just a 10 per cent increase year over year. However, it’s worth noting the connected TV market in Asia only accounts for 2 per cent in viewing hours, but netted 243 per cent growth year over year, as compared to growth on mobile or PC devices in Asia, which inched up just 11 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.
The Americas experienced the lowest rate of video start failures at .51 per cent, the lowest rate of buffering at .31 per cent and the best bitrate (picture quality) at 5.94 Mbps. Asia claims the world’s fastest video start time at 2.58 seconds while Europe lags behind in many quality categories, including the highest percentage of video start failures at 1.63 per cent.
Android Dominates Mobile Streaming Viewing
Nearly a quarter, 24 per cent, of all streaming time is spent on a mobile device, and Google’s Android phones represent the majority with a 60 per cent share of the mobile devices used. Google is followed by two Apple products—the iPhone at 26 per cent and iPad at 14 per cent share. This represents a 47 per cent increase year over year for Android phones and an 84 per cent increase for the iPhone.
Social Video Core to News and Sports Organisations
Compared to Q4 2018, in Q4 2019 news organisations created 23 per cent more videos on average across all social platforms as they leverage video on social platforms to boost audience engagement. Facebook in particular saw a sharp increase in live video content from news organisations as they posted 28 per cent more live videos on average. Facebook also saw a 125 per cent increase of average views per news video compared from Q4 2018 to Q4 2019. Overall, Facebook accounted for nearly 60 per cent of all video views by major news organisations on social media platforms in 2019.
Professional sports teams also enjoyed a banner year on social with a game plan of more quality over quantity, increasing their average cross-platform views per video by 33 per cent and engagements per video by 40 per cent despite posting 9 per cent less video content in Q4 2019 as compared to Q4 2018. Sports organisations saw the largest increase of average engagements per video (Q4 2018 vs. Q4 2019), growing on Instagram by 50 per cent and YouTube by 47 per cent. Instagram drove the most views for professional sports teams with 46 per cent of their total views during 2019.
Data for Conviva’s State of Streaming report was primarily collected from Conviva’s proprietary sensor technology currently embedded in three billion streaming video applications, measuring in excess of a 500 million unique viewers watching 150 billion streams per year with 1.5 trillion real-time transactions per day across more than 180 countries. Year-over-year comparisons were normalised at the customer level for accurate representations of industry growth. The advertising data included in the report is based on an analysis of nearly 11 billion ad attempts in Q4. The social media data included in the report is based on an analysis of more than 6.5 million social posts and 250 billion social video views across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.