Survey: Need for real-time QoE control among streamers

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A survey from Edgeware and streaming media expert Dan Rayburn has highlighted streaming TV providers’ limited visibility into their customers’ QoE and means to correct quality-impacting problems in real time. The survey, conducted in May 2020 with 250 leading broadcasters, OTT service providers, cable companies, publishers and brands, explores the video quality issues facing streaming TV providers’ customers and how QoE problems are currently diagnosed and solved.

The findings were unveiled by Rayburn and Edgeware’s senior director of business development, Peter Sergel, in the live webinar, Determining what impacts end user video quality the most.

For many streaming TV providers relying on third-party or multi-CDN distribution, it can be difficult to get real-time visibility and control of their customers’ video quality. Yet video quality remains one of the most important factors in retaining customers and securing their loyalty. To dig deeper into the factors contributing to these difficulties, Edgeware and Rayburn’s survey asked leading streaming TV providers about their priorities, challenges and abilities when it comes to solving video quality issues. Amongst other findings, the survey revealed that:

  • QoE issues are widespread: 73.2 per cent of participants confirmed that their customers have suffered from bad delivery at some point, with only 26.8 per cent saying that their customers have rarely/never suffered from a bad QoE due to content delivery issues.
  • A large percentage of customers abandon the service due to QoE issues: Almost 40 per cent (39.6 per cent) of participants said their customers make a couple of attempts to playback video and then eventually quit when experiencing QoE issues, impacting customer loyalty and brand affinity.
  • Streaming providers have limited QoE visibility and means to correct issues in real time: Almost 20 per cent (19.6 per cent) of participants know that their customers have QoE issues but can’t tell what impact they’re having on user experience, and almost 30 per cent (29.2 per cent) aren’t using any kind of QoE analytics solution. Despite 70.8 per cent of participants having an analytics solution, 55 per cent of them have no means to correct any quality-affecting issues in real time, implying that they have limited means to optimize video quality. 44 per cent of the participants believe real-time monitoring and management are key.
  • A ‘one size fits all’, manual approach prevails: 25 per cent of participants said they don’t shape streams / bitrates, so all users in all markets/networks get the same bitrates. In addition, more than a third (34.8 per cent) manually re-configure master manifests at certain events to reduce traffic, which can be resource-heavy and detrimental if left unmanaged.

“Video quality is a value parameter which enables OTT service providers to attract advertisers and audiences alike. So, when video quality is jeopardised, it’s essential to react quickly and fix it without highlighting any problems to the customer,” said Rayburn. “For multi-CDN distribution, the streaming TV providers which take advantage of a QoE analytics solution can strengthen their business.”

“We conducted the survey to better understand our customers’ position on facing QoE issues. With around half of the survey’s participants confirming that they would like to monitor and manage their infrastructure and viewers’ performance within 1-3 seconds, it suggests that many streaming TV providers industry-wide have a desire for real-time QoE insights and control,” said Sergel. “At Edgeware, we’re committed to providing the tools and resources to allow highly granular visibility and management of video delivery. That’s why we teamed up with streaming media expert Dan Rayburn on this project, who’s expertise, consultancy and industry know-how have proven invaluable.”


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