Advanced Television

Report: Daily per-service video user engagement declines

March 1, 2023

Findings from the 2022 Video Streaming Industry Report, by video business intelligence and predictive analytics specialist NPAW, reveal that although global streaming adoption continued growing overall in 2022, the myriad of content options launched in the past two years mean that individual services on average captured a smaller share of users’ daily watching time.

NPAW’s 2022 report examines the evolution of streaming consumption and quality of experience (QoE) trends on a global and regional scale.

The report concludes that in 2022, for the second year in a row, providers around the globe saw a year-on-year increase in the total number of video plays while daily consumption per user and service continued to drop for both VoD (-12 per cent) and Linear TV (-23 per cent).

In today’s hypercompetitive media landscape, sports content emerges again as a major driver of viewer interest, with the Qatar FIFA World Cup showing what live sports can contribute in terms of engagement. Meanwhile, viewing on big screens keeps gaining traction, while streaming quality of experience stabilises for VoD and continues improving for Linear TV.

Key takeaways:

  • The time each user spent watching VoD content on each service further decreased compared with 2021 (-12 per cent), demonstrating increased fragmentation and viewer choice, while viewers watched fewer titles (-7 per cent).
  • Daily Linear TV playtime per user and service took a big hit, declining by 23 per cent year-on-year while users watched 11 per cent fewer titles per day.
  • Global VoD quality stabilised, showing the fruits of significant cross-industry technology upgrades made in previous years. The Avg. Bitrate for VoD marginally decreased (-1 per cent), suggesting the beginning of a plateau in VoD video quality. Providers, keen to enable the best possible streaming experiences, focused on minimising buffering by proactively increasing the Avg. Join Time (so that more of the programme loads before the viewer can play). However, this resulted in higher Exit Before Video Start rates as users had more time, and greater opportunity, to disconnect before playback started.
  • Global Linear TV quality kept getting better, demonstrating how highly broadcasters and operators continue to prioritise Linear TV QoE, and suggesting that this upward trend will continue. Here, Avg. Join Time also increased, which, as above, suggests providers are implementing longer time lags to allow for higher-quality video to load in order to avoid mid-stream buffering.
  • Big screens are where users spent the most time watching content, gaining a bigger share of the total number of plays while that of small-screen devices decreased.
  • The Qatar World Cup 2022 provided a big boost in consumption, reaffirming the high engagement draw of sports content. Providers with streaming rights to the tournament enjoyed an increase of 80 per cent in the total number of plays and 83 per cent higher total playtime when compared with the previous six months.

“With competition growing fiercer by the minute, it’s business-critical for streaming services to provide the right content and a superior streaming experience if they want to attract and retain users and maintain growth,” said Ferran G. Vilaró, CEO and Co-Founder of NPAW. “To do so, they need to leverage their platforms’ data to the fullest extent, implementing advanced analytics solutions that combine technical performance monitoring and user journey insights.”

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