Advanced Television

Report: Streamers see surge in user engagement

August 10, 2023

Streaming services experienced a surge in daily engagement per user in the first half of 2023, reversing the downward trend that started in 2021, as competition between services began taking a toll on the amount of time that consumers can spend on each streaming platform. That is the main conclusion of video streaming SaaS specialist NPAW’s H1 2023 Video Streaming Industry Report, which also highlights how streaming adoption grew substantially year-over-year for major sporting events in the first half of the year.

The uptick in user engagement per service, measured in daily playtime per user and service, might signal some degree of market consolidation, with consumers focusing on a select few online video platforms. Another explanation could simply be an overall increase in streaming consumption.

Meanwhile, the streaming figures for major sports competitions continue to strengthen. The year-over-year increases in total plays, playtime, and unique users for events such as Wimbledon or the NBA Finals underscore the powerful engagement power of live sporting events. It also confirms the growing trend of sports fans shifting to online video platforms and away from traditional broadcast and satellite channels.

In the first half of 2023:

  1. For the first time since 2021, the number of VoD minutes that consumers watch per day, per streaming service increased globally (+4 per cent). This suggests that consumers may either be focusing on a few select services or that overall consumption is rising
  2. The global linear TV playtime per user and streaming service also increased by 3 per cent, reversing the downward trend that began in 2021 and confirming a potential industry-wide shift
  3. VoD consumers showed an overwhelming preference for episodic content, with episodes accounting for 60 per cent of the total global playtime while movies only captured 25 per cent
  4. The Quality of Experience for VoD improved globally despite bitrate stabilization as providers achieved a significant reduction in buffering times
  5. Global linear content quality improved in all key metrics, with a mixed picture at the regional level suggesting potential challenges in some areas
  6. Big screens, particularly smart TVs, continued to expand their dominance in VoD and, more notably, in linear content. On the other hand, small-screen devices lost share, particularly smartphones, consolidating their position as secondary streaming devices
  7. Sports streaming continued to grow as the major sporting competitions of the first half of the year saw substantial increases in streaming adoption and engagement compared to the previous year

“The first half of 2023 marked a potential turning point for the global video streaming industry as daily user engagement per streaming service began to increase for the first time since 2021,” said Ferran G Vilaró, CEO and Co-Founder of NPAW. “Access to deep, actionable data insights is crucial for navigating these changes and determining whether engagement will continue to increase.”

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