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Streaming quality on the rise

Video start failures down 10 per cent since 2018

Video quality is improving on streaming platforms, particularly over mobile and PCs, according to Conviva’s Q3 2019 State of Streaming report.

On a year-to-year comparison, video quality overall improved for streaming, with video start failures down 10 per cent, video start times occurring 6 per cent faster, there is 33 per cent less buffering and the picture quality, which is based on bitrate, 3 per cent better. Streaming on PCs had the most consistent improvement, seeing 17 per cent fewer video start failures, 23 per cent faster video start times and 26 per cent less buffering. Mobile’s biggest gain was the decrease in buffering (34 per cent), but video start failures and start times improvements were smaller (down 2 and 4 per cent, respectively).

However, the quality of video ads did not see improvement in Q3. Conviva found that 39.6 per cent of all streaming ad attempts failed, while it could take up 16.1 seconds for an ad to start and there was 45.9 per cent ad buffering. Between 9 and 20 per cent of viewers dropped a stream when an ad popped up. After four ads, 54 per cent of audiences would drop, however not in sports, as viewers became less likely to drop after the first ad.

Overall, Conviva found that the amount of time spent streaming in Q3 was up 53 per cent over the same period last year, the majority of which (63 per cent) is on-demand over TVs, PCs and mobile devices.

Additional findings included NFL fans making moves toward streaming for game action. Q3 saw a 77 per cent increase in streaming plays and 50 per cent in time overall. Mobile saw the largest growth at 109 per cent, while TV came in at 66 per cent growth; PCs saw a decline of 11 per cent. Mobile viewing is mostly just to watch game highlights, while streaming through social media varies on platform depending on what team someone is a fan of.

Roku also was the leading device for streaming (44 per cent of market share), but Amazon Fire TV saw the largest growth rate for viewing time at 78 per cent.

“Streaming is quickly becoming the new normal,” said Bill Demas, Conviva CEO. “As a result, we will continue to see new upstarts in the category accompanied by traditional media companies and big brand advertisers embracing the potential of the market. This is an industry undergoing massive growth and what happens in the next 18 months will shape what, how and when we watch content in the future.”

The full report can be found here.