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Game of Thrones helps break streaming records worldwide

Show broke records four times during final season

Game of Thrones helped break records worldwide for streaming real-time content during its final season, according to new figures from Conviva.

The company’s State of Streaming TV Industry report said the show broke records four times, first on April 15, when it streamed in Asia, April 29, when it streamed in the UK, and May 13 and May 20, when the final two episodes were streamed in the US. These beat the previous record by 67 per cent, set in 2018 during the FIFA World Cup.

Issues such as buffering and start failures and delays pose a significant hazard for streaming ads, according to Conviva, which noted that 47 per cent of expected ad opportunities went unfilled because of technical problems over the past 12 months.

“Failures are amplified and particularly impactful considering the multiplier effect across subsequent ad breaks if a viewer tunes out due to a poor ad experience,” Conviva said. “In 2019, with new platforms vying for consumer dollars, focus on the entirety of the viewing experience will be an important factor in continued retention and monetisation of viewers.”

As streamers gain more and more information about viewers, the quality of the ads will become more important, said the report, which also recommended fewer commercial breaks to avoid viewer fatigue. The researcher also advised streamers to experiment with shortening the 30-second ad so characteristic of traditional TV breaks.

“With less time and fewer ad breaks to convert a viewer into a purchaser, the quality of each ad is paramount to carry out the promise of streaming to match the perfect ad to the perfect viewer,” Conviva said.