Concurrent streams spiked during the World Cup, eclipsing previous records by more than 2X, while quality improved across all key metrics.
Conviva, the real-time measurement and intelligence platform for streaming TV, has released its quarterly report on the state of streaming TV across all screens and platforms, examining both the quantity of viewership and quality of streams delivered. The report finds that, compared to the same time period in 2017, the global audience for streaming TV has more than doubled while crucial quality metrics have continued to improve. Some key takeaways from Conviva’s Q2 2018 report include:
- Streaming TV content consumption more than doubled over the last 12 months. Consumers are streaming more than ever, and growth continues to accelerate.
- The device landscape continues to evolve towards mobile and connected TVs. PC use for streaming TV is declining in favor of mobile devices, especially for short-form content, while connected TV platforms, led by Roku, are favored for long-form content.
- The quality of the streams delivered continues to improve for the most part, but there is still room for improvement. North America and Europe saw quality improvements across the board, while Asia lagged behind in both picture quality (bit rate) and rebuffering.
“The demand for streaming TV globally is growing at a stunning rate,” said Bill Demas, CEO of Conviva. “Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV are leading the connected TV charge with growth and share of engagement. We’re excited to share the impressive trends from the report that are continuing to accelerate year-over-year along with specific areas of improvement needed for successfully delivering high quality video to consumers.”
Conviva saw new peaks in both total and concurrent plays in Q2 2018, with a record-breaking 7.9 million people streaming the France vs. Argentina World Cup match concurrently on June 30 and a total of 5.5 billion viewing hours consumed during the quarter. This represents a 118% growth in peak concurrency and 115% growth in total plays from the same time period last year. These impressive figures highlight the importance of live sports, which represent the high watermark publishers must plan for through informed and targeted investments to continually upgrade their infrastructure.
Conviva also measures which devices are used to stream, and found that in Q2 2018 there continues to be a shift away from PCs (24% of plays) towards mobile devices (49% of plays), especially for short-form content. On the other hand, long-form content consumption has shifted toward larger screens via connected TV platforms like Roku, PlayStation, Xbox, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast, which accounted for 51% of total viewing hours.
Among connected TV platforms, Roku continues to emerge as a leader with 22% of all viewing hours and 8% of all plays. Meanwhile, Sony’s PlayStation, Google’s Chromecast, and Amazon’s Fire TV all showed tremendous gains, experiencing more than two times video consumption compared to the same period a year ago. Some of the growth comes at the expense of native TV platforms, such as Samsung’s smart TV, which have experienced year-over-year declines.
Conviva’s report also uncovered changes in streaming quality metrics like bit rate (a measure of the picture quality within the stream), rebuffering ratio (that pesky spinning wheel), video start failures, and how long it takes for a video stream to start. Despite impressive quality improvements, 3.1 billion plays out of over 20 billion attempts were still lost due to poor streaming quality. This translates to nearly one billion viewing hours of engagement that was not realized. When drilling down into regions, while North America and Europe’s quality metrics improved across the board, Asia’squality worsened in picture quality (bit rate) and buffering increased.
Conviva’s Q2 2018 report highlights the staggering pace of growth of the streaming TV market and how the delivery ecosystem continues to adapt to meet this growing demand. Conviva will continue to publish quarterly and annual reports to track progress and provide a unique view into this dynamic and ever-expanding global market.