What Is Quality of Experience (QoE)?

In the modern era of digital entertainment, apps and streaming services have become an integral part of our daily lives. Whether you are binge-watching your favorite TV series, calling a taxi, enjoying a movie night, or shopping from the comfort of your couch, the quality of your experience can significantly impact your enjoyment. Quality of Experience, often abbreviated QoE, is a key part of running a successful digital platform, as it measures the overall satisfaction and usability of your app or video service as perceived by the end-user. It encompasses various factors that affect a user’s perception of the quality, including video and audio quality, buffering, responsiveness, and user interface design. Overall, QoE is crucial for truly understanding and improving user experience.

Why Quality of Experience (QoE) is Important

Quality of Experience is a cornerstone of success for app or video streaming services. It goes beyond just delivering content; it encompasses the entire user journey and significantly influences user satisfaction, retention, and the financial viability of the service. By prioritizing and continually improving QoE, apps and/or streaming services can secure their place in a highly competitive industry and build lasting relationships with their users. 

1. User Satisfaction and Retention

  • High QoE translates into a satisfying and enjoyable viewing experience. Satisfied users are more likely to continue using the service, renew subscriptions, and remain loyal customers over the long term. This leads to a stable and growing user base, a critical factor for a digital service’s long-term success.
  • A positive QoE may encourage word-of-mouth recommendations, attracting new subscribers through referrals. This can drive organic growth and expand your user base without the need for extensive marketing efforts.

2. Competitive Advantage

  • In a crowded market, with numerous apps and streaming options, QoE can be a significant differentiator. Conviva has developed cutting-edge, time-state technology that uniquely tackles QoE by promptly identifying and addressing performance issues in real-time, setting it apart from any other solution in the industry.
  • Services that consistently provide a superior viewing experience stand out and attract your users away from competitors with lower-quality offerings.

3. Revenue Opportunities

  • Subscribers who are pleased with their app and/or streaming experience are more likely to explore and subscribe to premium tiers, rent or purchase additional content, or tolerate advertisements.
  • Trusted by the largest B2C brands, the Conviva platform automatically identifies opportunities for enhancing service quality, aiming to maximize your return on investment (ROI). Higher user satisfaction leads to heightened user engagement and increased revenue streams for your service.

4. Reducing Subscriber Churn Rate

  • A poor QoE can frustrate your users, leading to subscription cancellations. Reducing churn is essential for maintaining a healthy user base.
  • A focus on improving QoE can help digital services retain subscribers and avoid loss of revenue.

5. Positive Brand Image

  • Consistently delivering high QoE builds a positive brand image, as your users associate the service with reliability and excellence. 
  • A strong brand image can attract new subscribers and foster loyalty and trust among existing ones. This positive perception can also attract partnerships and advertisers, further enhancing the service’s success.

6. User Engagement and Consumption

  • High QoE keeps your users engaged and encourages them to explore more content on the platform.
  • Longer viewing sessions and increased content consumption contribute to higher revenues through ad impressions and content purchases.

7. Data-Driven Improvements

  • Monitoring QoE metrics provides valuable data that digital businesses can use to identify and rectify issues promptly, make strategic decisions and drive operations.
  • This data-driven approach helps services adapt to changing user preferences and optimize their content delivery strategies, staying ahead of the competition.

Key Metrics of Quality of Experience (QoE)

Quality of Experience is a multifaceted concept that encompasses various elements that directly impact the satisfaction and enjoyment of your users when consuming video content. To deliver an exceptional QoE, app or streaming services must pay close attention to these critical components:

  • Video Quality: The most apparent aspect of QoE is the video quality. It includes parameters such as resolution, bit rate, and frame rate. Higher resolution and smoother playback contribute to a better experience.
  • Audio Quality: Good audio quality is equally important. It ensures that dialogue, music, and sound effects are clear and easy to understand with no distortion.
  • Buffering and Playback: Buffering measures how much time a video spends loading versus playing. If there are frequent buffering interruptions, it can be extremely frustrating to your user. A seamless playback experience with minimal buffering is crucial for a positive QoE.
  • Latency: Low latency ensures that actions such as clicking to play a video or skipping ahead occur instantly. High latency can cause a noticeable delay, negatively impacting user satisfaction.
  • Ad Experience: Advertisements are a common part of a digital platform’s service model. How seamlessly ads are integrated, their relevance, and their frequency can affect QoE.
  • User Interface: An intuitive and responsive user interface can make it easier for your users to find and enjoy content. A cluttered or confusing interface can lead to a poor QoE.

Factors That Affect Quality of Experience (QoE)

Digital providers must continuously monitor and optimize various factors to deliver a seamless and enjoyable experience, ultimately fostering user satisfaction and loyalty in a competitive market.

  • Network Conditions: Internet speed and stability play a significant role in QoE. Slow connections or network congestion can result in slow page loads, service failures, buffering, and reduced video quality. Higher bandwidth allows for higher-resolution and smoother streaming or app performance.
  • Device Performance: The capabilities of the device your user is using to stream (smartphone, tablet, etc.) can affect the overall QoE. Older or less powerful devices may struggle with high-quality streaming or large, complex apps, to provide a smooth experience.
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN): The efficiency of the CDN used by a streaming service to deliver content can impact how quickly videos load and buffer. With Conviva’s Operational Data Platform, you can gain valuable insights into exactly how CDN performance affects your audience. This is achieved through a comprehensive monitoring system that analyzes every facet of each viewer’s interaction on your platform.
  • Geographic Location: Content may load faster or slower depending on your user’s proximity to data centers or servers.

Differences Between Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS)

Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS) are two distinct but interrelated concepts that play crucial roles in the delivery of app or video streaming services. QoE revolves around user satisfaction and perception, while QoS focuses on the technical aspects of content delivery. Balancing both effectively is essential for providers to offer the best possible experience.

1. Focus and Perspective

  • Quality of Experience primarily centers on your end-user and their perception of the app or streaming service. It aims to measure the overall satisfaction and enjoyment of users. QoE takes a user-centric perspective, considering the subjective experience of your user, encompassing factors like video and audio quality, buffering, latency, ad experience, user interface, and content selection.
  • Quality of Service, on the other hand, concentrates on the technical infrastructure and network aspects of content delivery. It aims to ensure efficient and reliable content delivery. QoS takes a network-centric perspective, focusing on technical factors such as network speed, content encoding, CDN efficiency, and server performance.

2. Measurement and Metrics

  • Many analytics providers believe it’s impossible to measure Quality of Experience directly; instead, companies often rely on subjective assessments and user ratings, feedback, and surveys to measure user satisfaction. Conviva takes a completely new approach by allowing companies to build custom, stateful metrics that directly reflect how users are experiencing an app or streaming service. Examples include successful logins, successful purchases, choice of product or service, app bounce rate, screen load time, and many more.
  • Quality of Service is primarily measured through technical metrics and objective assessments of the service’s infrastructure and network performance. Key QoS metrics include network speed, server response times, CDN efficiency and data protection.

3. Importance and Implications

  • A high QoE is crucial for retaining your users, reducing churn rates and building a positive brand image. Satisfied users are more likely to remain loyal and recommend the service to others. A poor QoE can lead to subscriber dissatisfaction and a negative perception of the service, affecting user retention and long-term success.
  • A high QoS is essential for maintaining a reliable and efficient streaming service. It directly impacts the service’s ability to deliver content consistently and without interruptions. A compromised QoS can lead to technical issues, such as buffering, slow load times and service outages, which can result in user frustration and potential churn.

 

Differences Between Quality of Experience (QoE) and Audience Metrics

QoE and audience metrics serve different but interconnected purposes in the evaluation and success of app or video streaming services. QoE centers on individual user satisfaction, while audience metrics provide a broad understanding of the entire user base’s behavior, preference and journey. Both types of data are essential for providers to optimize their service and effectively meet the needs of their audience.

1. Focus and Perspective

  • Quality of Experience emphasizes the experience of individual users when interacting with your app or streaming service. It measures the subjective perception and overall happiness of your users.
  • Audience metrics focus on the collective behavior, engagement patterns, demographics and preferences of the entire user base or audience. They offer insights into the overall audience’s engagement and characteristics.

2. Measurement and Metrics

  • At Conviva, QoE is primarily measured through collection of comprehensive event data from your app or streaming service, which are then mapped to custom metrics that reflect key aspects of your business goals.
  • Audience metrics are collected through a combination of quantitative data, such as subscription numbers, view counts and demographic information. Data for audience metrics is gathered from analytics tools, subscription records, user behavior tracking, and demographic data collected from your entire user base.

3. Importance and Implications

  • A high QoE does not only keep existing subscribers engaged but also attracts new users, enhancing a company’s reputation and trustworthiness. A poor QoE can damage the reputation of the service. Users who have a negative experience may share their dissatisfaction, leading to a tarnished brand image and a perception of unreliability.
  • Audience metrics are essential for understanding your user base, tailoring content and marketing strategies and identifying growth opportunities. They help providers make informed decisions regarding content selection, audience targeting and service improvements. Changes in audience metrics, such as subscriber fluctuations or shifts in user engagement, can provide insights into the overall health of your app or streaming service and may necessitate adjustments in user engagement strategies.

 

Using Conviva for Quality of Experience (QoE) Optimization

Conviva helps to manage QoE by continuously monitoring and analyzing data for every user. It allows for early detection and fixing of problems before they affect your user’s experience. Conviva’s Operational Data Platform is a comprehensive solution that helps improve QoE by surfacing relevant performance and experience issues in real time, at scale. 

In summary, understanding and improving QoE can greatly contribute to the success of your app or streaming service. With Conviva’s Operational Data Platform, you can make sure your service is meeting and exceeding user expectations.

Get Started