While many news outlets are penning opinion pieces about Super Bowl LIII being a dud for both entertainment value and traditional TV ratings, Conviva has a different take: yesterday saw yet another win for streaming TV. The low-scoring game between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams could not be saved with a Bud Light – Game of Thrones surprise twist, John Legend’s Pampers jingle, or a shirtless Adam Levine. But streaming had a big day, as people tuned in to stream all at once Conviva measured more than 7 million peak concurrent plays. Streaming coverage of Super Bowl LIII set viewership records, with the game streamed across more platforms than ever, across 7.5 million unique devices, with more than 560 million total minutes of live game coverage consumed.
As highlighted in Conviva’s recent 2018 State of the Streaming TV Industry report, streaming, and in particular live streaming, has seen sizable growth: up 65% in 2018 vs 2017. Spikes are a significant factor in the growth of live sports, and tentpole sporting events like the Super Bowl draw massive live streaming viewership. Yesterday’s peak concurrent plays hit more than 7 million, blowing past the record-setting 5.5 million that Conviva measured in 2018. This enormous jump in a single year further illustrates that streaming is being adopted by many as the preferred method of viewership across all types of content.
The spikes Conviva measures in live viewership are becoming progressively larger, and they continue to make streaming TV delivery progressively more challenging overall. The more people who tune in at once, the harder it is to deliver a seamless stream. Historically, streaming has not been perfect experience, especially as live sports drives the stakes critically high to perform. Yesterday was a great example of a large spike in live streaming where overall quality outperformed both the benchmarks Conviva measures and, in many cases, the expectations of the audience.
If you’re still looking for something to cheer about after watching the game last night, the large streaming audience and lack of nail-biting moments viewers experienced with their streams is a great place to start. Streaming live events at this scale is a massive technological undertaking, especially with the added pressure of millions of eyeballs. When everything goes right due to many hours of preparation, redundancy, constant monitoring, and support, there are many great teams of people to applaud who quietly made this a win for streaming.