Conviva, the intelligence cloud for streaming media, released its State of Streaming report for Q4 2020 today, showing a 44% increase in time spent streaming this quarter as compared to Q4 2019 – punctuating a significant year for the streaming industry. Big screens captured more than 75% of all viewing time in Q4, led by Roku with a 31% share of all TV viewing and followed by Amazon Fire TV (19%) and Samsung TV (10%).
“The way consumers view content fundamentally changed in 2020 with launch of new streaming services, the rapid adoption of smart TVs and connected TV devices and changing social behavior,” said Bill Demas, CEO, Conviva. “While the year was clearly defined by spikes in streaming viewing associated with COVID restrictions, the shift to streaming is anything but temporary and we anticipate global streaming viewership to continue to increase in 2021.”
Big Screens Dominate
The smart TV category drove much of the Q4 growth, experiencing a 157% year-over-year increase in viewing hours and nearly doubling in overall share of viewing time. Connected TV devices also tallied significant growth in viewing hours, up 38% year over year and earned nearly 50% share of global streaming viewing time. Connected TV devices did lose a small percentage of share for the second quarter in a row, dropping from 51% to 49.1% year over year, due in large part to the growing popularity of smart TVs.
Big screens also dominated in engagement. Television viewers watched for an average of 28.7 minutes each time they pressed play. Chromecast demanded the longest watch time at 35.5 minutes per play, followed closely by Roku at 33.3 minutes per play. In contrast, mobile phones tallied just 8.6 minutes per play.
Streaming Ads Continue Their Comeback
Q4 2020 built upon Q3 ad demand growth, showing a 34% increase in ad attempts and a 31% increase in ad impressions for the quarter. While quality issues continue to plague advertisers in terms of meeting all available opportunities, with 40.1% of ads not delivering as expected, the quality of ads that were delivered improved with viewers enjoying 14% less buffering, 4% higher picture quality and 2% less time waiting for ads to load. Despite data showing viewers are more likely to abandon longer ads, ad length increased 12% in Q4 2020, to 31.49 seconds on average.
Social Streaming – Engagement Rates Plummet, YouTube Draws Viewers
Cross-platform engagement rates dropped significantly in Q4 as compared to the same time the previous year. Entertainment and brand accounts saw the largest decreases, each down around 26%, while media and sports accounts were slightly less affected with declines of 22% and 18% respectively.
YouTube was the only social platform to tally an increase in audience share across the entertainment, media, brands and sports categories. Media and sports accounts saw the largest increases in YouTube followings with share increases of 5% and 5.4% percentage points respectively. Longer videos became more common on YouTube as well, with average video length increasing in sports, entertainment and media accounts by 60%, 59%, and 34%, respectively.
Data for Conviva’s State of Streaming report was primarily collected from Conviva’s proprietary sensor technology currently embedded in 3.3 billion streaming video applications, measuring in excess of 500 million unique viewers watching 180 billion streams per year with 1.5 trillion real-time transactions per day across more than 180 countries. Year-over-year comparisons were normalized at the customer level for accurate representations of industry growth. The social data consists of data from over 120 accounts, over 3 million posts, 778,000 videos, 84 billion video views and over 10 billion engagements across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Conviva is the intelligence cloud for streaming media. The Conviva cloud platform provides AI powered insights, software, services, and an extensive ecosystem of partners to support mission critical aspects of streaming businesses from audience engagement and monetization to quality of experience and churn prevention. Conviva helps digital businesses of all sizes around the world stream their best – including CBS, CCTV, DAZN, Disney+, Hulu, Sky, Sling TV, TED, Univision, and WarnerMedia – with solutions spanning quality of experience, advertising, content and social media. With a global footprint of more than 500 million unique viewers watching 180 billion streams per year across 3.3 billion applications streaming on devices, Conviva delivers amazing streaming experiences with unmatched scale across every stream, every screen, every second.