New breed demands better service from operators and publishers
London, UK, 13th June 2013: Despite 2012 being a year of great live content, UK video publishers and operators were only able to deliver a paltry quarter of it (23.5 per cent) at optimal quality. Disappointingly, this left online viewers with buffering and poor picture quality. The UK’s online viewing population is maturing, streaming content at least once a day (60 per cent watching on either a tablet or mobile) .Conviva, the global provider of video viewing experience optimisation solutions, predicts this new breed of viewer will lose patience with an experience that is less than TV-quality, which pressures UK publishers and operators to improve their services, or lose viewers.
Demand for Quality Online Video
With 31 per cent of UK viewers experiencing playback issues over the last 12 months, it is imperative for online video publishers and operators to address quality issues in order to grow their audiences across multiple devices. Conviva’s 2013 Viewer Experience Report, reveals that viewers watch 250 per cent more when they have an optimal experience defined as fast startup, little to no buffering and a high-sustained bitrate for high resolution and visual clarity. The demand for online video is reinforced by researcher eMarketer which states that by 2017, digital video viewers will account for more than 61 per cent of the population (40 million people). Conviva suggests that fixing quality has the added benefits of subscriber retention and ad revenue uplift, advice which has attracted customers including Virgin Media, Channel 4, HBO andESPN, to improve scalability and picture.
In 2011 a 1 per cent increase in buffering resulted in three minutes less of viewing time per view of long-form content. By 2012, that identical 1 per cent increase led to 8 minutes lost in viewing time per view for similar content. Clearly, viewers are becoming more intolerant.
“The opportunity for online video publishers and operators is unprecedented as the number of viewers watching streamed content is growing each month, especially premium and paid for video. By establishing an optimal viewer experience and arming publishers with Quality of Experience (QoE) data, we can help them leverage revenue opportunities and grow audience numbers. We find publishers are particularly interested in seeing how long each viewer watches and, more importantly, how often each viewer returns to watch more,” explains Hui Zhang, Co-Founder and CEO of Conviva.
UK vs Europe
Regional comparisons of viewer engagement from Conviva’s Insights platform reveals that Germany, Sweden and Norway have a better online viewing experience than the UK, with more videos being delivered optimally. In Norway, the Silverlight player gives the best experience –attributed to better network delivery infrastructure, optimal service by Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and investment from online publishers and operators committed to quality video delivery.
Devices contributed to a substantial proportion of quality degradation with Conviva’s analysis revealing three main facts:
– Quality on devices is roughly equivalent to PC-based viewing
– Mobile and connected TV are enjoying substantial growth in video viewership
– iPhone and iPad accounted for 12 per cent of the total online streams played globally during April, 2013
- iPhone and iPad overtook Android by 10 per cent which still holds a minority share of the online video audience, despite its ubiquity on mobile phone devices
Conviva suggests that by eliminating buffering and improving video quality across all devices, a typical premium long form Video On Demand provider, (with 10 million views per month) should increase revenue by just under £1.9 million monthly.
“With this in mind, content owners in the UK must address quality quickly in order to maximise revenue opportunities and remain competitive in a dramatically changing digital viewer landscape where content, quality, mobile and connected TV rule,” Zhang concludes.
Conviva is a global leader in pre-emptive video stream optimisation, ensuring the best viewing experience for leading media brands. By providing an ideal experience without buffering and stuttering, we keep viewers watching on any device, anywhere. Our clients include the world’s leading media, sports and entertainment brands such as Virgin Media, Channel 4, MTV, HBO GO® and ESPN. We make the streaming business more profitable by increased audience engagement. Conviva is based in Silicon Valley, with offices in New York and London. For more information about Conviva, visit: www.Conviva.com.
 Colin Dixon, Founder and Chief analyst with nScreenMedia, cites research from Rovi