US viewers have a love/hate relationship with live streaming | Media Analysis | Business
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Just over two-fifths of US adults would only be willing to spend a maximum of $20 per month on streaming subscriptions this year, which, at current prices, limits subscriptions to just one or two per person.

twitter 31 jan 2018According to the Streaming Wars: Future of Streaming report from real-time IP video solutions provider Phenix, consumers’ strict cap on what they’re willing to spend is rooted in continuous poor live streaming experiences.

Given this, Phenix said that streaming players in the industry are going to need to stand out to compete for limited consumer dollars in 2018. Real-time streaming may be the answer to this, as nearly half (49%) of all consumers want to watch content as it happens. Whether it’s a fear of next-day spoilers, which one in 13 (7%) consumers report feeling, or otherwise, streaming in real-time is a necessity.

However, as many as 40% of Americans don’t plan to live stream this year, despite the hype surrounding it. Again, quality is an issue: about 12% of these consumers said they would be more likely to stream live content if latency wasn’t a consistent issue.

“This year, we saw everyone from platforms to networks to franchises heavily invest in streaming technologies. Even though the industry significantly advanced in 2017, claims of offering real-time capabilities are false, and it’s because of major latency issues, especially at scale,” said Stefan Birrer, co-founder and CEO of Phenix. “True-live has the potential to be such a key differentiator this year that original content is going to take a back seat to it, despite original content investments from tech giants like Apple and Facebook. In fact, consumers are already feeling a case of ‘content fatigue,’ so platforms need to worry less about churning out a new show every week and more about providing consumers with what they want – live streamed content that’s truly live.”

Interestingly, nearly a fifth (18%) of the respondents think there’s too much content to keep up with; while nearly one in six (15%) wish their content were all on the same platform.

Consumers who want to live stream content in 2018 would like to do so or plan to via Netflix, mainly (60%). This is more than any other platform surveyed, indicating the potential for it to close out the streaming competition once and for all. Other favoured platforms include YouTube (48%), Facebook (38%) and Amazon (37%).

Hulu only is preferred for live by 25%; despite having a live television offering, it is challenged by buffering issues. Twitter came in at 12%, despite streaming NFL games in 2016 and additional live offerings last year.

“Right now, most platforms that provide live-streaming capabilities offer either scale or speed, not both,” Birrer said. “Yet, offering both is the only way to create a real-time experience, as well as the only way for it to be a market differentiator this year and beyond. Once achieved, providers will be in a better position to win more subscribers and reach untapped audiences.”
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