Poor streaming video quality now having major revenue implications | Media Analysis | Business
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Even though real-time content is now a huge differentiator for service providers, more than a quarter of streaming service users won’t pay for live content due to poor quality according to a study by Phenix.

phenix 5Oct2018 2
Part three of its Streaming Wars research series, The Streaming Wars: The Real-Time Differentiator, from the global, end-to-end real-time video solutions provider found that despite the potential of live-content offerings, more than a quarter (27%) of US adults who use a streaming service don’t think live is worth paying for yet due to consistently poor streaming quality.

The study, conducted online with third party research firm YouGov, also revealed that consumers have hesitation about the quality and access of live content, and are not only cautious about their money, but also their time, as more than half (53%) would abandon a poor-quality stream in 90 seconds or less. This said Phenix underscores how dire it is to offer content in real-time and focus on the quality and delivery of these streams now before it’s too late.

Indeed, the study underlines how delays and buffering are now beyond just inconveniences, they’re a complete turnoff and affect how consumers spend their money. More than a fifth (21%) don’t stream live content more often because they don’t want to deal with delays and buffering while 11% of those who use a streaming service use a platform that offers a live option but haven’t tried it. Nearly three-fifths of those who use a streaming service would be likely to switch platforms if there was an alternative with a better live option.

Yet what makes these findings more crucial and worrying for service providers is the fact that consumers are demanding quality streaming. Phenix stressed that the new survey shows how imperative it is to optimise back-end technology to win over those precious and limited subscriber dollars. More than a third of people said they would give a streaming video one-minute-tops to improve issues like lag time before giving up and turning it off.

Making matters more pressing were, as the survey showed, delays and buffering were not the only things holding consumers back from exploring live streaming. Almost a third of respondents fundamentally don’t want to pay extra to stream live content and nearly half of those who use streaming services aren’t willing to pay more than $5/month on live-content subscriptions right now.

“We’re in the midst of an industry shift, seeing live-content offerings surface from platforms traditionally known for streaming pre-developed programming, like Hulu and YouTube, with many more to follow,” remarked Phenix co-founder and CEO Stefan Birrer.

“Live has become the ‘survival of the fittest’ trait for streaming platforms...Real money is on the line – whether in the form of platform subscriptions or in the near future, betting (which represents $150 billion) – and a stream that lags behind makes it impossible to engage in the way that consumers need. Across all avenues, especially interactive content like sports and esports, ‘live’ can only become a true differentiator once we make it a real-time experience by removing delays and buffering. We need an industrywide technological overhaul to achieve the lofty sights we’ve set.”

The full report is available on phenixrts.com.