Live content drives 165% surge in streaming TV viewership in Q4 2108 | Media Analysis | Business
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Research from real-time measurement and intelligence platform provider Conviva has revealed that the growing importance of real-time news, current events and live sports have acted as drivers of a huge spikes in streaming viewership.
conviva 30Jan2019
In its 2018 Annual State of the Streaming TV Industry report, Conviva says that the report sheds new light on market dynamics and challenges in context of skyrocketing consumption, growing consumer impatience, spikes in global live viewership, and shifting device preference. It adds that greater expectations and increased choice are driving impatience, with viewer abandonment rates increasing fastest where viewers most accustomed to a traditional TV experience.

Across Conviva's customer base, 2018 saw 89% growth in overall viewing hours for the year, including 165% growth in the final quarter of the year. With this growth, Conviva said that it had observed the convergence of heightened viewer expectations and waning patience.

The research also showed that a global 7% year-over-year increase in the rate of abandonment translated to 14.6% of viewers leaving before their video started. The effect was amplified when viewers faced delays in situations where they expected the experience of traditional TV viewing, such as on connected TVs, watching live content, and via content aggregators and vMVPDs such as Hulu, Sling, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now. Conviva stated that as the number of viewing hours increases in this progressively more complex landscape, this is a trend that will be critical to watch and address.

The study measured live content increasing 65% in viewing hours, driving significant growth in global streaming. While it noted that such growth was not on the scale of VOD which was up 111% in the same time period, live content accounted for the largest global surges in viewership throughout 2018. Key drivers identified among viewers were fear of missing out propelled viewers to increasingly turn to streaming for anywhere, anytime updates on news, hot topics, and sports which moved the needle at a global scale. Connected TVs represented 56% of all streaming viewing hours for the year, emerging as the device of choice for the majority of viewers, with connected TV viewing hours rocketing 121%.

Double-digit spikes in worldwide streaming consumption were recorded during coverage of political events including the US midterm election, the World Cup, NFL Football, March Madness, and the Masters Golf Tournament. Conviva added that despite increasing appetite and overall improvements in quality, expectations grew faster than progress. The research highlighted that in 2018, 16.7% of viewers exited before the video started for live content, up significantly from 11.2% in 2017. With live events, the stakes are critically high while peak traffic makes it more difficult than ever to deliver a high-quality streaming experience.

“Live events have a way of connecting us on both a local and a global scale. The ability to watch and be a part of exciting news, sports, and other developments as they're happening is attracting viewers in droves,” said Conviva CEO Bill Demas commenting on the 2018 Annual State of the Streaming TV Industry report. “The real-time demands of streaming mean that providers who remain vigilant and have visibility into every aspect of the viewer experience will win the loyalty of their viewers. As streaming becomes a bigger part of their everyday lives, viewers continue to migrate toward devices and services that offer those best-in-class experiences.With more options emerging, their expectations are higher than ever."