User tolerance to poor streaming quality shrinking year-on-year | Media Analysis | Business
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The latest Global Streaming & Broadcasting benchmark report from Nice People At Work has found that even though the influx of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) and AVOD services has driven the popularity of on-demand content to a level unmatched by linear broadcasting, quality issues are still being encountered.
NPAW videoquality 28Aug2019
Data was collected using the YOUBORA video analytics solution for streaming services that sees use across more than 190 countries and virtually all video players. Within this report, NPAW said that it was exploring audience and quality data in order to assist players in VOD and live streaming to scale their business and drive their KPIs with data-informed decision making.

The report, looking at trends in the first half of 2019 found that VOD consumption was now almost double that of live consumption in terms of hours consumed. Yet despite improving infrastructure when it comes to live sports and broadcasting, users were 50% more likely to receive an error during live content than VOD content. As a consequence, user tolerance to poor streaming quality was shrinking year-on-year and while standards are improving, the buffer ratio was still 51% higher for VOD content than live content.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of the total video hours consumed were through VOD content, as opposed to just over a third (36%) of plays being for live content. The average effective playtime across all device and streaming types was 9.8 minutes. This number is lower than previous years, largely due said NPAW to the growing popularity of mobile video consumption. It added that shorter videos and a vast array of content has created an audience which will change to a different video without hesitation. The average view time of live content is 20% longer than VOD content, coming in at 11.1 minutes and 9.2 minutes respectively.

When it came to devices, smartphones were the most popular option (27%), with both TV and PC close behind (21%). While it said that the devices taking the top three spots were predictable, NPAW added that for smartphones to have such a commanding lead over the two historically popular choices was a telling sign of the future and how users were changing their consumption habits as technology adapts. Tablet were also found to have a strong position (13%), having beaten both set-top boxes (9%) and consoles (2%) for fourth spot.

Looking at devices best suited for new video consumption, NPAW suggested that the growing demand for device versatility within streaming services was creating unwanted errors and a lower quality of experience in regards to join times and early user exits.

The survey showed that STBs produced the highest number of errors per play (0.181 errors per play) and smartphones produced the lowest amount (0.068 errors per play) with both of these devices taking up 30% of total consumption. Despite the unpopularity of consoles (2%), their average effective playtime (23.6 minutes) and average completion rate (55.6%) was the highest of any device. TV also performs very well when it comes to keeping eyes glued to screens with an average effective playtime of 21.3 minutes and completion rate of 42.5%.

Compared with the five other most popular devices, a user consuming content through a video game console was five times less likely to exit before the video starts (EBVS). Despite being the device with the most usage (29%), smartphones had the lowest average session time at 5.3 minutes and the highest buffer ratio (1.2%).

In a call to action, NPAW said that errors were a key indicator of faults within video delivery system and something any successful streaming service will need to monitor in real-time to guarantee a smooth experience.