UK, France witness binge-watching surge as global streaming steams on | Media Analysis | Business
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The latest Limelight Networks State of Online Video report has revealed that global online video viewing has reached an all-time high of six hours, 48 minutes a week, with 82% of people who watch online video reporting binge-watching.

limelight 25Oct2019The survey found that overall, consumers are investing more money in online video services. Just over three-quarters (78%) of UK consumers subscribe to at least one streaming service, a massive 20 percentage point rise compared with the results for 2018 and a jump of 52% in the number of consumers with at least two streaming services. Almost nine in every ten UK consumers now use streaming-specific devices. This compares with 73% in 2018.

Limelight also found that binge-watching sessions are on the rise worldwide, jumping 18% from last year to an average of two hours, 40 minutes at a time. The UK and France saw the highest year-on-year rises in binge-watching of 32% and 58% respectively. In absolute terms though, Americans were the biggest binge-watchers with sessions averaging over three hours.

With the upsurge in take-up, there has also been an increase in expectation regarding the quality of services. A fifth of UK viewers indicated that they would not tolerate streaming disruptions with the same percentage giving up on an online video after one rebuffering and another 44% leaving after two. Over half of UK consumers reported frustrations with rebuffering and another 28% reported.

The conclusion said Limelight was that given such video quality issues, was clear that streaming providers must prioritise quality of experience to align with viewer demands and retain subscribers.

“There’s significant hype surrounding the streaming wars, especially as many major new services are launching. Our new report confirms that the demand is real,” observed Limelight Networks senior director Michael Milligan commenting on the State of Online Video Report . “Consumers are embracing new streaming platforms but retaining subscribers requires more than just good shows. To be successful in the long-term, there needs to be a balance between quality programming and seamless user experiences.”