Ads fail but streaming quality increases see services gain viewership in Q3 | Media Analysis | Business
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With the streaming market about to be inundated with direct-to-consumer offers, the current leading players have reported solid business in the third quarter of the year according to Conviva's Quarterly State of Streaming Report.
conviva Q3State of stremaing 5Nov2019
The latest issue of the industry benchmark showed that revealing time spent streaming continues to climb, up 53% year over year, as consumers embrace on-demand videos. More than three-fifths (63%) of all streaming viewing is now on-demand from TVs, PCs and mobile devices.

And notably, with potential industry upheaval on the horizon, connected devices and content creators are working hard to improve video quality. From Q3 2018 to Q3 2019, video start failures are down 10%, video start times are 6% faster, there is 33% less buffering and the picture quality (bitrate) is 3% better.

PCs saw the most consistent quality improvements year over year with 17% fewer video start failures, 23% faster video start times and 26% less buffering. Mobile saw big improvements in reducing buffering – down 34% year over year– but video start times were only down 4% and video start failures were down only 2% annually.

NFL viewers continued their mass migration to streaming in Q3, with a 77% increase in streaming plays and a 50% increase in time spent streaming compared to Q3 2018. Much of the NFL’s streaming growth occurred on mobile devices, which grew 109% in plays year over year, and TV, which grew 66%. Notably, NFL streaming plays on PCs went down 11% in Q3. While mobile NFL viewing is up, the minutes per play remained small at 8 minutes. This implied said Conviva that fans are streaming NFL on their phones to check in on their favourite teams rather than watch games in their entirety. Those fans streaming the NFL via TV or PC watched for an average of 24 and 22 minutes, respectively.

“Streaming is quickly becoming the new normal. As a result, we will continue to see new upstarts in the category accompanied by traditional media companies and big brand advertisers embracing the potential of the market,” said Conviva CEO Bill Demas commenting on the Quarterly State of Streaming Report. . “This is an industry undergoing massive growth and what happens in the next 18 months will shape what, how and when we watch content in the future.”

However, what was clear from the research was that the improvements in service quality were not matched by those in online video advertising. The study found that as much as 39.6% of all streaming ad attempts failed in Q3. In addition, ads were plagued by delays including long start times and buffering including instances where it took up to 16.1 seconds for an ad to start and viewers had to endure up to 45.9% of ad buffering.

Overall, 9–20% of viewers dropped each time an ad is run. For sports, the largest impact is at the very first ad where 18% of viewers drop, but subsequent ads have less effect. The fourth ad in a stream triggers the biggest drop as 20% of news viewers, 17% of drama/comedy viewers, and 16% of reality TV viewers stop watching. In total in Q3, 54% of the audience stopped viewing after four ads.