Streaming content demand explodes, but advertising declines in Q1 2020 | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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The latest Conviva Quarterly State of Streaming Report for the first quarter of 2020 has revealed huge increases in global streaming viewing but also a significant rise in missed advertising opportunities, unexpected social leaders in TikTok and the continued dominance of Roku in the connected TV space.
Q1 2020 State of Streaming 6May2020
Data for Conviva’s State of Streaming report was primarily collected from the provider of online real-time intelligence platforms using its proprietary sensor technology currently embedded in three billion streaming video applications, measuring in excess of 500 million unique viewers watching 150 billion streams per year with 1.5 trillion real-time transactions per day across more than 180 countries.

The obvious driver for the streaming uptake has been the significant change in consumption habits since the beginning of March as Covid-19 stay-at-home orders became widespread and live sports were suspended.

The quarter saw large increases in overall streaming viewing, up 57% globally year over year. Growth was led by Europe, up 70%, and the Americas, up 57%, while Asia and Africa saw 30% and 25% viewing growth respectively. As viewing habits changed globally, on-demand content increased 79% over the year, representing a 72% share of total viewing time worldwide.

Yet while the volume of sports-related social content was down in year over year Q1 2020, sports organisations still managed to drive increases in engagement. English Premier League football scored the greatest increase in engagements per post and engagements per video up 146% and 142% respectively, followed by the NBA with 119% and 126% increases respectively.

Yet as streaming surges, there was no commensurate rise in advertising. Conviva analysed more than 12.5 billion ad attempts in Q1 2020 and found 46.3% of all streaming ads represented missed opportunities due to unfilled ads or ad failures. This said the was an increase of 26.9% as compared to Q4, largely due to a reduction in advertising and brand sensitivity to running ads adjacent to Covid-19 news content, as well as an increase in quality errors. As with poor quality, unfilled ads directly impact viewer experience as viewers often wait while multiple requests go unfilled.

Across all devices, global streaming quality continued to improve with buffering down 27%, picture quality up 25%, and 14% fewer video start failures year over year. Mobile reported the most progress with 38% less buffering, 27% higher picture quality and 13% fewer start failures. Mobile also netted the largest viewing growth year over year in Q1, up 60%, compared to 51% growth for connected TV and just 22% growth for PCs.

Roku, which has a 44% share of global connected TV device viewing time, was the only device to net quality improvements across the board, with video start failures plunging 49%, 37% higher picture quality, buffering improvements of 33%, and 15% faster video start times. As a result, the platform also boosted viewing hours by 55% year over year.

“Nearly half of all streaming ads are now missed opportunities, signifying a significant – and likely prolonged – drop in advertising spend due to economic uncertainties and a lack of consumer spending,” observed Conviva CEO Bill Demas  commenting on the Quarterly State of Streaming Report for Q1 2020. “Companies that are not highly reliant on advertising will record increasing success over the next quarter. Advertising dollars will likely return to streaming with a vengeance when live sports re-emerges this autumn.”