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While the market saw a general annunal uptake increase of 30%, streaming viewing times in Asia since the start of year have grown more modestly than in other regions according to data from Conviva.
Conviva Asia viewing 24 June 2020
The online video performance and analytics firm’s Q1 2020 State of Streaming - Asia report began with the observation that nobody could have guessed the rapid acceleration that took place in Q1 and just how central streaming would become in many households as the coronavirus pandemic rendered the world homebound.

The study found that video-on-demand flourished in Q1, while live video faltered as in-person programming was suspended. Advertising faced a demand problem as advertisers cut spending and re-evaluated ad content while social media became a critical avenue for the promotion of news, both at national and local levels. All of these trends took place as demand skyrocketed worldwide.

Overall the report found that streaming as a whole in the region grew 30% annually in Asia, with market growth dominated by eastern Asia, up 36%. The diversity of streaming in the various regions of Asia caused a wide disparity in overall growth, with western Asia up 12%, central Asia up 10%, and south-eastern Asia up 3%, while southern Asia was down 1% year over year in Q1.

Asia streaming video was found to have seen 11.6 minutes per play on average. Whilst an increase this compared with 20.1 and 21.3 minutes per play in the Americas and Europe respectively.

On-demand content gained share against live, up 12.8% and capturing 47% share of viewing time in Q1 2020, up from a 41% share in Q1 2019. Conviva noted that as viewers stayed home, schedules shifted and the tradition of viewing live programming at prescribed times became less common. Live programming still grew, although more modestly than on-demand, up 11.3% overall. This resulted in live losing market share, down to 53% of viewing from 59% compared with the first quarter of the previous year.

Asia experienced the most growth in viewing on TV, up 159%, growing quickly year-on-year but still only commanding a small share of total viewing. Meanwhile mobile and PC, which were more substantial in market share, delivering 27% and 28% growth respectively.

Mobile was the second most-watched device for Asia, with 43% of total streaming time in Q1. Mobile was extremely dominant in south eastern Asia with 85% share of all viewing in the sub-region, and 35% annual growth. Southern Asia also tallied nearly half of their viewing on mobile devices with 49% share, but experienced a significant decline, down 44% year over year. Mobile was also popular in western Asia where it captured 45% share, followed by eastern Asia with 40% share, and central Asia with 33% share. Globally, mobile accounted for 24% of all viewing.

Despite increased demand and extensive usage, streaming quality was found to have improved globally as well as in Asia. Publishers delivered improvements, with a concerted focus to mitigate buffering, enhance picture quality, shorten start times, and reduce failures.

Overall streaming content quality improved with 44% less time spent waiting for buffering, 9% higher picture quality, and 30% faster video start times year over year. Video start failures was the only quality metric to worsen, with failures up 17% year over year. By device type, TV in Asia reported significant progress with the most improvement in video start failures, with 64% less, picture quality, up 38%, and start times, with 30% less time waiting for the video to start year over year in Q1.

The Q1 2020 State of Streaming - Asia report also found that mobile video experienced significant improvements, leading in buffering improvement with 57% less time spent waiting for buffering year over year in Q1. Mobile also improved video start times, down 30%, and picture quality, up 9%, while seeing a worsening in video start failures, up 28%. PC lagged in quality, with improvements year over year in Q1 in video start time, down 29% and picture quality, up 5% while PC recorded more buffering, up 12%, and slightly more start failures, up 3%.