Research reveals void in measuring optimisation impact on experience | Media Analysis | Business
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The media industry lacks a clearly defined picture of how bitrate optimisation impacts the viewer experience, according to a SSIMWAVE survey of OTT, broadcasters and multichannel video providers.

SSIMWAVE 8July2020The survey from the viewer-centric video quality evaluation streaming experience technology provider aggregated input from 300 respondents and fundamentally showed wide variations in the methodologies used to understand optimisation, and in how metrics are collected.

According to the survey, the top methods used by the industry at large to measure the impact of optimisation on the viewer experience are: PSNR (14%), third-party platforms (13%), providers’ internal video engineers’ methodologies (12.7%), and SSIM (11.3%). PSNR (18%) was the leading methodology used by multichannel video providers, while third-party platforms (23%) was the leading broadcast option and internal video engineers’ methodologies (27%) dominated within OTT respondents.

While more than 35% of respondents relied on technical approaches such as PSNR (14%), SSIM (11.3%) and VMAF (10%), for example, 8.3% relied on viewer surveys and 3.3% said that they had no plans to check the impact at all.

In addition to the impact of bitrate optimisation on viewer experiences, the survey also highlighted quality of experience (QoE) and costs as the top two concerns streaming providers have as they begin to scale viewership. More than 35% identified measuring QoE success with viewers as the top issue, while more than 21% said the main concern was increased delivery costs. The survey also shows that almost one-third of respondents (32.3%) do not believe that their Quality of Experience creates an advantage over competitors in the market, and that another 23% were unsure of how to measure their QoE versus that of competitors.

“As consumers turn to streaming as their primary source of video entertainment, quality is becoming increasingly important,” said Abdul Rehman, CEO and co-founder of SSIMWAVE commenting on the research. “These results underscore the need for a consistent, objective measuring standard that can help operators choose optimisation strategies that balance cost efficiency with the need to maximise viewer satisfaction.”