Global streaming sees “colossal peaks and treacherous valleys” in Q2 | Media Analysis | Business
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Research from Conviva on global streaming TV growth and viewing trends in the second quarter of 2020 has found that while streaming continues to grow globally, associated video advertising from these streaming services has seen a sharp decline at the same time.
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In its Q2 2020 State of Streaming report, Conviva stated explicitly that the research was taken when the Covid-19 outbreak was changing fundamentally the nature of television. It noted that the streaming industry experienced both “colossal peaks and treacherous valleys” in the first half of 2020 marked by significant decline in global advertising demand, the ascendance of smart TVs. It also highlighted ways in which viewers are connecting with social platforms and how professional sports teams are socialising sports with no sports to show.

The survey revealed that fundamentally streaming continues to grow both in the US and globally, but growth rates fell in May and June from their height in April when stay-at-home and lockdown orders drove streaming viewing up 81% compared with April 2019. Moreover, at the same time, streaming video advertising saw a sharp decline in the past quarter with ad attempts in Q2 down 28% globally and 22% in the US as compared with the first quarter of the year.

The study also noted that the TV set was a prime source for streaming viewing with the TV platform seeing triple-digit increases as people tuned in natively within their smart TVs. Global share of smart TV viewing in the second quarter of 2020n more than doubled as viewing time increased 239% year over year. In turn, global share of smart TV viewing more than doubled, from 7% in Q2 2019 to15% in Q2 2020.

Connected TV devices, headlined by Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast, dominated streaming viewership with a 61% spike to maintain nearly 50% share of global viewing time in Q2. The leaders in the category, Roku and Fire TV, remained neck and neck in growth, each up 63%, with 49% and 29% respective share of the category.

In terms of quality, globally, buffering improved 28%, picture quality, as measured by bitrate, improved 33%, and video start failures improved 27%, as compared to Q2 2019. Europe led the world in growth for time spent streaming, 174% in April alone on an annual basis and 134% in Q2 overall. There were also in quality improvements with 29% less time spent waiting for buffering, 38% better picture quality, and 39% less video start failures.

The study also showed that TV now accounts for more than a quarter of all viewing time on YouTube. While mobile YouTube viewing gained a 59% share, Conviva said that the draw of the big screen led viewing on connected TVs and consoles to grow to 27% share in Q2 2020 from 16% the prior Q2, a 69% increase.

Looking at social, Conviva found in the Q2 2020 State of Streaming report that the streaming industry further harnessed the power of social media as streaming TV social accounts outpaced traditional TV network accounts in audience growth by double digits across all social platforms, with 101% growth on Instagram and 72% on YouTube year-on-year.