Streaming providers exhibit need for real-time QOE visibility | Media Analysis | Business
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An online survey from Edgeware has highlighted streaming TV providers’ limited visibility into their customers’ quality of experience and the means to correct quality-impacting problems in real time.
Edgeware survey graph 17 Sep 2020
The survey, conducted in May 2020 with 250 leading broadcasters, OTT service providers, cable companies, publishers and brands - taken by Edgeware and streaming media expert Dan Rayburn - explored the video quality issues facing streaming TV providers’ customers and how QoE problems are currently diagnosed and solved.

The study revealed that for many streaming TV providers relying on third-party or multi-CDN distribution, it can be difficult to get real-time visibility and control of their customers’ video quality. Yet it added that video quality remains one of the most important factors in retaining customers and securing their loyalty.

To dig deeper into the factors contributing to these difficulties, the survey asked leading streaming TV providers about their priorities, challenges and abilities when it comes to solving video quality issues. Amongst other findings, it revealed that QoE issues were widespread with 73.2% of participants confirming that their customers have suffered from bad delivery at some point, with only 26.8% saying that their customers have rarely/never suffered from a bad QoE due to content delivery issues.

And worryingly, a large percentage of customers abandon the service due to QoE issues: almost 40% (39.6%) of participants said their customers make a couple of attempts to playback video and then eventually quit when experiencing QoE issues, impacting customer loyalty and brand affinity.

Perhaps just as worrying, streaming providers were also forum to have limited QoE visibility and means to correct issues in real time. Almost a fifth (19.6%) of participants know that their customers have QoE issues but can’t tell what impact they’re having on user experience, and almost 30% (29.2%) weren’t using any kind of QoE analytics solution. Despite 70.8% of participants having an analytics solution, 55% of them have no means to correct any quality-affecting issues in real time, implying that they have limited means to optimize video quality. Just over two-fifths (44%) of participants believe real-time monitoring and management are key.

The industry also exhibited a one-size-fits-all, manual approach to the issue. A quarter of participants said they don’t shape streams / bitrates, so all users in all markets/networks get the same bitrates. In addition, more than a third (34.8%) manually re-configure master manifests at certain events to reduce traffic, which can be resource-heavy and detrimental if left unmanaged.
“Video quality is a value parameter which enables OTT service providers to attract advertisers and audiences alike. So, when video quality is jeopardised, it’s essential to react quickly and fix it without highlighting any problems to the customer,” said Rayburn commenting on the report. “For multi-CDN distribution, the streaming TV providers which take advantage of a QoE analytics solution can strengthen their business.”

“We conducted the survey to better understand our customers’ position on facing QoE issues,” added Edgeware’s senior director of business development, Peter Sergel. “With around half of the survey’s participants confirming that they would like to monitor and manage their infrastructure and viewers’ performance within 1-3 seconds, it suggests that many streaming TV providers industry-wide have a desire for real-time QoE insights and control.”