Q4 caps off momentous year for streaming | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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The Q4 2020 version of the quarterly State of Streaming report by Conviva has revealed a marketplace where the way consumers view content fundamentally changed in 2020 with new streaming services, the rapid adoption of smart TVs and connected TV devices and changing social behaviour.
Conviva state of streaming Q4 20 27Jan2021
Data for the study was primarily collected from streaming media intelligence cloud provider’s proprietary sensor technology currently embedded in 3.3 billion streaming video applications, measuring in excess of 500 million unique viewers watching 180 billion streams per year with 1.5 trillion real-time transactions per day across more than 180 countries.

The research fundamentally revealed not just a streaming ad resurgence, but also falling social engagement rates and audiences migrating to YouTube. There was a 44% increase in time spent streaming this quarter as compared with the same time a year ago, a trend that Conviva said punctuated a significant year for the streaming industry. Big screens captured more than three-quarters of all viewing time in Q4, led by Roku with a 31% share of all TV viewing and followed by Amazon Fire TV (19%) and Samsung TV (10%).

The data found that the smart TV category drove much of the Q4 growth, experiencing a 157% year-over-year increase in viewing hours and nearly doubling in overall share of viewing time. Connected TV devices also saw significant growth in viewing hours, up 38% year over year and earned nearly 50% share of global streaming viewing time. That said connected TV devices did lose a small percentage of share for the second quarter in a row, inching back from 51% to 49.1% year over year, due in large part to the growing popularity of smart TVs.

Big screens also dominated in engagement. Television viewers watched for an average of 28.7 minutes each time they pressed play. Chromecast demanded the longest watch time at 35.5 minutes per play, followed closely by Roku at 33.3 minutes per play. In contrast, mobile phones tallied just 8.6 minutes per play.

After a third quarter in which ad demand grew, Q4 2020 built upon this momentum showing a 34% increase in ad attempts and a 31% increase in ad impressions for the quarter. Some issues and challenges did emerge.

Quality issues continued to plague advertisers in terms of meeting all available opportunities, with 40.1% of ads not delivering as expected. That said, the quality of ads that were delivered improved with viewers enjoying 14% less buffering, 4% higher picture quality and 2% less time waiting for ads to load. Despite data showing viewers were more likely to abandon longer ads, ad length increased 12% in Q4 2020, to 31.49 seconds on average.

Even though social media use in general has rocketed during lockdowns, the Conviva study found that social streaming engagement rates plummeted, while at the same time YouTube was drawing viewers. Entertainment and brand social accounts saw the largest decreases, each down around 26%, while media and sports accounts were slightly less affected with declines of 22% and 18% respectively.

YouTube was the only social platform to tally an increase in audience share across the entertainment, media, brands and sports categories. Media and sports accounts saw the largest increases in YouTube followings with share increases of 5% and 5.4% percentage points respectively. Longer videos became more common on YouTube as well, with average video length increasing in sports, entertainment and media accounts by 60%, 59%, and 34%, respectively.

Summing up the findings of the Q4 study and what the likely prospects were for the year ahead, Conviva CEO Bill Demas said: “While the year was clearly defined by spikes in streaming viewing associated with Covid restrictions, the shift to streaming is anything but temporary and we anticipate global streaming viewership to continue to increase in 2021.”