NS1: Top Streaming Challenges are Traffic Management, QoE

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NEW YORK—The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of video streaming, and as companies look to bolster their streaming offerings, NS1 and streaming media analyst Dan Rayburn have pinpointed some of the biggest challenges to these efforts.

According to Rayburn’s report, “Growing Demands for Video Streaming Drive Companies to Intelligent Traffic Management Solutions,” the biggest challenges concerning video streaming companies are traffic management and visibility into quality of experience (QoE) issues. 

Specifically, 62% of respondents ranked automated and intelligent traffic routing as the most important tool for delivering a positive end-user experience, while 42% of companies that do not currently have solutions in place are looking to implement them in the next six to 12 months.

Rayburn’s findings showed that 42% of respondents then cited the lack of visibility into QoE issues as a top challenge. Other challenges included efficient traffic routing across a multi-CDN deployment (33%) and lack of visibility with vendor platforms (33%). In addition, more than half of respondents said they lack the appropriate technology to dynamically adjust routing for shifts in network availability, latency and congestion, which results in inconsistent performance.

“Streaming requires content owners to be nimble and resilient within their workflows and infrastructure to deliver streams to end users over many different devices and platforms with a great user experience,” said Rayburn. “Companies gain additional benefits and can address top-reported viewer concerns by selecting traffic steering platforms that ingest quality of experience metrics—real-time data about playback failures, startup times, rebuffering and video quality—along with real user monitoring (RUM) and network data.” 

As things head into 2021, more than half of the respondents expect an increase in volume of streaming content in the next year; of those 32% say the streaming volume could double and 10% believe it could more than double.

The NS1 and Rayburn report included more than 200 executives from media & entertainment, telecommunications and technology companies. The full report is available for download