Streaming Video Quality Improving, Per Conviva

FOSTER CITY, Calif.—As streaming continues to build in popularity, so too does the video quality offered by the platforms, with the largest gain seen among PCs and mobile devices.

These are part of the findings from the “State of Streaming” report for the third quarter 2019 put out by Conviva.

On a year-to-year comparison, video quality overall improved for streaming, with video start failures down 10%, video start times occurring 6% faster, there is 33% less buffering and the picture quality, which is based on bitrate, 3% better. Streaming on PCs had the most consistent improvement, seeing 17% fewer video start failures, 23% faster video start times and 26% less buffering. Mobile’s biggest gain was the decrease in buffering (34%), but video start failures and start times improvements were smaller (down 2% and 4%, respectively).

However, the quality of video ads did not see improvement in Q3. Conviva found that 39.6% of all streaming ad attempts failed, while it could take up 16.1 seconds for an ad to start and there was 45.9% ad buffering. Between 9 and 20% of viewers dropped a stream when an ad popped up. After four ads, 54% of audiences would drop, however not in sports, as viewers became less likely to drop after the first ad.

Overall, Conviva found that the amount of time spent streaming in Q3 was up 53% over the same period last year, the majority of which (63%) is on-demand over TVs, PCs and mobile devices.

Additional findings included NFL fans making moves toward streaming for game action. Q3 saw a 77% increase in streaming plays and 50% in time overall. Mobile saw the largest growth at 109%, while TV came in at 66% growth; PCs saw a decline of 11%. Mobile viewing is mostly just to watch game highlights, while streaming through social media varies on platform depending on what team someone is a fan of.

Roku also was the leading device for streaming (44% of market share), but Amazon Fire TV saw the largest growth rate for viewing time at 78%.

“Streaming is quickly becoming the new normal,” said Bill Demas, Conviva CEO. “As a result, we will continue to see new upstarts in the category accompanied by traditional media companies and big brand advertisers embracing the potential of the market. This is an industry undergoing massive growth and what happens in the next 18 months will shape what, how and when we watch content in the future.”

The full report can be found here.