New research from Conviva, the real-time measurement and intelligence platform for streaming TV, has found Global over-the-top (OTT) consumption grew by 165 per cent in Q4 of 2018, driven by the sporting calendar’s biggest events.
The 2018 Annual State of the Streaming TV Industry report sheds new light on market dynamics and challenges in context of skyrocketing consumption, growing consumer impatience, spikes in global live viewership, and shifting device preference.
The number of hours that people streamed content has more than doubled compared to the previous year and was influenced by spikes in viewership of live and delayed content during the Winter Olympics, Fifa World Cup, and the National Football League (NFL).
Overall, live viewership was up year-on-year by 65 per cent in the fourth financial quarter, with streaming via mobile making the biggest gains throughout the year, having contributed to an 82 per cent increase in hours spent livestreaming worldwide.
Though news coverage continued to drive consumption, sports production was again a massive player in the adoption of direct-to-consumer (DTC) devices.
Among the most-watched sporting events, Conviva’s statistics show that the Fifa World Cup resulted in a 12 per cent lift in streaming hours throughout the tournament, while coverage from the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang drove a 26 per cent increase in daily viewership.
Meanwhile, the NFL experienced a 15 per cent spike in its Sunday football streams, aided by a worldwide increase in traffic of the most-viewed major league sport in the US.
“Live events have a way of connecting us on both a local and a global scale,” Conviva chief executive, Bill Demas said.
“The ability to watch and be a part of exciting news, sports, and other developments as they’re happening is attracting viewers in droves.
“The real-time demands of streaming mean that providers who remain vigilant and have visibility into every aspect of the viewer experience will win the loyalty of their viewers.”
With this growth, Conviva observed the convergence of heightened viewer expectations and waning patience.
A global 7% year-over-year increase in the rate of abandonment translated to 14.6% of viewers leaving before their video started, which was amplified when viewers faced delays in situations where they expected the experience of traditional TV viewing, such as on connected TVs, watching live content, and via content aggregators.
For example, the report notes issues with Amazon Prime’s coverage of last year’s US Open, the fourth and final grand slam on the tennis calendar, which took a hit on viewer confidence.
As the number of viewing hours increases in this progressively more complex landscape, this is a trend that will be critical to watch and address.