Streaming viewing was up 58 percent worldwide in Q4 2019 as compared with the year-ago period, according to Conviva, which says 2020 is “the year of streaming media.”
“Niche players, industry first-movers, and entertainment powerhouses will bring the mass adoption of streaming as the primary entertainment source worldwide,” says Conviva in its State of Streaming report for Q4 2019 on the “titanic shift” expected in the decade ahead. “Advertising is the number one challenge and opportunity for our industry, as quality issues persisted in Q4. The potential for industry transformation has never been greater than it is today as industry giants like Disney, NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia, and Quibi stake their claim to the burgeoning market share, each with their own unique business model.”
The Americas and Europe led the 58-percent hike in streaming hours, at 63 percent and 65 percent, respectively. Growth in streaming hours in Asia was just 10 percent.
Ad delivery remains a challenge, with Conviva noting that 36.5 percent of all streaming ads failed to play, but this is a 7.8-percent improvement on Q4 2018. Ad start times nearly doubled; as such, consumers are increasingly exiting before a spot begins. Content quality delivery, however, has improved, with 37 percent less time buffering, 21 percent better picture quality, 12 percent fewer start failures and 6 percent faster start times.
Roku is the leader in connected devices, followed by Fire TV. Connected TVs overall captured 55 percent of all viewing time in Q4, with mobile streaming at 24 percent and PCs at 11 percent. In the Americas, connected TV has a larger share, at 63 percent, with mobile viewing at 21 percent and PCs at just 7 percent. In Asia, meanwhile, streaming is largely on PCs at 51 percent, followed by mobile at 43 percent and connected TVs at just 2 percent. Mobile leads in Europe at 34 percent, ahead of connected TVs at 24 percent and PCs at 20 percent.
The report also found that on-demand viewing is up 76 percent year-on-year, with live streaming up 43 percent. Video on demand now commands a 66-percent share of streaming viewing time, up from 59 percent, while live’s share fell from 41 percent to 34 percent.
“From recent entrants like Disney+ to soon-to-be-launched services like NBC’s Peacock and HBO Max, we’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of streaming’s impact not only on consumer behavior but also on the multi-billion-dollar advertising and entertainment industries,” said Bill Demas, CEO of Conviva. “As with any disruptive technology, growing pains are inevitable. The companies that win the streaming wars will be those able to offer viewers a fast, clear, reliable experience regardless of where in the world they live, or what device they use.”