Winter Games, FIFA WC, NFL help fuel 165% surge in global streaming: Report

Winter Games,TV viewership,FIFA World Cup TV viewership,NFL TV viewership,National Football League

The streaming TV viewership has recorded a 165% Q4 growth in 2018, courtesy the Winter Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup 2018 and the National Football League.

World Cup and NFL coverage were among the major players in 2018 OTT spike. Among the most-watched sporting events, Conviva’s statistics show that the Fifa World Cup resulted in a 12 percent lift in streaming hours throughout the tournament, while coverage from the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang drove a 26 percent increase in daily viewership.

The number of hours that people streamed content more than doubled at the end of 2018 compared to the previous year, driven by a surge in viewership across the sporting calendar’s biggest events, according to new research.

The annual report released by Conviva, real-time measurement and intelligence platform for streaming TV, 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.

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The report Skyrocketing Expectations and Viewership: Across Conviva’s customer base, 2018 saw 89% growth in overall viewing hours for the year, including 165% growth in quarter 4. 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, Coviva has stated in a Press release.

The effect 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 (vMVPDs such as Hulu, Sling, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now). 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.

“Live events have a way of connecting us on both a local and a global scale. The ability to watch and be a part of exciting news, sports, and other developments as they’re happening is attracting viewers in droves,” said Conviva CEO Bill Demas. “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.”

“As streaming becomes a bigger part of their everyday lives, viewers continue to migrate toward devices and services that offer those best-in-class experiences,” said Demas. “With more options emerging, their expectations are higher than ever.”

Conviva’s Video AI Platform provides insight into streaming TV consumption, engagement, and viewer experience across every second, every stream, and every screen. With a global footprint of 50 billion streams per year across 3 billion applications and 200 million users, Conviva serves more than 200 brands, including HBO, Hulu, Sky, Sling TV, Turner, Univision, and more. The company is privately held and headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, with offices around the globe.

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However, that growth did not come without challenges, boosts in traffic leading in some cases to issues around latency and the quality of user experience.

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.

Amazon’s Fire TV jumped from the seventh platform in streaming hours watched in 2017 to the second last year, according to the report. Roku, which spearheaded a 148-per-cent increase in streams via connected televisions, is in first position.

Meanwhile, the NFL experienced a 15 percent 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,” said Conviva chief executive Bill Demas. “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.”

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