Streaming Jumped in 2018: Report from Conviva

Quality increases, but viewers are less patient
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The amount of video being streamed showed strong growth in 2018, according to a new report from Conviva, which measures and analysis streaming TV.

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Global viewing hours of streaming TV was up 89% in 2018, boosted by a 165% increase in the fourth quarter, compared to the prior year. The number of video plays rose 74% for the year and 143% for the quarter.

As more people stream more video, their expectations are becoming more demanding and they are less tolerant of glitches. They expects streaming video to be as dependable as traditional TV..

There was a 7% increase in the rate of abandonment in 2018. That means that 15.6% of would-be viewers quit before their video started to play.

People abandoned glitchy live content at a rate of 16.7%, up from 11.2% in 2018. The gave up on video via virtual MVPDs at an 8.5% rates, up from 6.6% and tuned out from connected TV fails at a 6.6% rates, compared to 4.7% a year ago.

Even as viewers became more picky, the quality of the streaming video experience was improving. According to Conviva, there were 34% fewer video start failures, picture quality was 23% better and video start times were 9% faster. Paused during playback due to buffering dropped by 23% to 25 second of waiting in an hour-long show.

The biggest increase in streaming came via connected TV, which saw a 121% gain in viewing hours. Connected TV represented 56% of all streamed viewing in 2018, compared with 47% in 2017. The No. 2 device was Amazon Fire, which jumped from 5th place to 2nd place behind Roku.

Live events drew increasingly large streaming audiences, with viewing of live programming up 65%.

In the U.S. streaming viewership of news rose 217% during the midterm election. The World Cup boosted overall global traffic by up to 29%. NFL games drove global spikes of 15% on Sundays. 

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