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Onstream Media Survey Highlights Large-Scale Webcasting Opportunities
The report covers survey results for high-volume, desktop-centric, fixed-price live webcasts, looking at mobile support, the type of media consumed, and more.
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Onstream Media and Unisphere Research today launched a report highlighting results of a large-scale webcasting survey hosted by Streaming Media.

Key findings from the Transitions, Inc. analysis of over 700 survey responses include the disparity of mobile platforms versus desktop or large-screen viewing, as well as a keen interest in flat-rate pricing for recurring live webcast use cases.

The survey, sponsored by Onstream Media Corp., set out to gauge trends in large-scale webcasting, including the types of devices supported for webcast viewing and the ongoing financial impact of pricing on recurring webcasting usage.

Over half (56 percent) of the more than 700 survey respondents identified themselves as working for a company that produces live webcasts. Among those that completed the 34-question survey, approximately 84 percent hailed from North America, with around 10 percent from Europe.

Respondents who work for companies that produce large-scale webcasts were aware of the need to support smartphones and tablets. However, when it came to their personal consumption habits, many of these same respondents said they viewed live webcasts on a bigger screen than a smartphone or tablet: Typical webcast viewing still includes laptops, desktops, external monitors connected to a laptop, or even a set-top box or streaming dongle attached to a television.

This personal viewing habit tended to bleed over into the respondents’ professional lives, too, as the availability of live webcasting support on smartphones and tablets lags far behind support for desktop and laptop computers.

In addition, the makeup of operating systems used to view large-scale webcasts was a bit of a surprise. When asked to identify a primary operating system, whether it was a mobile or desktop OS, it was clear that desktop operating systems continue to dominate with almost 75 percent of all large-scale webcast consumption.

For laptop and desktop computers, Microsoft Windows, not surprisingly, took the top slot (47 percent) for operating systems, but Apple’s Mac OS X took a surprising second place (31 percent). This use of a bigger screen to view live webcasts was one of several surprise findings, perhaps due to the value placed on live webcast content.

For mobile, Apple’s mobile-centric iOS operating system came out on top (31 percent) followed by Android at a distant second (6 percent).

Combined, Apple’s two operating systems, iOS and OS X, account for almost half (42 percent) of webcast consumption, so it’s clear that Apple and Microsoft dominate webcasting delivery for the respondents.

When asked about the type of media consumed, respondents had an interesting mix of consumption patterns. Educational content (such as live lectures and distance learning) was the dominant type of webcasting content consumed over the last year, with 62 percent of respondents saying they had consumed this type of content.

Free entertainment webcasts (including concerts and sports events) were next highest, followed by public training content (live training webcasts), and enterprise content (internal training or corporate webcasts).

Interestingly, social media content (live user-generated content) came in next, just above entertainment pay-per-view webcasts (concerts, sports event), which was followed by an “other” category, primarily dominated by religious (church services) and personal skills training (such as Lynda.com).

Percentages of all these findings are available by downloading the free report.

Pricing attracted significant interest. When we asked respondents to explore “significant commercial challenges” keeping them from using large-scale webcasting, far and away the ability to choose a per-event pricing model topped the list, followed by the need for large-scale webcasters to offer users a seamless authentication experience.

Another popular pricing model was a per-participant pricing approach. In addition, respondents cited a need for internal buy-in from management, a desire for options to record webcasts for later use, and a desire for single-vendor solutions to meet webcasting needs.

These details and more can be found in the Large-Scale Webcasting Services report, available for free download.

For other current research, visit StreamingMedia.com Research Reports.

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