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Streaming Advertisers Still Face Challenges, Says Conviva Report

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The amount of time viewers are spending with online video continues to skyrocket, with worldwide time spent streaming video up 58% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2019. That's according to the Q4 State of Streamingreport from monitoring platform Conviva. The quarterly report also found that online video advertising technology still struggles to deliver a quality user experience. 

Though streaming was up overall globally, when broken down by region and device, the report shows some notable trends. Overall streaming in Asia, for instance, was up only 10% over Q3 2018, but connected TV streaming rose 243% (though it still accounts for only 2% of viewing hours) while mobile streaming was up by 11% and PC viewing was up by 6%.

Europe also saw higher-than-overall connected TV viewing growth, up 83% over 2018 (compared to the global rise of 57%), as well as an increase in PC viewing of 30% (compared to a global increase of 20%). In the Americas, mobile viewing saw the most significant increase, up 71% compared to the global increase of 54%.

Overall streaming quality is up as well. In the Americas, only .51% of videos failed to start, compared to 1.63% in Europe and .7% in Asia. Asia boasted the fastest video start times at 2.58 seconds, while the Americas showed the highest average bitrate—5.94Mbps compared to 4.08Mbps in Europe and 1.87Mbps in Asia.

The numbers for advertising were mixed. Failed attempts dropped from 39.6% in Q3 2018 to 36.5% in 2019; ad start failures dropped from 35.7% to 30.8%; and (in good news for consumers), actual ad duration fell from 38 seconds to 26.6 seconds. But 5.75% of viewers actually exit ads before the even start (up from 3.85% last year), and ad start time almost doubled, from 1.14 seconds to 2.27 seconds. Ad buffering also got worse in 2019, up from .77 seconds to 1.14 seconds.

Roku continues to be the leading connected device, with a global share of 43% compared to Fire TV's 18%, Xbox's 10%, and Apple TV's 9%. Viewing time on Roku rose 65% over 2018, compared to 56% for Xbox, 51% for Fire TV, and 30% for Apple TV. 

Conviva's data comes from its proprietary sensor embedded in 3 billion apps on devices in 180 countries, monitoring 1.5 real-time events per day.

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