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Streaming Video Services Are Getting Worse: 63% See Buffering

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Entertainment companies rushed to release streaming video services for connected viewers. Now, it's time to solve the many pain points that leave consumers wanting more.

That's the takeaway from The State of Streaming 2017, a survey created by IBM Cloud Video. While two-thirds of U.S. consumers use a streaming service, they aren't happy with what they see, and problems are getting worse.

In its 2016 survey, IBM found 51 percent of respondents cited buffering issues as the technical problem they experience most often. In 2017, that grew to 63 percent. And while it sometimes feels like there's far too much new content to watch on these services, consumers want more choices: 63 percent say the biggest change they would make to streaming services is adding more content.

While ad-supported streaming services saw big growth in 2017, consumers aren't happy with the experience: 60 percent said even relevant commercials detracted from their viewing time. IBM also found that people were unhappy with content recommendations and rarely selected them.

While there's strong competition in the streaming video market, IBM sees plenty of room for services to differentiate themselves with better offerings.

"Following the initial SVOD boom, video businesses now need to focus on meeting and surpassing consumers’ high expectations for their viewing experience and differentiating their offerings in order to compete in a crowded industry," the report concludes.

IBM's results come from a July 2017 online survey of 1,180 U.S. adults. Download the full report for free for more info (registration required).

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