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TV Streaming Doubles Year-Over-Year; Streaming Quality Way Up

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People are streaming a lot more video to their television sets than they used to, finds Conviva. According to the video optimization specialist's Q3 2018 "State of the Streaming TV Industry" report, global streamed viewing hours on connected TVs grew by 103 percent year-over-year, while connected TV plays grew by 145 percent. This shift to the living room comes at the expense of mobile viewing. Mobile video plays increased by only 57 percent.

This quarter, living room streamers leaned heavily on vMVPDs, where plays were up 292 percent year-over-year, and viewing hours up 212 percent. Viewers are choosing vMVPDs over publisher apps, which saw a 16 percent decline in plays and a 19 percent drop in viewing hours.

“Streaming TV consumers currently prefer accessing a broad selection of content from a single service rather than having to piece together their viewing experience across multiple apps. This is especially true for live content, where only vMVPDs allow consumers to channel-surf their favorite content from multiple publishers as easily as they could with traditional TV," says Bill Demas, Conviva's CEO. "Connected TV platforms like Apple TV and Roku have tried to unify publisher apps under a single umbrella, but have yet to fully enable cross-app browsing that brings together content from multiple publisher applications into one easy view. Conversely, vMVPD services like Sling, DirecTV Now, and Hulu have successfully combined content from multiple sources into a single experience.”

Despite increased demand, streaming quality is also on the rise. Globally, video start failures are down 33 percent year-over-year, Conviva finds. Also, buffering is down 41 percent and picture quality is up 25 percent.

As the holiday shopping season gets closer, both Roku and Amazon have released low-priced 4K-compatible set-top boxes. Roku is still the living room leader with 40 percent of all streamed viewing hours. Amazon Fire has 18 percent, but it's experiencing huge growth: Amazon's share grew by 500 percent year-over-year. Will it take the crown before long?

For more results, download Conviva's report for free (registration required).

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