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Two Strikes and You’re Out: Limelight Measures Viewer Sentiment

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When it comes to making sure viewers watch your video, it's two strikes and you're out in most cases, according to Limelight Networks' 2017 State of Online Video Report. When asked "How many times will you let video rebuffer?" 58.2% of U.S. viewers are gone by the second buffer. 16% will leave on the first buffer, and 42.2% will leave on the second buffer. Younger viewers are more forgiving and willing to watch longer than older viewers when rebuffering happens.

The study also found that SVOD is more prevalent in the U.S. than in other countries. U.S. viewers subscribe to 1.67 streaming services per person vs. 1.08 services globally. As for the widespread belief thta cord-cutters are driving streaming services adoption, it turns out cable subscribers worldwide have an average of 1.26 streaming services. That number drops by almost half to .64 services for non-cable subscribers, so having cable service makes consumers twice as likely to have streaming services than a non-cable subscribers.

It's About the Money

The number one reason in every country for cancelling an SVOD service is cost—rising prices fees will make customers flee. The second most common reason for canceling service was that the content available for viewing was not interesting. 

Almost 80% of viewers in the U.S. subscribe to a cable or satellite provider for television service. 55% of them would terminate their cable if the price continues to rise, while 23% said they would leave their provider when they can directly subscribe to just the channels they want online. Millennial males where much less concerned than older people about price (39.5%) and more willing to drop cable when they can subscribe to only the channels they want (29.2%) and when more sports and other live events become available online (16.4%). 10.8% of U.S. viewers said they will never terminate my cable or pay TV subscription.

The SVOD Gender Gap

The favorite viewing content worldwide is movies, followed closely by TV shows, then news and finally sports. However when broken done by gender, men prefer to watch movies and women prefer to watch TV shows. Men 18 - 25 picked movies as their top viewing choice, but their second favorite content is eSports. Women in the same age range prefer TV shows, movies, and user-generated content. The preferred duration for U.S. viewers is 6- to 30-minute clips and shows, followed by 2- to 5-minute pieces. Most video consumption occurs at home both in the U.S. and elsewhere. 60% of viewers are OK with watching a short ad before the video if the content is free. When multiple ads are put into a longer video clip, those OK with the ads drops to only 27.4%. Even if viewers are interested in the product being advertised, only 38% are OK with having ads in their video.

Mobile Vs. Smart TV

The U.S. average viewing time is a little bit more than six and a half hours a week (6.58). 18 – 25 year olds are watching more than average at 7.3 hours per week on a worldwide basis. Millennials are tuning in on their smartphones, while computers are the preferred device for adults 36 and older. When it comes to streaming devices, in the U.S. the largest concentration of viewers (33%) watch streaming content on their smart TV via an online video app, 28% use a video game console, and the remaining devices are pretty much neck-and-neck with Amazon at 22.4%, Roku at 21.2%, and no streaming device at all at 21.2%. What about Apple, which made a splash with its 4K Apple TV announcement yesterday? As of now, only 20.6% of viewers use an Apple TV.

All images from Limelight Networks' 2017 State of Online Video Report

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