Conviva Finds Improvements in Streaming Video Quality

As media companies and advertisers rush into streaming, a new report from Conviva finds viewers getting better service, but advertisers are still getting glitches.

In its third-quarter State of Streaming report, Conviva found healthy increases in several indicators that streaming video was performing better.

Compared to a year ago, video start failures are down 10%, video start times are 6% faster, there is 33% less buffering and picture quality, as measured by bit rate, is 3% better. Mobile showed a big improvement in reducing buffering, but video start time were down just 4% and video start failures were down 2%.

The NFL is potent programming in streaming, just as it has been in traditional TV. There was a 77% increase in streaming plays in the third quarter compared to a year ago. Time spent streaming NFL football was up 50%. Streaming on mobile devices was up 109%, and connected TV viewing grew 66%. Viewing on PCs was down 11%.

The stats regarding advertising weren’t as rosy for streaming commercials. Conviva said that 39.6% of all streaming ad attempts failed in the third quarter. They also had long start time of as long as 16.1 second. And viewers had to endure ads buffering as much as 45.9% of the time.

The ads are also hurting the duration of streaming sessions. Between 9% and 20% of viewers drop each time an ad runs. During sports, 18% of viewers drop when they see the first commercial, with later spots having less of an effect.

Among news viewers, the fourth ad they see drives 20% of viewers to drop out. In dramas, that four ad inspires 17 of viewers to drop and with reality viewers 16% go away.

Over, 54% of the audience stopped streaming a program by the time the fourth spot appeared.

Connected TVs were used for the most streaming activity, with viewing hours up 58%. PCs showed a 36% increase and mobile was up 33%.

Roku was the top brand of streaming device with a 44% share and a 73% increase in viewing time. Amazon Fire TV had a 20% share of the market and Apple TV had a 9% share.

Conviva found that Roku’s quality was up, with video start failures down 52%. XBox had the least buffering and Apple TV had the fastest video start times.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.