OTT challenges pile up as viewing experience has huge impact on profitability

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 22 April 2015

Whether it is traditional TV or new service such as over the top, quality of experience impacts the profitability of every digital media business, every single viewer says research from Conviva.

convovaIn its third annual Viewer Experience Report the provider of over-the-top (OTT) video experience optimisation found that even as audiences swell and potential subscription revenue balloons, the challenges to building a sustainable OTT service are piling up.
The report discovered that consumers are no longer simply expecting a service to work; they are demanding that it provide a high-end experience. Indeed Conviva said that delivering a top-notch experience to each and every viewer has never been more complex, nor more fundamental, to acquiring and retaining an audience.

The survey revealed that video start failures are diminishing but other factors remain relatively unchanged. Video start failures decreased by almost half to an all-time low of 2.6% while buffering and low resolution experiences remained relatively unchanged from 2013's levels. In addition worldwide picture fidelity grew 30% in 2014, driving a commensurate amount of time spent consuming content. Yet playback interruptions were highlighted at OTT' s biggest enemy, with 14 minutes of viewer engagement lost on average for each 1% of interruptions experienced. However, on a brighter note, while average household size has been shrinking, the number of devices in use within each household has risen, with the average household of three people using two devices simultaneously during prime time.

"Viewers used to be content with an OTT service if the video began playing at all this is no longer the case," commented Conviva CEO Hui Zhang. "Consumers now demand a multi-dimensional experience that provides superior picture fidelity, zero resolution volatility, and TV-like viewing quality, and will abandon the streams that do not deliver. OTT providers need to utilise an iterative publishing process to ensure the optimised experience consumers demand."