Conviva: Streaming Video Use Slowed in Q2

Demand for streaming video may be booming, but advertisers didn’t bite in the second quarter, with ad attempts in the quarter ended June 30 down 28% globally and 22% in the U.S. as compared to Q1 2020, according to new data from Conviva.

With streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and CBS All Access reporting strong subscriber growth during the coronavirus pandemic due to increased numbers of consumers spending time in the home, streaming actually slowed in May and June as compared to its height in April when shelter-in-place orders drove streaming viewing up 81% year over year.

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While advertising demand dropped in Q2, due in part to a lack of sports, streaming ads saw significant improvements in overall quality. Viewers spent 38% less time waiting for an ad to start in Q2 as compared to Q1 and as a result, pre-ad viewer-initiated exits dropped 22%. Ad picture quality also improved, with bitrate up 53%.

Despite quality improvements, nearly 45% of ads represented missed opportunities. The most common advertising issue continues to be the lack of demand as publishers try to fill ad slots, but no relevant ad is available.

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“Shelter-in-place mandates skyrocketed streaming viewership in April, led by Europe which saw a 174% increase year over year,” CEO Bill Demas said in a statement. “Unfortunately advertising moved in the opposite direction with global demand significantly reduced due to COVID-19.”

Demas expects advertising to bounce back in the coming quarters as the industry and viewers acclimate to a ‘new normal,’ including streaming being part of the everyday routine.

Indeed, the report suggests significant increases in viewing as people tuned in natively within their smart TVs. Global share of smart TV viewing more than doubled as viewing time increased 239% year over year. Connected TV devices (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, etc.) saw a 61% increase and game consoles, a 55% increase in time spent streaming compared to the previous time period.

Smart TVs: Samsung commanded half of all viewing time via smart TV, followed by LG TVs with 23%, Vizio TVs with 11%, Android TVs with 8% and Amazon Fire TVs with 7%.

Connected TV Devices: Roku remained the leader among connected TV devices, capturing half of the total viewing time for the category. Amazon Fire TV captured 29%, Apple TV 8.7%, Chromecast 7.3%, Android TV 3.6% and Humax 1.3%.

Gaming Consoles: Sony PlayStation bested Microsoft Xbox in streaming viewership at slightly over 50% of viewing time versus Xbox’s 47%.

Connected TV devices had the largest share of viewing time in both North America (56%) and Europe (32%). In South America smart TVs (40%) has the largest share of viewing time, while in Asia (49%) and Africa (43%) desktops remain the primary streaming device.

YouTube is primarily watched on mobile devices which captured 59% share of time spent in Q2 2020. However, the trend towards TVs also impacted YouTube as viewing on connected TVs and consoles accounted for a 25% share of YouTube viewing in Q2 2020, a 69% increase from 16% share the prior Q2.

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