As expected, streaming video consumption skyrocketed in the first quarter (ended March 31) with global use up 57% compared with the previous-year period, according to new data from Conviva.
The streaming media tracker found that as stay-at-home orders became widespread and live sports were suspended, over-the-top video consumption filled the void. Growth was led by Europe, up 70%, and the Americas, up 57%, while Asia and Africa saw 30% and 25% viewing growth respectively. As viewing habits changed globally, on-demand content increased 79% over the year, representing a 72% share of total viewing time worldwide.
While the volume of sports-related social content was down in the quarter, sports organizations still managed to drive increases in engagement. Premier League soccer in the United Kingdom scored the greatest increase in engagements per post and engagements per video up 146% and 142% respectively, followed by the NBA with 119% and 126% increases respectively.
Conviva also identified which teams outperformed the field in engagements per social video. For example, unlikely suspects from smaller media markets, including the Milwaukee Bucks, Cincinnati Reds, Winnipeg Jets, and Orlando City Soccer Club, joined ratings juggernaut Dallas Cowboys as league-leaders in engagement on TikTok. In the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers clinched the Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter titles. The Pittsburgh Penguins conquered those same platforms for the NHL. Other leagues saw more disparity across the different platforms, with the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Yankees each earning a top spot on two social networks—a feat the LA Galaxy also netted in MLS.
Streaming media device pioneer Roku held a 44% share of global connected TV viewing time, and was the only device to net quality improvements, including 49% decline in video start failures; 37% higher picture quality, 33% less buffering, and 15% faster video start times. As a result, Roku boosted viewing hours by 55% year over year.
Across all devices, global streaming quality continued to improve with buffering down 27%, picture quality up 25%, and 14% fewer video start failures year over year, according to Conviva. Mobile reported the most progress with 38% less buffering, 27% higher picture quality and 13% fewer start failures. Mobile also netted the largest viewing growth year over year in Q1, up 60%, compared to 51% growth for connected TV and just 22% growth for PCs.
Data for the report was primarily collected from Conviva’s proprietary sensor technology currently embedded in three billion streaming video applications, measuring in excess of 500 million unique viewers watching 150 billion streams per year with 1.5 trillion real-time transactions per day across more than 180 countries.
Year-over-year comparisons were normalized at the customer level for accurate representations of industry growth. The social media data included in this report is based on an analysis of over 15 million posts, 1.7 million videos, and over 2.9 billion engagements across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.