Data: Streaming Platforms Maintaining 2020 Pandemic Gains; International Markets Surging

The streaming video boom of 2020 is not weakening, according to new data from Conviva. The media metrics company’s report found streaming viewing time worldwide grew 13% in the second quarter (ended June 30), compared with the previous-year period.

Despite a 7% decline in streaming viewing in April, North America still saw a 2% increase in streaming viewing in Q2 2021. Other regions saw even bigger spikes in time spent streaming, with Africa growing 79% and South America growing 192% driven by the launch of new services.

Conviva’s report was primarily collected from proprietary sensor technology currently embedded in 3.3 billion streaming video applications, measuring in excess of 500 million unique viewers watching 180 billion streams per year, with nearly 2 trillion real-time transactions per day across more than 180 countries.

“As the global streaming industry grows and competition becomes even more intense, consumer expectations for a superior streaming experience will only continue to rise,” CEO Keith Zubchevich said in a statement.

Despite fewer consumers homebound due to COVID mandates, Conviva said big screens, including connected TV devices, smart TVs and gaming consoles remained the dominant way to stream video in the quarter, commanding 73% of global viewing time, down just 1% from the same period in 2020.

The research firm said mobile phones captured that 1% share, growing from 10% in Q2 2020 to 11% in Q2 2021. While smart TVs continue to grab market share, up 46%, with streaming media devices up 5%, gaming consoles were the lone big screen streaming device to see a decrease — down 14%.

Among streaming devices, Roku maintained its market lead with 31% global share of big screen viewing time, but dropped slightly in share as smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Android and Vizio each increased 1% to 2%.

Conviva said that when factoring in social media with streaming viewership, long-running series “Grey’s Anatomy,” which promotes its streaming availability on Hulu (and Netflix), had the most cross-platform engagements on social media in Q2 2021, followed by Netflix’s Spanish-language drama “Elite.”

Among originals, “Loki” claimed the top social engagement spot for Disney+ at No. 4 on Conviva’s list of the top streaming shows by social media engagement. Netflix continues to dominate social media engagement with six shows noted on the list, followed by The CW with four of the top 25 shows.

Report: Tokyo Olympics Streaming, Social Engagement Skyrockets

Halfway through the first week of 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and TV ratings are down, but streaming views and social media engagement for the opening ceremony are through the roof, according to new data from Conviva.

Streaming spiked 279% over the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opening ceremony in South Korea. Mobile phones and desktop computers tied for gold as portable devices and desktops each captured 27% of streaming viewing time.

Social media engagements skyrocketed 970% for national Olympics accounts as official Olympics national accounts posted significantly more content.

Interestingly, the Kazakhstan Olympic committee earned its nation the highest social engagement rate and most total engagements as well as top leaderboard rankings with the video. Through July 23, Team USA topped charts with the largest social following with nearly 7.3 million followers as of the opening ceremony, more than double the next-closest organization.

Runner-up national Olympic platforms included Brazil (Comitê Olímpico do Brasil) with 3 million, and British Olympic Association with 2.8 million followers.

USA Basketball’s welcome to Tokyo for superstar Zach LaVine was enough to net them both the most total engagements on Instagram and the most video views on Twitter of any Team USA opening ceremony social post, according to Conviva. Highest engagement rate went to the Olympic newcomers USA Skateboarding for their tweet showing off the team’s opening ceremony outfits.

Conviva said nearly 20% more viewers tuned in during the second hour than the average of the four-hour show, treated to a number of memorable moments.

Official accounts for national Olympics committees posted significantly more content on social media during the week that the Olympics kicked off, but they were rewarded even more handsomely in engagements. National accounts posted 466% more posts and 358% more videos across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube the week of Olympics opening ceremony as compared to weeks prior. In turn, engagements increased nearly 1,000% in the same time period.

NBCUniversal will release up-to-date Tokyo Olympics viewership metrics during Comcast’s fiscal call July 29.

Report: First-Quarter Streaming Video Use Cools; Roku Market Share Dips

Streaming video continues to resonate with consumers globally, albeit not as strongly as last year when the pandemic was in its infancy, resulting in the abrupt closure of movie theaters, sporting events and sequestering consumers in their homes.

New data from Conviva found that viewing time grew 36% during the first quarter, ended March 31, compared to the previous-year period when streaming video growth topped 57%.

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While North America, the world’s biggest streaming market, saw solid 18% year-over-year growth in streaming viewing, that was down from 57% last year, which included South America. The true streaming explosion occurred internationally, with South America (up 240%), Africa (149% vs. 25%) and Europe (+122% vs. 70%) experiencing triple-digit growth.

Data for the report was primarily collected from Conviva’s proprietary sensor technology currently embedded in 3.3 billion streaming video applications, measuring in excess of 500 million unique viewers watching 180 billion streams per year with 1.5 trillion real-time transactions per day across more than 180 countries.

The report also revealed that as more consumers are migrating to connected TV devices, smart-TVs and gaming consoles (73% market share), current device leaders Roku and Amazon Fire TV’s share of the streaming device market is eroding.

Roku and Amazon Fire TV saw a slight decline (2.9% and 3.6% respectively) in share of viewing time in Q1, as international viewing and smart-TVs continued to surge globally. While Roku captured a significant 30% share of global big-screen viewing time, this dominance was primarily driven by North America, where it commanded 37% share in Q1. In Europe, Roku’s second-largest market, Roku accounted for only 8% share of the big screen, and it did not fare any better in other regions, with 4% share or less in Africa, Asia, Oceania and South America.

“In every region in the world, streaming viewership is growing, representing a global shift in the way people consume content,” Bill Demas, CEO of Conviva, said in a statement. “This rapidly expanding international audience has created an enormous opportunity for content developers, device manufacturers and advertisers to engage new audiences as the brands and publishers who understand exactly how, when and where people are streaming, will inevitably triumph.”

According to Conviva, there is significant variation in the way consumers in different regions stream on TV screens. In Africa, where TV screens represent 56% of all viewing time, the CanalPlus set-top box was the preferred device, with 54% share of all Q1 screen viewing time. In Asia, Android TV held 49% of all Q1 screen viewing time, while in North America, where TV screens are responsible for 81% of all viewing time, Roku continued to dominate with 37% share. In Europe, screen viewing time was divided relatively equally among devices, while in Oceania, Chromecast ruled with 24% and in South America, Samsung TV held 30% share of TV screen viewing.

Social platforms continue to deliver strong return-on-investment (ROI) for streaming publishers, delivering new audiences and increased engagement. The total number of posts from streaming publishers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube combined grew 99% in Q1 2021 as compared to Q1 2020, with total videos increasing 39% and total engagements increasing 24%. Audience growth across all social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok, grew 61% year over year.

 

 

March Madness Boosts Schools’ Social Media Buzz

While there can only be one national champion in men’s and women’s NCAA college basketball, the annual March Madness tournament has made winners of the schools competing in each event.

New data from Conviva found that since day one of the tournament, the 64 dedicated women’s college basketball social media accounts have gained more than 110,000 new followers; featured 5,715 posts and videos; generated more than 3.4 million engagements; received 1.9 million views on Facebook videos; realized a 300% increase in average engagements per video across all teams compared to regular season averages; and saw a 100% increase in cross-platform engagement rate for all teams compared to regular season averages.

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On the men’s side, across all teams in the tournament, total cross-platform engagements were more than 10.6 million. Facebook was a big driver in viewership as total views across all the teams measured were 4.4 million. Throughout the tournament, the men’s basketball social accounts measured have grown in aggregate by 250,000 followers each.

Arkansas is the only team to break one million cross-platform engagements in the tournament so far, followed by Michigan and Syracuse with 867,000 and 664,000 engagements, respectively. The Sweet 16 was very sweet for Oral Roberts. Even though they lost their round of 16 bid by just two points to fellow social media titans Arkansas, Oral Roberts saw a 4332% increase in engagements (251,000) per post versus their regular season. Pre-tournament favorite Gonzaga has seen an engagement increase of 149% during the tournament compared to the regular season.

“Many fans are taking to social media to follow and support their favorite—or new favorite—teams,” read the report.

Roku Dominates ‘March Madness’ Streaming

With the 2021 NCAA College Basketball National Championship Tournament, a.k.a. March Madness, readying for the Sweet 16 elimination rounds, sports fans are increasingly streaming games via standalone media devices and connected televisions. The opening round set new records with more than a billion minutes streamed across 32 games in just two days, according to new data from Conviva.

The tournament thus far reveals an ongoing trend streaming games on the big TV screen. Historically the first day of round one sees the most viewership. This held true this year as day one netted 15% more time spent streaming than day two, according to the report.

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Streaming on television increased significantly in the first two rounds to 68% share of time spent in round one, from 48% in 2019 and just 41% in the opening days of 2018. While streaming games on the PC lost market share, the increase in TV consumption comes primarily at the expense of mobile viewing, which decreased to less than half the share held during the previous March Madness. The report attributed this to the pandemic-trend of in-home viewing and the overall, multiyear trend of increased streaming via televisions.

More than 40% of the tournament thus far has been streamed on TVs through Roku devices, followed by Amazon Fire TV (26%), Samsung TV (10%), and Apple TV with 8% share. LG TV and Xbox each tallied 4% share, with Chromecast picking up 3%. Irvine, Calif.-based Vizio, Android TV, and PlayStation lagged behind the field with under 2% share of viewing time.

Conviva reported that social media engagements per post rose an average of 164% for teams in round one as compared to the regular season. Teams tallied 3 million total cross-platform engagements over just two days in the first round of the tournament, with Wisconsin, Syracuse, and Illinois taking the top three spots for total cross-platform engagements.

March Madness often vaults unexpected teams into national view. This year it’s Oral Roberts with 15 times the number of social media engagements per post versus the regular season, and leading in cross-platform, Twitter, and Instagram engagement rates.

Report: Big-Screen TVs, Roku Drove Streaming Video Consumption in Q4

Viewer time spent streaming video in the fourth quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2020) increased 44% compared with the fourth quarter of 2019 — underscoring a significant year for the streaming industry, according to new data from Conviva.

Big television screens captured more than 75% of all viewing time, led by Roku with a 31% share of all TV viewing and followed by Amazon Fire TV (19%) and Samsung TV (10%).

Data was collected from Conviva’s proprietary sensor technology currently embedded in 3.3 billion streaming video applications, measuring in excess of 500 million unique viewers watching 180 billion streams per year, with 1.5 trillion real-time transactions per day across more than 180 countries.

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“The way consumers view content fundamentally changed in 2020 with launch of new streaming services, the rapid adoption of smart TVs and connected TV devices and changing social behavior,” CEO Bill Demas said in a statement. “While the year was clearly defined by spikes in streaming viewing associated with COVID-19 restrictions, the shift to streaming is anything but temporary and we anticipate global streaming viewership to continue to increase in 2021.” 

The smart-TV category drove much of the Q4 growth, experiencing a 157% year-over-year increase in viewing hours and nearly doubling in overall share of viewing time. Connected TV devices also tallied significant growth in viewing hours, up 38% year over year and earned nearly 50% share of global streaming viewing time.

Connected TV devices did lose a small percentage of share for the second quarter in a row, dropping from 51% to 49.1% year over year, due in large part to the growing popularity of smart TVs.

Big screens also dominated in engagement. Television viewers watched for an average of 28.7 minutes each time they pressed play. Chromecast demanded the longest watch time at 35.5 minutes per play, followed closely by Roku at 33.3 minutes per play. In contrast, mobile phones tallied just 8.6 minutes per play.

Social Media Streaming Declined

Cross-platform video engagement rates dropped significantly in Q4 as compared to the same time the previous year. Entertainment and brand accounts saw the largest decreases, each down around 26%, while media and sports accounts were slightly less affected with declines of 22% and 18% respectively.

YouTube was the only social platform to show an increase in audience share across the entertainment, media, brands and sports categories. Media and sports accounts saw the largest increases in YouTube followings with share increases of 5% and 5.4% percentage points respectively. Longer videos became more common on YouTube as well, with average video length increasing in sports, entertainment and media accounts by 60%, 59% and 34%, respectively.

Conviva said the social data consists of data from more than 120 accounts, over 3 million posts, 778,000 videos, 84 billion video views and more than 10 billion engagements across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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.

Conviva: Q1 Streaming Video, Social Media Consumption Boom

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.

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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.

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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.

Conviva: Global Streaming Video Up 20% During Pandemic

At a time when society has never been more digitally connected, countries around the globe are imploring their people to be socially distant. But in the age of connectedness, with options for news, entertainment, and friendships at the press of a button, the sacrifices are not nearly as harsh, according to new data from Conviva.

The coronavirus has had immediate impacts on consumption patterns and engagement across streaming and social media, with marked differences in the past month alone.

Conviva analyzed global streaming data from a 21-day period between March 3 and March 23, comparing the seven days ending March 23 with two weeks prior.

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Streaming skyrocketed on a global scale, increasing more than 20% compared to the previous two-week period, with North America streaming up nearly 27% in the same time period.

Primetime TV consumption shifted earlier as viewers watched throughout the day, rather than just during the evening hours. Daytime viewing jumped nearly 40% as compared to two weeks prior.

For better or worse, Facebook remains a leading platform for local news video registering the largest increase in viewing over the past 30 days, with an increase of 118% in average views per video and total video views up 247%.

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Twitter led social media engagement with 150%increase in average engagements per video for global news accounts and 196% increase in average engagements per video for local news accounts in the United States.]

“Television has long been a way to connect — a plugged-in friend when one might otherwise feel disconnected,” read the report. “In these dire times, we’ve seen many turning to their old friend in new ways. Staying home means tuning in — to get informed, pass the time, and stay connected.”

Conviva said the pandemic has offered a worldwide “reset” on the way people relate to each other.

“People will perhaps see their face-to-face relationships in a new light, but our ability to remain connected via social media is likely valued now more than ever,” the report said. “In the best of times, streaming and social media add value to our daily lives. In this moment, the choice of information or distraction is a welcome one. But either is the correct choice for those of us following the moral imperative to stay home.”

Streaming Video Becoming New Normal, Especially for NFL Fans

The time people spent streaming video continues to climb — up 53% in the quarter (ended Sept. 30) as consumers embrace on-demand videos (63% of all streaming viewing is on demand) on their TVs, PCs and mobile devices, according to new data from Conviva.

“Streaming is quickly becoming the new normal,” Bill Demas, CEO of Conviva, said in a statement. “This is an industry undergoing massive growth, and what happens in the next 18 months will shape what, how and when we watch content in the future.”

Report data was primarily collected from Conviva’s proprietary sensor technology currently embedded in three billion streaming video applications, measuring in excess of a 100 billion streams per year and a trillion real-time transactions per day across more than 180 countries.

Conviva attributed the increase in streaming video consumption due in part to reduced video start failures (down 10%), 6% faster start times, 33% less buffering and the picture quality (bitrate) is 3% better.

PCs saw the most consistent quality improvements year over year with 17% fewer video start failures, 23% faster video start times and 26% less buffering. Mobile saw big improvements in reducing buffering — down 34% year over year — but video start times were only down 4% and video start failures were down only 2%.

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Meanwhile, improvements in overall video quality did not extend to streaming ads. According to the data, 39.6% of all streaming ad attempts failed in the quarter. In addition, ads were plagued by delays including long start times and buffering including instances where it took up to 16.1 seconds for an ad to start and viewers had to endure up to 45.9% of ad buffering.

As a result, roughly 9% to 20% of viewers drop off each time an ad is run. For sports, the largest impact is at the very first ad where 18% of viewers drop, but subsequent ads have less effect.

The fourth ad in a stream triggers the biggest drop as 20% of news viewers, 17% of drama/comedy viewers, and 16% of reality TV viewers stop watching. Overall, 54% of the audience stopped viewing after four ads.

NFL Streaming Skyrockets

NFL viewers continued their mass migration to streaming, with a 77% increase in streaming plays and a 50% increase in time spent streaming compared with Q3 2018. Much of the NFL’s streaming growth occurred on mobile devices, which grew 109% in plays year over year, and TV, which grew 66%. Notably, NFL streaming plays on PCs went down 11% in Q3.

While mobile NFL viewing is up, the minutes per play remains small (8 minutes), inferring that fans are streaming NFL on their phones to check in on their favorite teams versus to watch games in their entirety. Those fans streaming the NFL via TV or PC watched for an average of 24 and 22 minutes, respectively.

NFL fans are also embracing streaming videos on social media, but their appetite varies by team and platform.

Miami Dolphins fans watch more of their franchise’s videos than any other team on Facebook (168% above average) closely followed by Kansas City Chiefs fans (157% above average). New York Giants fans would rather watch videos posted by their franchise on YouTube (211% above average) and New England Patriots fans are loyal to watching team videos on Instagram (227% above average).

The connected TV category once again led all other devices in growth, up 58% in viewing hours year over year compared to PCs (up 36%) and mobile (up 33%).

While Roku maintained the top position by ending the quarter with solid 44% of market share, its growth rate for viewing time (73%) was slightly lower than Amazon Fire TV (78%). Amazon Fire TV closed the quarter with 20% of market share, followed by Apple TV with 9%.

Roku also improved its quality over the past year and now delivers the lowest rate of video start failures at 0.18%, down 52% from the previous-year 2018, and nearly three times as much improvement as Amazon Fire TV which dropped 17% to 0.37%.

Xbox again has the least buffering at a mere 0.15%, while Apple TV is the most improved with buffering down 40%. Once again Apple TV has the fastest video start time at 2.6 seconds and highest picture quality at 6.8 Mbps on average.

Year-over-year comparisons were normalized at the customer level for accurate representations of industry growth. The advertising data included in the report is based on an analysis of nearly 10 billion ad attempts in Q3. The social media data included in the report is based on an analysis of more than 100,000 social posts and 2.5 billion social video views across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.