Home BUSINESS Global streaming consumption up 63%, but advertisers wary

Global streaming consumption up 63%, but advertisers wary

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While global streaming time was up 63 per cent year-on-year, ad demand dropped 28 per cent in a single quarter, heavily impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Conviva Q2 State of Streaming Report shows that global streaming time was up 63 per cent year-on-year, with April up 81 per cent, May up 58 per cent, and June up 49 per cent as national lockdown measures were relaxed.

Globally, ad demand dropped 28 per cent in a single quarter, heavily impacted by the pandemic.

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Viewing time spiked 239 per cent on smart TVs and a more modest 61 per cent on connected TV devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV, which maintained 50 per cent share of global viewing time in Q2.

According to a news release by Conviva, Mobile YouTube viewing accounted for 59 per cent share, but viewing on TVs grew significantly to 27 per cent share in Q2 2020 from 16 per cent the prior Q2.

June social media engagements were down more than 71 per cent from January for US professional sports with the NFL Draft a bright spot, as NFL teams surpassed NBA teams in engagements for the only time during the year.

Europe led in viewing growth, up 134 per cent, followed by North America, up 57 per cent, South America, up 35 per cent, Africa, up 30 per cent, and Asia up just 2 per cent year over year.

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Demand for streaming video may be booming, but advertisers did not respond positively 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 Conviva data.

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.

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.

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%.

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B B Nagpal
B B Nagpal
A reputed Journalist, Visiting Professor (Media, PR and Cinema Studies), and Film Critic for the past 51 years. He retired as Chief of Bureau of United News of India (UNI) after more than 36 years of service in November 2005 and was founder Chief Editor of the Lok Sabha TV channel.

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