Globally, time spent streaming – whether it be on desktop, mobile or through connected TV (CTV) – grew by 58% year-over-year (y-o-y) in Q4 2019, opening up even more opportunities for video advertisers. Streaming video ad quality did see some improvement in the second half of 2019, though some areas did not fare as well, according to a recent report [download page] from Conviva.
The good news for video advertisers is that ad start failures dropped by 13.73% towards the end of the year, falling from 35.7% in Q3 to 30.8% in Q4. Total ad failures also decreased, improving 7.83% between Q3 (39.6%) and Q4 (36.5%).
Unfortunately, that is where the good news stops when it comes to streaming video ad quality. Conviva’s analysis shows that exits before ad start increased from 3.85% in Q3 to 5.75% in Q4, while ad startup times almost doubled (1.14 seconds in Q3 to 2.27 seconds in Q4). Ad buffering also worsened, increasing from 0.77% (Q3) to 1.14% (Q4).
Nonetheless, this new analysis finds that video streaming quality (excluding ads) has improved in all areas over comparable periods in 2018. Video start failures decreased by 12% in Q4 to 0.66%, while buffering dropped by 37% to 0.37%. Video start times ended the year at 4.25 seconds, which is 6% faster than the year before.
Streaming video and video ad quality are important to monitor as consumers migrate their viewing patterns and streaming becomes as commonplace as watching TV. As with websites – for which load times and other such measures can have an impact on consumer behavior – a streaming site’s user experience can presumably affect consumers’ loyalty to the site. Start time has been identified as the most important quality parameter; Conviva’s report indicates that this measure is improving for streaming video content, but worsening for streaming video ads.
As far as time spent streaming video is concerned, CTV viewing hours grew by 57% y-o-y, which solidified its continued stronghold on streaming time (55% share). Mobile, which accounted for 24% share, and desktop (11% share) also saw growth in viewing hours over the past year (54% and 20%, respectively).
To read more, the full report can be downloaded here.
About the Data: Results are based on an analysis of Conviva data, which tracks 500 million unique viewers, 150 billion streams per year and 1.5 trillion events per day.