Growth in Streaming Video Viewing Slows in Q4 2021

March 3, 2022

After experiencing double-digit year-over-year growth in the first quarter of 2021, the time spent streaming video saw only modest growth by the end of the year. This is according to Conviva’s State of Streaming report [download page] for Q4 2021. 

The final quarter of 2021 saw global time spent streaming increase by 7% over the same quarter in 2020. The fastest year-over-year (y-o-y) growth in viewing time was seen in regions with less mature streaming markets such as South America (+61%), Oceania (+54%) and Africa (+51%). In the meantime, Europe (+20%), Asia (+5%) and North America (+1%), which the report notes as being more established streaming markets, saw far slower growth.

In all global regions, the largest share (76%) of viewing time happened on big screens, which includes connected TV (CTV) devices and Smart TVs. In North America, that share is even higher at 83%. 

The use of Smart TVs to stream video continues to grow, although not at the pace seen several quarters ago, such as in Q3 2020 when time spent streaming video via Smart TV grew a whopping 200% y-o-y. The Q4 2021 data shows that viewing time on Smart TVs grew by 37% y-o-y. Mobile (+17% y-o-y) and tablet (+5% y-o-y) also saw growth in viewing time, while CTV devices (-2%), desktop (-12%) and gaming consoles (-16%) experienced y-o-y declines.

One trend that may be concerning for brands sharing videos on social media is the increase in the share of viewers turning the sound off on Facebook. Some 42% of videos were watched with the sound off in 2021, compared to 35% in 2020. Moreover, two-thirds of brand videos on Facebook were viewed with the sound switched off. This highlights the importance of using captions, with earlier research showing that videos with captions outperform videos without them.

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Results are based on an analysis of data “primarily from Conviva’s proprietary Stream Sensor technology currently embedded in four billion streaming video applications, measuring in excess of 500 million unique viewers watching 200 billion streams per year with nearly three trillion real-time transactions per day across more than 180 countries.”

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