Tech Glitches Send OTT Viewers Packing

Although over-the-top TV services may be the hot thing for many TV executives, retaining customers could be difficult -- after just a few video mishaps, they may leave.

A new survey says one in three OTT consumers will abandon their service at the first whiff of an “inferior experience,” per Conviva, a video research company.

Only 25% will continue to work through an OTT’s streaming hiccups for more than four minutes -- with 75% losing patience after up to four minutes of video snafus. Video problems include long start times, picture quality and buffering (stopping and starting) of video.

Looking at the longer term, the survey says 40% will develop negative brand impressions of services that provide a poor experience quickly --  just from a “single negative experience.”



Says the Conviva report: “Given the relatively low barriers to entry for OTT services, it is impossible to imagine a service that could survive losing the commitment of four in ten viewers on a regular basis... OTT consumers are more sophisticated, more demanding, and more impatient than ever before.”

While the OTT service can be a major factor, devices also play a role in consumers satisfaction. Consumers who are using OTT platforms on connected TVs have an 82% retention/engagement rate for high quality experience -- the best of all devices. Next comes, the tablet, smartphone, gaming consoles and Web video.

The OTT market is estimated to grow into a $10 billion market in three years.    

Research for the study was conducted among 750 U.S. consumers -- men and women ages 26 to 34, those with “disposable income” who have “struck out on their own.” Conviva says this group is a portion of the so-called “cord-never” demographic: those most likely to select OTT video instead of traditional pay TV service.

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