Live streaming video continued to drive surges of streaming video viewership in 2018, according to the video measurement and intelligence platform Conviva.
Conviva, in its 2018 State of the Streaming TV Industry report, found that viewing hours of live video content rose 65% in 2018, accounting for the “largest global surges in viewership throughout 2018.”
Live viewership was driven by live events, in particular coverage of the 2018 midterm elections, the World Cup, NFL football, and the March Madness basketball.
“The ability to watch and be a part of exciting news, sports and other developments as they’re happening is attracting viewers in droves,” says Conviva CEO Bill Demas. “The real-time demands of streaming mean providers who remain vigilant and have visibility into every aspect of the viewer experience will win the loyalty of their viewers.”
Overall video viewing hours rose by 89% in 2018, compared to the year prior, accelerating in the fourth quarter, where growth was 165% year over year.
As viewing hours increase, however, viewer patience appears to be waning. Conviva found 14.6% of viewers abandoned the video they were going to watch before it even started, an increase of seven percentage points year over year.
“The effect was amplified when viewers faced delays in situations where they expected the experience of traditional TV viewing, such as on connected TVs, watching live content and via content aggregators [i.e. vMVPDs],” Conviva’s report says.
As consumers continue to shift viewing away from traditional linear TV and toward streaming options, speed and reliability will become key differentiators for streaming content providers.