OTT viewing on connected TVs up 50%: report

TV
A new survey has found that OTT viewers are flocking back to the TV and using mobile devices less.

OTT viewers are flocking back to the TV and using mobile devices less, according to a new survey.

Conviva and nScreenMedia announced the findings in their new "The Secret Life of Streamers: Devices, Content, Location, and Quality" study, which built around data analyzing more than 20 billion OTT video streams per month from more than 2 billion video viewing screens internationally.

According to the report, connected TV usage increased 50% between the first quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016. Inversely, PC and smartphone usage decreased 10% and 20%, respectively. The connected TV was also the preferred outlet for binge watching, 40% more preferred than a tablet and 50% more preferred than a smartphone or a PC.

"In this digital era, viewer streaming data provides publishers with unprecedented opportunities to better understand their customers and use those insights to deliver more delightful viewing experiences," said Ed Haslam, chief marketing officer at Conviva, in a statement. "Conviva's data shows how a variety of factors contribute to viewers' level of engagement and quality of experience, which are critical for keeping customers loyal to their streaming services of choice."

"As viewing times on connected TVs are rapidly approaching regular broadcast TV levels, it's clear that video service providers need to carefully manage the viewing experience on every screen," said Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst at nScreenMedia, in a statement. "Never has it been more important to fix poor streaming performance."

Quality of service for streaming video is likely most important to the live-streaming TV services that have slowly been creeping into the MVPD marketplace. Established players like Dish Network’s Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue are soon to be challenged by upcoming entrants like AT&T’s DirecTV Now. All of those services will be pressed to maintain stream quality, particularly during big viewing events.

Sling TV was one of the first to experience fallout from streaming failures when its nascent service buckled under the weight of demand surrounding the 2015 NCAA March Madness tournament.

RELATED: Sling TV's March Madness trouble costs Dish $1M, research firm says

While the survey’s results indicating a migration back toward the living room for OTT viewers is somewhat surprising, even more surprising are the findings around short- and long-form content. Somewhat counterintuitively, the survey found that short-form content is most popular within the home while long-form content is most popular outside of the home.

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