While groups like the Streaming Video Alliance have developed recommendations for measuring online video quality of experience (QoE), Cedexis says the industry overall needs to agree on common practices and measurements.
As more consumers take advantage of online video services, the expectation of a good QoE is becoming more relevant.
Steven Lyons, director of product management for Cedexis, told FierceOnlineVideo that given the complexity of the QoE concept, there needs to be a way to measure it across various platforms.
“One of the working groups within the Streaming Video Alliance is focused on standardizing Quality of Experience metrics because in OTT there’s not a lot of standardization,” Lyons said. “We definitely think there needs to be an industrywide standard for what these values are.”
Lyons said that although more vendors and OTT providers are taking notice of the QoE issue, the problem is there are a lot of elements with it.
“There’s been much more discussion in the streaming video industry in terms of how you define quality of experience,” Lyons said. “It’s a huge topic: there’s the delivery part that we have, and above that you have quality of experience measurements on, is the video stalling and is it taking too long to start?”
Two of the issues with understanding QoE is how to provide OTT providers visibility into two essential metrics: show quality and seeing what experience their customers are getting.
Cedexis itself has been developing its own QoE services platforms to help OTT video providers get performance measurements.
The company has launched its streaming video QoE tracking and analysis platform within its widely used Radar Community—an internet performance monitoring community.
Organizations that comprise the Radar Community can access the global Quality of Service (QoS), and video QoE tracking and analysis are offered for free.
The new service is designed to align newly defined standards from the Streaming Video Alliance. Within a single cloud-based solution, this capability powers a platform that can deliver monitoring and optimization for web content, streaming video and applications.
By using Cedexis’ solution, OTT providers can look at the performance of video streams on a per-chunk basis. This includes various metrics such as rebuffering ratios, video start times, errors and average bit rate.
“We measure the kind of things that are baseline to drive a lot of the video experience for customers,” Lyons said.
Additionally, Cedexis provides OTT providers with network delivery metrics like response time and throughput on a per-chunk basis.
By adding video performance monitoring to its portfolio, Cedexis provides a view of a user’s complete journey from website or app visit to player download and then video viewing. This enables the insights needed to optimize the end-user experience in real time and troubleshoot issues as they arise.
“We think looking at the underlying chunk metrics of the delivered video is where the QoE is made or broken,” Lyons said. “The delivery of the overall video depends on the delivery of the chunks themselves and we think it’s a bit of a missing piece of metric solutions.”
Cedexis is hardly alone in its desire to provide QoE metrics to its online video customer base.
The company will face off with other QoE-focused vendors like IneoQuest and Conviva.
Conviva recently announced a partnership with castLabs, a global partner in premium digital video technology. As part of their agreement, the two companies announced deep product integrations at both the video player level and for QoE measurement.