Global live TV streaming up 54%, study says

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Conviva said that connected TVs, not mobile devices, are seeing the biggest growth in livestreaming. (Pixabay)

The amount of TV being livestreamed around the globe is on the rise, according to Conviva, which measured the increase at 54% year over year.

The firm’s State of the Streaming TV Industry Report, released today, recorded 52% jump in plays and 63% growth in total viewing hours, with noticeable spikes during the 2018 World Cup.

"Streaming TV consumption shows no signs of slowing down, and publishers have stepped up to the plate, delivering better quality and reliability that viewers have come to expect," said Conviva CEO Bill Demas in a statement. "The demand for quality is pushing connected TVs to the top in terms of device share, commanding more than 50 percent of total viewing hours at the expense of PCs that have lost 7 percent while mobile remains relatively flat."

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Other key takeaways from Conviva’s report show that live sports is a big driver of streaming TV and that in September 2018, the NFL alone accounted for approximately 3% of all streaming plays and viewing hours in the U.S.

The firm also said that connected TVs, not mobile devices, are seeing the biggest growth in livestreaming. Connected TVs saw 145% growth in plays and a 103% growth in viewing hours. The study also found virtual MVPDs like DirecTV Now and Sling TV grabbing more time from streaming audiences, with 292% more plays and 212% more viewing hours year over year in the U.S. These increases are coinciding with improving video stream quality and perception by viewers.

"It's clear that viewers are less tolerant of a poor experience, as 13% of U.S. and 16% of global viewer attempts result in an exit before the video starts," Demas said. "Providers must increasingly focus on the streaming TV experience to match viewers' rising standards."

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Conviva’s findings give the fastest growth over to connected TVs but new research from Ooyala suggests that mobile video is still hitting new highs. Smartphone video starts topped 50% globally for the first time, a 13.2% year over year increase, according to the company’s second-quarter Global Video Index Report.

"We see the Q1 pause in mobile video’s rapid growth curve as a normal transition as consumer habits and content creators’ initiatives get in alignment," said Jim O'Neill, Ooyala principal analyst, in a statement. "Q2 represented a reignition of mobile-video consumption coinciding with new content initiatives, season-finale TV events and sports-season finales.”