Are streaming services hitting the buffers?

Video Streaming Services Lost Further Playtime Per User as Sports Boomed…

While the global video streaming industry kept growing in the first half of 2022, each individual service continued losing playtime per user as the competition between platforms increased. That is the main conclusion of NPAW’s new Video Streaming Industry Report H1 2022, which examines the evolution of streaming consumption and quality trends on a global and regional scale.

Thus, although the total playtime and number of plays continued to increase across video-on-demand (VoD) and online Linear TV, a deeper look at the data reveals an accelerating downward trend for user engagement on the individual service level. After a 9% decrease in 2021 vs. 2020, VoD services saw 11% lower daily playtime per user and service in the first half of 2022 compared with the same period the previous year. Meanwhile, Linear TV services experienced a 13% decline in daily playtime per user after this peaked in 2021.

But there was an exception: sports. In the first six months of a year packed with live sporting events, daily consumption per user and service for sports content saw a 12% year-over-year increase for VoD and a 13% surge for Linear TV. Only for Linear TV, the average daily consumption of sports content per user and service was almost double that of generic linear content, confirming sports content is an engagement powerhouse.

And there is more — here are, in a nutshell, the main takeaways from NPAW’s H1 2022 report:

  1. Daily VoD consumption per user and service took a further 11% dip in the first half of 2022, while users watched slightly fewer, yet longer titles per day
  2. After peaking in H1 2021, daily Linear TV consumption per user and service saw an 18% decline year-over-year, while users watched linear content in shorter sessions
  3. Avg. Bitrate for VoD approached a peak as providers increased Avg. Join Time to keep buffering at bay, resulting in a rise in exit before video start (EBVS) after it decreased last year
  4. Linear TV quality got a boost after a period of stabilization, with Avg. Join Time increasing to support accelerated bitrate improvements while reducing buffering levels
  5. Daily sports streaming consumption grew for both VoD (12%) and Linear TV (13%), with the Avg. Daily Playtime for linear sports almost doubling the average for generic linear content
  6. One more semester, users spent the most viewing time on big screens, while smartphones remained the device of choice for shorter, more frequent viewing sessions

The full report examines the state of the video streaming industry on a global and regional scale, comparing data for the first half of 2022 with insights from the first half of 2021. It also includes comparisons with NPAW’s previous video streaming industry reports.

All 2022 data insights featured in this analysis were extracted via the NPAW Suite from January 1, 2022, to June 30, 2022. They reflect real-time consumption and quality-of-experience data from NPAW’s more than 160 clients around the globe, which include OTT providers, broadcasters, and telecom operators. The findings are divided by geographical scope, type of content, and device. Additionally, the report provides deep dives into sports streaming and how quality affects engagement.

Share Button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *