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Streaming TV growth accelerating

03 May 2019 | Rasmus Larsen |

Netflix is already a big player but the pace of growth in streaming TV is actually accelerating and is 49% faster in Q1 2019 than in Q2 2018, according to Conviva. Streaming quality is also improving. Roku has a strong lead in TV platforms but "the battle for the TV is not over".

TV is the preferred streaming platform

Streaming viewing hours increased 72% from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019, and the rate of growth is 49% faster than the year-ago quarter, said Conviva. The incredible growth demonstrate that viewers are embracing video streaming in a big way.

- "There’s no surprise that the streaming TV market is expanding significantly," said Bill Demas, CEO of Conviva.

Analyst company Conviva claims to be able to measure a trillion data events per day via 3 billion streaming apps (including HBO and Hulu) on devices in 180 countries. The data gives it insight into the world of streaming TV and every quarter it shares some of its findings with the public.

Conviva said that viewers are streaming more video on TVs than on all other devices combined. Connected TVs (Smart TVs, streaming players and game consoles) grew the fastest of any platform.

 Streaming TV market Q1 2019

The company characterizes it as "TV's triumph" and says that over the last year streaming picture quality, measured in bitrate, has improved 21% on connected TVs. Buffering has improved 60%.

- "Streaming viewership is up across the board. Consumption on connected TV devices continues to grow the fastest of any device at 74.3% year-over-year to account for 56.1% of all viewership in Q1 2019. Connected TVs also delivered the biggest improvements in quality with 60.1% less buffering, 20.6% better picture quality, and 42.7% less video start failures year-over- year," said Conviva.

The battle for the TV is not over

Roku continues to lead in TV platforms, with a 42% share of viewing hours in the connected TV segment. Amazon Fire TV captured a 18.6% share, up from its share of 11.4% in Q1 2018. Apple TV, which is up a massive 113% year-over-year, and Xbox One are tied at 10% share, while Samsung's Tizen is the only Smart TV platform to break free from "other TVs", with its tiny 1% share.

- "Apple TV also saw significant growth, up 113.3% year-over-year. In Q1 2019 it accounted for 10% of total connected TV minutes consumed, an increase from 8.2% the previous year. Apple TV also continues to impress with a strong focus on the viewer experience. This includes the industry’s shortest video start time at 2.25 seconds versus 4.65 sec across all connected TVs and highest bitrate at 7.1 Mbps as compared to the 5.4 Mbps for the connected TV category."

 Streaming TV market Q1 2019

Despite Roku's strong lead, Conviva emphasizes that "the battle for the TV screen is not over". It also noted that it is vital for everyone involved to offer a high-quality viewing experience, otherwise viewers will stop watching - perhaps a message to HBO. After a relatively short delay of 5 seconds in video start, 13.6% of viewers had stopped watching.

- "Maintaining a high-quality viewer experience tightly across content and advertising is increasingly important as streaming providers look to increase viewer engagement and monetization. The battle for streaming market share is a fast-growing pie and services must deliver an experience comparable to linear TV to fulfil viewer expectations."

So what is next? Expect the streaming TV market to continue growing at breakneck speed as more viewing transition from linear TV to streaming services. Later this year, Apple, Disney and WarnerMedia will all launch new streaming services.

- Source: Conviva

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