Audience Engagement Digital Innovation
4 mins read

Understanding the mobile streaming video audience – global insights for publishers

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Online video viewership is growing worldwide. As publishers evolve their media platforms to offer video content, it’s valuable to understand how different audiences experience streaming content in their day-to-day lives, in order to get the experience right and drive engagement. We recently conducted an international survey examining in detail how viewers in10 different countries—UK, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Spain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Italy—feel about their mobile streaming video experiences. There’s a lot to learn that can guide development efforts on the publishing side. First and foremost, it is clear that demand for streaming services continues to grow—and not just in the U.S.

Your audience expects a streaming option, and probably a mobile one. Streaming video is growing mostly because more and more viewers around the globe are watching content on the go. It is the new normal, the dominant mode.

However, I share word of optimistic caution when you consider how to deliver video content to your audience going forward. It’s worth understanding that watching video out of the home has come with a particular set of very real problems for streaming video users. There is an opportunity to consider these concerns and innovate to ensure a quality experience from the beginning.

In taking a look at the adoption of streaming technology and reported concerns, our survey specifically found the following:

Low patience. Nearly all (88%) of the 3,000 respondents reported that they experience some level of frustration while streaming video, including weak or non-existent connectivity.

Abandonment tendencies. When faced with connectivity issues, 46% of all respondents reported simply giving up trying to watch. Even more daunting, one in five respondents said they would stop using that particular service.

Competitive migration. More than a quarter said they respond to streaming frustrations by leaving a service for competitors with more reliable technology.

Because we know that connectivity issues are so common and exactly what kinds of things can occur (frustration, abandonment, competitive loss), video publishers can address these concerns from the outset by providing download functionality in their mobile apps. In fact, our survey revealed that 71% of our panelists would pay a premium for the ability to download mobile video.

Depending on your site demographics today, as you build out video, it’s worth a closer look at the numbers as they pertain to younger audiences. When we split our survey results by age, it was immediately obvious who is driving mobile video viewership growth. Younger viewers are daily streamers, and while they’re the segment that most understands how frustrating streaming can be, they may not feel that way if they see that you are set up to deliver high-quality playback wherever and whenever they want.

As mobile consumption continues to grow around the world, the frequency of these frustrations will only increase, if those who offer it don’t focus vigilantly on improving the options. Companies that want to take advantage of the growing international revenue opportunities available to them must take these pain points into account and address them early on.

The data indicates that download functionality is one of the preferred and trusted ways viewers choose to combat these frustrations. The path to an ideal viewing experience is to not only offer a download facility, but to make viewers aware of the feature, so that they can proactively avoid the negative experiences that come as a result of poor connectivity. Adding download can also slow down customer churn, keeping consumers engaged with your app rather than moving on to a competitor’s. Providers may even find that download and other products create a new revenue opportunity.

Major providers like Netflix and Amazon were among the most popular service options with the surveyed viewers who favor video downloads. Competing with these well-established giants doesn’t require major technological overhauls — it simply requires providers to anticipate their viewers’ needs.

In an industry growing exponentially, the biggest winners will be those that not only address their viewers’ practical issues but who also invest in technology and talent to continue to imagine and innovate for increasingly voracious viewers, introducing functionality that delights well beyond their competitors. The potential is great, with projected revenues multiplying 2 to 3 times larger every year.

Yet innovation inspired by viewers’ desire for a seamless experience is what will position providers to capture that potential – and to stand out among all the various options their viewers have.

by Daniel Taitz, President and COO, Penthera

About Penthera
Penthera is a global software company that develops and deploys products facilitating the delivery of TV shows, movies and other video content over wireless networks to mobile devices. Led by Michael Willner, Chairman and CEO and Dan Taitz, President and COO, Penthera’s Download2Go solution allows consumers to watch video content when they don’t have access to a suitable internet connection.