A new consumer survey report from Conviva titled “How Consumers Judge Their Viewing Experience: The Business Implications of Sub-Par OTT Service” highlights the importance of video experience now that OTT has become a part of everyone’s everyday life. The report, which is based on the responses of 750 viewers ages 26-34, shows that 75% will abandon a sub-par video experience in 4 minutes or less. The worse news for content owners is that one in three are willing to jump amongst content owners if they’re not getting what they came for. Data also shows that 29% of users will close the video and try a different app/platform/website when they encounter a poor video experience.
Somewhat surprisingly, perhaps, the report shows that these viewers are more sophisticated in their judgments than we might be inclined to give them credit for. They clearly understand that a good experience isn’t just about avoiding buffering, but that it also includes a quick start to the content (what we call frustration time), and demands a good-looking picture. For cord-cutters especially – and this particular survey sample is looking at a generation that almost certainly were watching on their parents’ cable subscription very recently – this is important, because they’re comparing what they watch both to other Internet services, and to the TV itself.
The survey says that nearly half of them lose brand loyalty as soon as they get a bad experience. Whether that really plays out in real-time is debatable, but if it’s even half as bad as that, it’s a wake-up call for everyone: the quality of your video experience better compare favorably to the competition, or trouble could quickly ensue.
If there’s one big takeaway, it’s that holding the interest of today’s OTT viewers is hard, and getting harder. The proliferation of devices and platforms to be supported continues to accelerate, and the variation in quality between ISPs and CDNs is undeniable – and may be indecipherable, as it shifts and changes on practically a minute-to-minute basis. The survey shows respondents placing blame across the whole ecosystem when they get a lousy experience, but that’s small comfort to a provider whose expensive content is being abandoned.
Note: Conviva also publishes a very detailed report that measures the technical problems with streaming video when it comes to re-buffering, slow video startup, low-resolution and their impact on the viewer experience.