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Consumer expectations of streamed content sky high – research reveals

MEDIA RELEASE
Source: StreamingMediaGlobal.com, 24 October 2018

The growing number of over the top (OTT) streaming video services face being left behind if they fail to keep up with consumers ever increasing expectations, according to a new industry whitepaper.

OTT Insights: Uptake, perceptions and the worldwide evolution 2018, released by Switch Media – a world leader in OTT streaming technology, reveals a growing dependence on streaming and therefore a new level of demand and expectation which, if left unmet, may have viewers switching off.

It says: “Consumers are enthusiastically lapping up streaming technology, but also have high expectations when it comes to how the content is delivered to them.”

Insights from exclusive research contained within the whitepaper found that the streaming experience is an ongoing issue for many.  The top five issues raised by consumers include buffering, ad placement and transitions, content availability, loading times and crashing.

Switch Media CEO, Mark Johns, said the OTT streaming industry is rapidly evolving, creating new opportunities and new challenges.

“We are seeing the introduction of an ever-growing number of streaming services, an increase in original content and exclusive deals, the move towards aggregator sites offering free and paid content, and the debut of immersive content,” Mr Johns said.

“But the biggest challenge is that viewers have a near zero-tolerance policy to poor streaming experiences and expect industry players to meet their growing demands, or face being left behind in a highly contested market.


“Our research identifies advertising as a key area for improvement, with four in ten respondents listing poor ad insertion among their major complaints of streaming services.”

Buffering around ads, poor timing of ad appearance, repetition of ad content and too many ads were among the main issues identified by consumers.

Based on findings from research by Stable Research, exclusive to Switch Media, the whitepaper reveals some significant and enlightening insights and stats around current media viewing habits, perceptions and expectations. These include:

  • Buffering is the biggest issue (50 per cent) followed by ad placement and transitions (41 per cent), content availability (32 per cent), loading times (29 per cent), crashing (24 per cent), content searchability (21 per cent) and image quality (19 per cent).
  • 92 per cent of streaming service consumers are likely to change their viewing behaviour due to poorly inserted ads.
  • On average 2.6 ads during one hour of streamed content is perceived as tolerable;
  • 61 per cent of consumers prefer one long advertisement, as opposed to multiple shorter ads;
  • Consumers want to be rewarded for the length of time they stay tuned to a video stream, with 71 per cent saying they should see fewer ads after “binging” on a program;
  • The most popular place to watch streamed content is the living room (86 per cent), followed by the bedroom (57 per cent), while 15 per cent viewed streamed content while in the bathroom or on the toilet; and,
  • Foxtel Go was ranked the best for ad placement, followed by SBS and then free-to-air operators.

With the content streaming industry surging across the globe, Mr Johns said the whitepaper plays an important role in better understanding the current streaming climate and the issues facing content providers.

“Understanding these key pitfalls within Australia’s streaming landscape gives the industry as a whole a better idea of how to keep consumers engaged and gain insights on what industry players can do to remain relevant,” he said.

“A key focus of our research was to shed light on one of the biggest challenges the industry faces – monetisation- and help the industry succeed in this lucrative and booming market. ”

For more information and insights, download the whitepaper here: OTT Insights: Uptake, perceptions and the worldwide evolution 2018

About Switch Media: Founded in 2006, Switch Media is a world leader in delivering online video content for a diverse range of industries, from broadcasters and content providers through to educational institutions and government. Utilising its multi-screen video platform, Media Manager, coupled with a world-class technical team, Switch Media deliver OTT video solutions for a superior Live and Catch-Up viewing experience – anywhere, anytime, on any device. Its services include content editing platforms, app development, tools to monetise content, through to the delivery of video to end users across multiple devices. switch.tv

Switch Media Editorial Contact:
John Hanrahan
0411 212 965
JHanrahan@lighthousecomms.com.au

Immersive video content is the future, says Switch Media CEO Mark Johns

MEDIA RELEASE
Source: MEDIAWEEK, 12 September 2018
Written by Kruti Joshi

 

Switch Media is the silent partner of some of the biggest broadcasters in Australia.

The Sydney-based streaming media tech company has been around for 12 years and one of its first clients was ABC iview. The company doesn’t provide the technology for the platform any more, but it still works with Foxtel, SBS, Ten and Seven.

Mark Johns, CEO Switch Media

Switch Media CEO Mark Johns was with the company when it initially launched and was operating out of an apartment in Pyrmont. After a gap of about five years, Johns rejoined the company in his current role in September 2017.

“The company started off by accident,” he told Mediaweek. “The founders, Christopher Stenhouse and Luke Durham, were working on a website, around the same time as YouTube launched, for curated content that people wanted to see.

“One of the people they pitched the idea to said, ‘I hate the content but I love your technology.’ From that point the skew was the technology.”

The founder and CEO of Switch Media came from a broadcast engineering background. This helped the company understand how to build a digital streaming and catch-up platforms in a way that would set it apart from linear television.

“When we started, we were not an internet company but at the core we were a broadcast engineering company. Now we are both,” Johns said.

“Coming from that broadcast engineering background we could really help networks understand what they could do with this new technology.”

Australian households have warmed up to streaming. According to recent research by Roy Morgan, 13 million Australians have access to some form of subscription TV or pay TV service such as Foxtel, Fetch TV, Stan and Netflix. Nearly 10 million Australians have access to a Netflix subscription. Meanwhile, two million are able to view content on Stan.

What is next for streaming in Australia?

“A lot of people are interested in immersive experience for content like sports. This is a very personal experience,” Johns said. “There is also a big drive for content being consumed on connected television. More families are getting around TVs in the lounge room. So it’s going two ways.”

A new study from Switch Media of 1,000 consumers showed that 70% of the respondents would be interested in streaming content in either 360-degree view, virtual reality or an augmented reality environment.

Broadcasters and streaming services have started to test these technologies already. Recently, Optus Sport launched the FIFA Virtual Reality app for the World Cup. However, it wasn’t marketed very well, according to Johns.

While companies have started trialling this new technology, it is still expensive and uses a lot of bandwidth. There is still much work to be done to optimise video quality and bandwidth, Johns said.

“There are also challenges around buffering and ad insertions,” he said.

There is work to be done to make them cost-effect. Locally, it won’t become a norm in the immediate future, Johns predicted

Speaking about Switch Media’s biggest growth opportunities, Johns looked at breaking outside the Australia and New Zealand, saying it would provide a good opportunity for the company to learn about the implementation of immersive technologies.

[ARTICLE END]

Link to article: https://mediaweek.com.au/morning-report-archive/september-17-2018/

Keep an eye out for our detailed whitepaper, OTT Insights: uptake, perceptions and the worldwide evolution, COMING SOON!

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER to be one of the first to receive this whitepaper which looks at the progression of this cultural revolution and reveals interesting insights and statistics from our exclusive research around Australia’s media viewing habits, perceptions and expectations.

Further Monetising Content Through an Omni-Platform Approach

Leading up to Switch Media’s presence at the SMPTE Conference in Sydney on 18 – 21 JULY 2017, CEO Christopher Stenhouse shared his views and expertise around the adaptation required for the effective monetisation in OTT.

READ PRESS RELEASE BELOW (source: Further Monetising Content Through an Omni-Platform Approach, Posted by Phil Sandberg on July 19, 2017).

Video content creators and broadcasters need to rethink their over-the-top (OTT) streaming strategy and the technologies they use to attract and successfully monetise audiences, according to a leader in streaming technology.

At the start of SMPTE17, CEO of Switch Media Christopher Stenhouse said while OTT streaming has exploded in recent years, many existing players will fall by the way-side unless they adapt to the rapid changes in technology and audience behaviours.

“It is no longer good enough to create apps that only show content on one or both of the mobile device platforms and TV,” Mr Stenhouse said. “Today’s audiences want to be able to view content on any device, anywhere and at any time, seamlessly and without interruption.

“Content should be delivered in a high-quality format not only for mobile devices, but also for platforms such as Chromecast, PlayStation, Xbox, Smart TVs and the various IPTV streaming devices such as Telstra TV. What’s more, content owners and broadcasters must accept that if viewers can avoid advertising, they will, particularly if there is a time lag or buffering.

“Yet many are failing to adopt solutions that not only address ad-blocking technology but also improves the ad experience for viewers through seamless and targeted ad insertion in the delivery of content to the multitude of platforms Australian audiences have embraced.”

As an OTT service provider, Switch Media developed and delivered Foxtel Now.

Mr Stenhouse said the recent rollout of the new streaming service is one example of a major broadcaster adapting to the changes in technology and consumer behaviours around media consumption.

“In the initial stages of development Foxtel acknowledged the changing dynamics of how people are consuming media. This resulted in the product being rolled out across multiple platforms including PCs, Macs, iOS and Android mobiles and tablets, and the fast-growing Chromecast and Telstra TV platforms at launch.

“It has also only last week been made available on PlayStation, and in the near future will be further enhanced to be readily available on even more devices including Xbox and select Smart TVs.

“The omni-platform approach enables Foxtel to grow their audience significant and through Switch Media’s server-side ad insertion technology, AdEase, they will be able to better monetise their content and deliver better outcomes for advertisers.”

Key points:

  • Many current industry players will fall by the way-side unless they adapt to the rapid changes in technology and audience behaviours.
  • The industry must accept that if viewers can avoid advertising, they will, particularly if there is a time lag or buffering.
  • An omni-platform approach enables broadcasters to grow their audience significantly and through Switch Media’s server-side ad insertion technology, AdEase, they will be able to better monetise their content and deliver better outcomes for advertisers.

Switch Media is showcasing its OTT solutions – including AdEase, Switch Live2VOD and MediaManager – at SMPTE 2017 at the International Convention Centre, Sydney on booth G-40.

At 5.30pm tonight (19/07/2017), Switch Media will host a presentation by Foxtel’s Director of Product, Michael Ivanchenko, Mr Stenhouse, Switch Media’s Lead Solutions Architect for Foxtel Karthik Sivaram and Switch Media’s AdEase expert, Tim Armstrong. This presentation will discuss the technology approach, challenges and key learning’s for the development of Foxtel Now, as well as insights around server-side ad insertion technology to support enhanced user experience and revenue optimisation.

Visitors to SMPTE can scan their conference pass at the Switch Media stand for the chance to WIN a 12-month full subscription to Foxtel Now.

Switch Media solution delivers enhanced viewing for Foxtel pay TV subscribers

IT WIRE, 02 AUGUST 2016

Sydney-based tech company Switch Media has done a deal with Foxtel which it says will give the pay TV broadcaster’s subscribers a more streamlined viewing experience, particularly on smartphones and tablets.switch-media_foxtel


The deal sees the introduction of Switch Media’s Australian-developed AdEase server-side ad insertion technology by Foxtel to replace its client-side solution.

Christopher Stenhouse, chief executive of Switch Media, said the rollout of AdEase now meant that Switch was delivering a “full over the top (OTT) solution” for Foxtel.

“Switch worked with Foxtel to build and maintain their revolutionary Foxtel Go app which enables subscribers to take their pay-tv viewing with them as part of their subscription,” Stenhouse said.

“We also worked with them to develop Foxtel Play to deliver TV channels directly to IP connected devices to meet the expanding demand for internet connected content viewing.”

According to Stenhouse, the switch to AdEase was the logical step to further enhance Foxtel’s services. “With its capacity to create a seamless viewing experience between advertisement and programming play out, AdEase allows Foxtel to continue providing the high Foxtel GO devices shotquality viewing experience the public has come to expect from their home TVs.

“As a CMS platform-agnostic solution, it plugs into and works with any existing systems and workflows in place, meaning content does not need to be re-ingested.

“AdEase can take existing video streams, detect the ad breaks, and stitch ads into the stream.”

Foxtel is now using Switch’s full suite of products for their end-to-end OTT delivery including Media Manager, MasterApp, AdEase, Switch Live and Live2VOD.

Foxtel’s director of product, Michael Ivanchenko said Foxtel has a long-standing relationship with Switch Media “from development of the multi-award winning app for our online coverage of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, to the build and ongoing support for other Foxtel services”.

“AdEase is yet another innovation from Switch that helps us to deliver a world class viewing experience to our subscribers.”

Link to IT Wire news article (02/08/16): Switch Media solution delivers enhanced viewing for Foxtel pay TV subscribers