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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
Mark Johns - CEO

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.

VR and 360-degree video are the future of sports streaming

Exclusive research findings around Australian Streaming Habits – Infographic

Switch Media worked with Stable Research to conduct a body of primary research that explored Australia’s media viewing preferences and consumption habits. See below for a snap shot of some of the interesting findings from this research exclusive to Switch Media. Further insights to be revealed soon.

 

 

 

Ad insertion solution AdEase addresses issues highlighted by recent research

Switch Media worked with Stable Research to commission a body of primary research which explores Australia’s media viewing preferences and consumption habits. See press below for a sneak peak on some initial findings.

 

Source: Ad insertion placement costing OTT publishers massive revenue, Streaming Media 07 NOVEMBER 2017

Ad insertion placement costing OTT publishers massive revenue

 

Over the Top (OTT) streaming services offered up by Subscription and Advertising Video on Demand (SVOD & AVOD) companies risk significant revenue seepage as a result of a poor advertising experience, new research has found.

A survey by Stable Research of 1,000 consumers of streamed video content in Australia found 46 per cent  of viewers would switch off as a result of poor ad serving; with a further 28 per cent saying they would only tolerate poor ad insertion if the show were something they were desperate to watch. Only 8 per cent would tolerate poor ad serving.

The research was commissioned by a world leader in OTT streaming technologies, Australian-based Switch Media, which late last year expanded into the US market off the back of keen interest from global OTT players.

Switch Media co-founder and CEO, Christopher Stenhouse, said while streaming services have taken off throughout the world, the research shows that consumers are unhappy with the way advertising is served across the variety of services on offer.

“Four in ten respondents had advertising insertion as one of their major complaints of streaming services,” Mr Stenhouse said.  “The only issue that was cause for greater complaints was buffering.

“The dissatisfaction is something we believe is a universal problem particularly where client-side ad insertion is used. With this insertion method, the latency often results in an ad being served too late or too early.

“Server-side ad insertion, such as our AdEase technology, delivers a seamless, TV-like experience that defeats ad blockers and provides a more reliable play out of complete ads, therefore eliminating much ad-frustration by consumers.

“The research is clear; if consumers are frustrated by the way advertising is inserted, they will switch off and, as a result, broadcasters will be forgoing significant revenue.”

The results – as part of a more comprehensive research study into the consumption of streaming and consumers behaviours to be launched later this year – also showed:

  • Only one-in-five consumers are opposed to advertising being shown on streamed services, with 43 per cent saying while they don’t like advertising, they tolerate it;
  • Most consumers (61 per cent) preferred advertisers to play less but longer advertising as opposed to a number of shorter adverts.

Mr Stenhouse said Switch Media’s breakthrough AdEase technology avoids the need for a client’s ad enabled media to be re-ingested into Switch Media’s system before delivery to the viewer’s device, unlike other server-side solutions in the market.

“AdEase is platform agnostic to where the media is stored and only makes requests for the required media chunks containing the ad break, at time of playback. This saves the customer hours of ingestion time and related costs,” Mr Stenhouse said.

“Unlike other solutions, our customers have the option to integrate our Universal Player with AdEase to provide a seamless integration that can deliver both HLS and DASH technology across multiple platforms, as well as robust analytics.” 

About Switch Media: Switch Media is an Australian company founded in 2006 that is a world leader in delivering online video content for organisations from broadcasters through to government. Its services include content management platforms, app development, and dynamic ad insertion, through to the delivery of video to end users across multiple devices. Its Australian designed and developed video content management solution, coupled with world class technical teams, means Switch can deliver tailored solutions to its clients – anytime, anywhere, any device.

Contact Information

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