The first quarter of this year has shown a solid year-on-year streaming growth in North America and also massive surges in international markets as streaming viewing time grew 36% annually during the three-month period, according to Conviva’s “State of Streaming” report.
The report revealed that North America, which is streaming’s largest market, saw a 18% annual growth in streaming viewing, being overshadowed by South America (240%), Africa (149%) and Europe (122%). Another key trend revealed was that consumers are massively turning to connected TV devices, smart TV and gaming consoles, with big screens commanding at a 73% share of Q1 streaming viewing globally.
Diving deeper into the big screen devices that made up so much of the world’s viewing time, the diversity in preferred devices was strikingly different regionally. While Roku captured a significant share of global viewing time, this dominance was primarily driven by North America, where it commanded 37% of big screen viewing time in Q1 2021. Some interesting leaders emerged as the top big screen device in different regions, including the CanalPlus set top box with 54% share of viewing time in Africa, Android TV’s 49% share in Asia, Chromecast in Oceania with 24%, or Samsung TV in South America at 30% share in Q1 2021.
While moderate, overall quality of the experience improved globally with 13% higher picture quality, 5% less video start failures and 5% less time waiting for buffering, as start time held steady. Overall, improvements in quality typically result in viewers engaging for longer amounts of time and this remained true as minutes per play increased by 5% to an average of 20.8 across all regions.
“As we get our first glimpse of the year-over-year pandemic impact, it is clear that consumer interaction with streaming, advertising, and social media have been altered by the course of the past year. It is almost inconceivable to imagine what the world would have looked like under similar circumstances in some other time. Without the flexibility of streaming as people escaped to different rooms and into different worlds via their devices. Without the virtual interaction on social media that provided a creative outlet, a way to connect across distances. These pandemic lifelines have become fixtures of our daily lives, and show no signs of subsiding as the world inches towards a new normal in 2021,” the report concludes.