NPAW: streaming engagement on the slide, except in sports

Despite ongoing growth in the global video streaming business in the first half of this year, individual services continued to lose playtime per user according to the latest streaming report from technology vendor NPAW.

According to NPAW’s new Video Streaming Industry Report H1 2022which examines the evolution of streaming consumption and quality trends, while total playtime and number of plays continued to increase across VOD and online linear TV, user engagement at the individual service level declined.

Following a 9% decrease in 2021, VOD services saw 11% lower daily playtime per user and service in the first half of 2022 compared with the same period the previous year.

Linear TV services saw an even sharper 13% decline in daily playtime per user after this peaked in 2021.

Sports content proved to be an exception to this rule. In the first six months, daily consumption per user and service for sports content saw a 12% year-over-year increase for VOD and a 13% increase for linear TV.

Daily VOD consumption per user and service took an 11% dip in the first half of 2022, while daily linear TV consumption per user and service saw an 18% decline year-over-year.

Service providers attempted to improve the quality of VOD service with mixed results in the meantime. NPAW found that average bitrate for VOD approached a peak as providers increased average join time to keep buffering at bay. However, this resulted in a rise in users exiting before the video started after this decreased last year

Linear TV quality was also boosted, with average join time increasing to support accelerated bitrate improvements while reducing buffering levels.

“Attracting and retaining users is becoming increasingly challenging as competition between services and global economic uncertainty grow,” said Ferran G. VilarĂ³, CEO and co-founder of NPAW.

“The rise of advertising-based models and the promise of sports streaming both have the potential to deliver further industry growth, but long-term success depends on a more fundamental formula: superior content + a superior experience.”

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