Brightcove’s Q3 Global Video Index sees major change in sports viewing online

global video index

Brightcove’s Q3 2019 Global Video Index reports that billions of dollars are being spend on sports rights globally as broadcasters and pay-TV operators try to hold onto the last vestiges of appointment TV.

But, just as audiences globally are spending more time watching news and entertainment videos stream online, so, too, are they looking over-the-top for premium sports broadcasts, in-depth interviews and other “fan candy” being prepared for them to consume when, how and where they want. And the number of viewers adopting live streaming sports is soaring.

Brightcove’s Q3 2019 Global Video Index, released this week, found more than half (54%) of sports video views start on smartphones, but completion rate is highest for sports on connected TVs. Sports content is watched to completion 68% of the time on connected TVs compared to just 42% of the time on smartphones, 60% on computers and 45% on tablets.

Video Index: Size may matter with sports video

Larger screens, obviously, keep viewers engaged best, when it comes to sports content, the Video Index found.

During the quarter, all screens but computers saw an increase in the amount of sports content being consumed, with sports video starts up 49% on smartphones, 31% on tablets and a whopping 319% on connected TVs. Computers saw starts decline 17% Y/Y.

Among other highlights from the Q3 2019 Global Video Index:

  • Views on mobile devices for all content types and lengths continue to rise, making up 62% of views compared to 28% on computers. That’s a trend that has been relentless across the past dozen quarters.
    • Smartphone video starts had a 60% share in Middle East/Africa, 77% in APAC and 58% in Japan/Korea.
    • In five of seven regions, mobile video views took market share from computers. Only North America and Australia/New Zealand saw share below 50% — barely.
  • Overall content starts on connected TVs are up 37% Y/Y on the heels of a 37% in Q2. Falling prices, better deals on data and a seemingly unending stream of high value original content that increasingly can be watched in a lean-back fashion are driving connected TV’s growth.
  • iOS continues to trail Android devices in video share in five of seven regions.

The bottom line

It should come as no surprise that sports have begun to have an impact on over-the-top numbers. Leagues and rights owners are simply going where the fans are… online.

Sports rights are among the most expensive video rights in the world today, but that’s not stopping streaming services from going after them aggressively. Sports content is a favorite of viewers on all devices and streaming services understand they must evolve alongside consumers’ viewing habits and expectations to keep viewers’ attention.

But, as more premium content of all kinds becomes available over the top – and more users cut the pay-TV cord, freeing up additional cash to spend on streaming – we expect to see increases in video views across every device and in every region.

Time spent watching video was up, video completion was up and video engagement was up, regardless of region.

Consumers increasingly are all in on streaming services, and the recent flood of new services available in the market will only serve to increase the size of the game. For companies standing on the quay, it’s time to jump aboard before the ship sails without you.

Stay tuned.

(Download you copy of the Q3 2019 Global Video Index here.)

Jim O’Neill is Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn