Q1 Video Index: SVOD vs. AVOD engagement; the QoE impact

A 22% increase in the amount of premium video inventory available programmatically in Q1 helped drive a 74% increase in paid ad impressions, according to the Q1 2016 Global Video Index.

The report also found a 13% increase in private marketplace CPMs during the quarter, one which traditionally falls off following the Q4 holiday season.

Also increasing during the quarter, mobile video starts. Nearly half (48%) of all video starts in the quarter were on mobile devices, up 129% from Q1 2014 and 14% from a year ago. The mobile segment continues to expand, but at a slower pace.

Also of note is the growth in video plays on tablets, which made up 18% of mobile plays in the quarter, the third consecutive quarter of growth despite a slowdown in tablet shipments worldwide.

The Video Index – which draws insights from more than 3.5 billion video analytic events per day from 220 million viewers across the world – also took a deeper look at viewer engagement, specifically in terms of Quality of Experience (QoE) and found that viewers (for now) are far more willing to endure extended buffering events when watching live content than while watching VoD.

According to Nice People at Work (NPAW),  more than 40% of viewers dropped if VOD buffering exceeded 5-6 second. Viewers of live events, meanwhile, will sit through 25-30 seconds of buffering waiting for the start of a live-streamed event before dropping in similar numbers.

The report also found that helping viewers discover relevant content keeps them on a site longer. On average, viewers watched 40% of all content recommended to them, increasing their time on a website by between 6% and 23%.

Looking at SVOD vs. AVOD business models, it’s obvious the jury still is out as to which model creates the highest viewer response and extended engagement. Long-form SVOD content (over 20 minutes in length) saw the highest completion rates on all devices. For AVOD, device use – and completion ­– varied.

Smartphone and PC viewers prefer short-form content the most (66% and 55% respectively), while tablet AVOD viewers are split between long-form (43%) and short-form content (44%).

The impact of ad blocking, meanwhile, is apparent throughout the industry, as more than 200 million consumers apply ad blockers worldwide, at a potential cost in lost ad revenue to publishers and broadcasters of $27 billion by 2020.

The Video Index posited that while denying users employing ad-blocking technology access to content – a strategy increasingly being employed that risks losing viewers – publishers and broadcasters would be better served using anti-ad blocking (ad reinsertion) technology.

Using ad reinsertion technology, publishers saw ad impressions increase as much as 23%, while broadcasters saw increases of as much as 15%.

Finally, one more sign of mobile’s increasing role in the ecosystem: it increasingly is being used to watch video at all times of the day.

Previous Video Index studies have shown that PCs generally see the greatest share of video views during the workday. While they still remain as the principle device being used, smartphones and tablets have begun to close the gap — and continue to rule evening viewing.

Download the complete report here.

Stay tuned.

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