Study: More viewers turn to live streaming; mobile key to sports

Two-thirds of consumers in a recent study say they have live streamed content and nearly half say they are live streaming more content today than they did a year ago. Notably, two thirds also said they intend to live stream the World Cup. Surprisingly, nearly half said they would watch a recording of a World Cup game, suggesting that even sports appointment viewing is losing its allure.

Some 70% of the consumers from 21 markets that the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) surveyed said they stream video content at least once a day; 53% said they stream several times a day. Forty-four percent said they now watch less traditional TV as a result.

More than three-quarters of respondents in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) said they stream daily with the highest number of respondents watching in South America (80%). MENA has the highest percentage of consumers who said they have streamed live content (90%), with APAC at 70% and North America at 67%.

Mobile is a key link to live streaming

Smartphones (67%) are used most frequently to access live video streams, followed by smart TVs (64%); numbers that are similar to those we’ve seen in Ooyala’s Video Index, which is based on actual usage data, not survey data. The higher usage percentage for smartphones over other devices is primarily due to the near ubiquitous nature of the device; some 83% of respondents said they own, or have access to, a smartphone. That share declines quickly, with consumers reporting access or ownership of PCs/Laptops at 62%, followed by tablets (49%), smart TVs (44%), game consoles (38%) and video streaming devices like Roku or Apple TV (23%).

IAB found that episodic TV shows were the most preferred type of content to stream (45%), followed by live sports (31%), how-to videos (30%) and video game competitions (29%). Viewers in South America (38%) are more likely to stream live sports than in other regions, with Europe next at 32%. North America? Just 27%.  

But those numbers for sports, I believe, will swell as more premium content becomes available over the top. Just as premium TV shows and movies followed viewers online, sports, the biggest games and the smallest, will follow.

Stay tuned.

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