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BizReport : Trends & Ideas : January 05, 2018

SVOD subscriptions rising but consumer experience suffering

Subscription video on demand (SVOD) subscriber numbers have been steadily rising over the past couple of years, and so have revenues. But, according to new data from IBM Cloud Video (formerly Ustream), the user experience is suffering.

by Helen Leggatt

According to recent statistics, the number of subscription video on demand (SVOD) subscribers in North America is forecast to increase from 124.08 million in 2017 to 159.64 million in 2022. Revenue generated by the industry almost doubled between 2014 and 2016 rising from $3.2 billion to $6.2 billion.

Meanwhile, consumer satisfaction with SVOD services has suffered. According to a report resulting from a survey conducted by IBM Cloud Video, consumers are frustrated by technical difficulties, lack of content, and too many ads. Eight in 10 consumers (81%) said they have experienced buffering or delayed starts, up from 75% in 2016.

ibm cloud.png

Nearly two-thirds (63%) said the top thing they would change about their streaming service would be to increase the amount of available programming. Not only that, only 10% of consumers watch either most or all of the shows and movies recommended to them by a streaming service, and 44% say recommendations are rarely or never what they want to watch.

Ad-supported streaming services witnessed big growth last year, but the experience has not sat well with consumers. Sixty percent said that adverts, even relevant adverts, detracted from their viewing time. In fact, "too many ads" was the top issue cited when respondents were asked what would make them cancel a streaming service subscription (27%) compared to 25% citing cost. Nearly 20% said a lack of good content would drive them away, and another 17% said technical problems would cause them to leave.

"Streaming video is becoming increasingly popular worldwide as viewers seek out new ways to supplement the traditional television viewing experience with premium, more personalized content," concludes the report. "In the race to stake a claim in today's increasingly crowded market and compete for audience attention, it is imperative that content providers understand their viewers' needs, wants, and pain points to maintain a successful business."

Tags: advertising, entertainment, streaming, subscription video, video, video on demand

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