11 July 2017

Smart innovations improving the streaming experience

When you consider that research findings by Kleiner Perkins estimate that this year 74% of all internet traffic will be online video viewing, it’s no surprise that many tech, media and content businesses are all working tirelessly to try to gain a competitive advantage through better understanding the trends, tastes and habits of people when watching video.

Digital media and OTT streaming businesses are currently enjoying a purple patch, as the technology, broadband capability and increasing user demand symbiotically drive progress and spur the industry to reach new levels.  In a recent blog about millennial viewing habits we discussed how 71% of US millenials are watching TV via streams compared with 54% watching traditional TV. Here we look at a few innovative ways in which these viewers’ behaviour are being analysed in efforts to create the optimum experience.

Eye ball tracking

The NFL, renowned for pushing the creative and format for live sport and entertainment, is sending researchers and placing technology into fans’ homes to watch and learn how they behave, including tracking viewers eye movements during live games and monitoring what they do during commercial breaks. The reward for this progressive thinking and bolder investment in research has led to innovations like placing RFID technology in the shoulder pads of players to give instantaneous on-screen player data such as speed and distance travelled. They also discovered that commercial ad breaks were too long and frequent, and have reacted by reducing them in response to fan feedback.

Short form video

The length of video content is shortening, 30 minutes has now diminished to 15, 10 minutes is often reduced to 3-5 minutes, and media owners are seeing huge reductions in the number of views for each piece of video content. The high penetration of mobile devices has seen a significant growth in media multitasking or multi-screening – people using multiple electronic devices at the same time. According to Deloitte’s Digital Democracy Survey more than 95% of US TV viewers below 51 years of age surf the web, send text messages or emails, tweet or engage in some other activity while watching TV. And as Nic Newman, author of the Reuters Journalism, Media and Technology Trends and Predictions 2017 report said “There’s an explosion of content and finite time.”

Utilising in the moment data

Netflix’s decision to revert to a simple thumbs up or thumbs down rating system received a mixed reaction, but the impact speaks for itself – they got 200% more ratings than the previous 5 star system which had been confusing many people. Netflix’s focus on using real time data to not only better understand each user, but also to develop their content strategies, is one of the major advantages that video streaming has over traditional broadcast media. The ability to source vast amounts of data to evolve a service, whilst making your fans feel valued and connected is a huge opportunity for the industry.

The upshot of these methods, put simply, is a more superior, tailored and enjoyable experience for the viewer – which is at the very core of why Falcon Media House exists.