The growth of on demand sports content significantly surpassed that of live streaming over the past year, according to by analysts Conviva.
The report detailed that the ‘moderate’ 93% growth of live streaming was eclipsed by the video on demand viewing, which grew much faster than live at 155%.
The research comes as rights holders continue to adapt to evolutions in the way fans engage with sports continues. A key element of what may be hindering the growth of live streaming, is the ‘silent engagement killer’ that is ad buffering. The study described ad buffering as being a longstanding ‘blind spot for streaming providers’.
It added: “When content or ads are viewed in isolation, it’s easy to miss the big picture. Visibility throughout the stream, from pre-roll on to completion, reveals buffering is a continuous threat to engagement. In Q2, for viewers who didn’t even make it through 5% of their content, pre-roll ads tallied an average rebuffering ratio of 1.59%.
“When a viewer did make it past that 5% threshold, an indication they are engaged with the content, pre-roll ad buffering was 0.40% on average. Even a seemingly small decrease in average pre-roll ad buffering can result in large increases in content engagement and magnetisable viewing time. Overall, the average pre-roll ad buffering ratio was 1.09% in Q2 2019.”
Further emphasising the changing climate for sports broadcasting and how the industry is evolving to cater to different platforms, the research outlined that Facebook and YouTube saw 15% more videos posted as news media led with the largest growth in average total video views.
Insider Insight: The study affirms the need for creativity amongst advertisers and rights holders, the days of being able to engage sports fans with a 30 second advert are very much done.
Rights holders are also required to exceed just streaming sports, it’s become imperative that they enrich their offering with short-form, more digestible content. It’s undoubtedly something that has worked well for Sky Sports in the UK, now offering Premier League highlights on YouTube.