By Sahil Patel
For all the hype around HBO and Showtime cutting the cord and launching standalone video services this year, it’s important to note that customers won’t care if the streaming experience on those products is terrible.
That’s the chief message coming out of a study by Conviva, which found that most of the people in the key demographic that the new OTT players are targeting — 26- to 34-year-olds — don’t have much patience with bad streaming video quality.
Only 25% of respondents, all in this age group, said they would engage with video content for more than four minutes if the viewing experience was “inferior.” What’s more, one in three respondents said they would leave to find content elsewhere as soon as “playback degradations” occur, and 40% said they’d think lesser of a service even after one bad streaming experience.
There’s one bright spot — sort of — for networks looking to go over-the-top: Today’s millennials seem savvy enough about how content delivery works that they’d assign as much blame for a poor experience to the OTT service they are using, as they would to their internet provider and the CDN delivering that content.
It’s important to note where this study comes from. Conviva is a technology provider that helps companies like HBO, Sky, and Foxtel manage and optimize their OTT services — so the findings certainly certainly help its business.
But the point still stands, for all of the craze around OTT video, it won’t mean much if the video services can’t offer something worth coming back to.