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NPAW and Ooyala: Measuring the Effect of QoE on Audiences

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Ooyala recently released their Q1 2016 Global Video Index. There are many interesting industry findings included in the report, but we would like to emphasize what they stress on page 18 in “How QoE impacts Engagement”. NPAW worked with Ooyala, and shared we with them some insight into how QoE affects audience engagement. We are honored to have data collected by our YOUBORA Analytics platform featured in the Ooyala report. Simultaneously, we are excited they are using that data to address an idea which is very important to us: the signficance of QoE.

In particular, the report includes an interesting finding based on the data – audiences seem to value live event video more than VoD. It elaborates:

The data shows that low buffer ratios — the time on buffer divided by session time — increase view time. A ratio below 0.2% for live video can maximize playtimes, with some live content seeing increases of as much as 120 minutes per session (content dependent). Conversely, if your content buffer ratio rises to 0.4%, viewing time can drop by as much as 40%.

For VOD content, a buffer ratio of 0.2% also results in longer viewing, but less than live; viewers extend their viewing +16 minutes. Higher buffer ratios result in slightly higher drops. At 0.4% buffer ratio, view time decreased 43%. When buffer ratio increases to 1%, however, view time plunges to more than 50%. QoE is critical for VOD providers because you can lose engagement with your audience in a specific region, device, ISP or CDN (if you are multi-CDN) entirely.

Now, it is clear  people don’t like waiting to watch their videos, so high buffer ratios naturally affect audience engagement adversely, regardless of the type of content. However, this report shows that although the trends might be similar, the values are clearly different.

What does this mean? A buffer ratio of 0.2 will result in around 60 minutes of playtime, on average, for live events, and about 40 minutes for VoD. Now, increase that ratio by two-tenths to 0.4 and audience engagement drops appreciably, down to just shy of 40 minutes for live content and just under 20 minutes for VoD.

So, just how does this help us estimate how audiences value live versus VoD content? Well, that increase in buffer ratio of 0.2 caused a 40% drop in live content viewership, but a 43% decrease for  VoD. In minute-by-minute terms, a optimal buffer ratio will keep an audience 16 minutes longer for VoD and 24 minutes longer for live content.

Those minutes make a difference. For example, an ideal QoE can boost brand reputation and provide more time to expose end users to ads. The truth is that viewers are becoming less tolerant of imperfection, and heighten their quality of experience standards every day. There is no room for error with today’s audience, so it is essential for OTTs, Broadcasters, and other online content providers to take proactive steps to keep their audience engagement high. Providers can only achieve this with a monitoring and analytics tool – one which  allows them to pinpoint areas of improvement and leverage the right strategies to meet the ever growing expectations. NPAWerment like this is possible with YOUBORA.

We’ll be keeping track, so you can stay in the game.

You can download the full report here

Just another thing to think about from us here at NPAW.

James Noeker on June 29th 2016

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