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Survey: Streaming mobile video user frustrations worldwide

Since the beginning of online video, users have been frustrated by the dreaded buffering.

Remember this?

And buffering times have improved drastically over the years, as has the technology to improve the situation. Very soon, this all might just be a thing of the past — alongside with the related frustration.

Recently, Penthera conducted a 10-country survey about the state of video streaming (specifically on mobile) around the globe. They looked at the demographics of who uses streaming, what their main frustrations are, and what they’d be willing to do to overcome those frustrations.

Content produced in collaboration with Penthera.

What demographics use mobile video streaming?

The adoption of mobile video streaming across most channels and platforms has become an inspired solution to an increasingly on-the-go culture, not just for me.

According to a recent study done by Penthera, 48% of Europeans and Latin Americans stream videos on their mobile devices daily and 75% say they stream weekly.

These streaming habits are not exclusive to a certain age group. 84% of 18-29 year olds claim to stream weekly, while 78% of 30-39 year olds and 57% of 40-50 year olds do.

This is a large portion of the general population utilizing mobile video streaming.

Brands are working hard to keep up, creating and leveraging video formats to attract attention rather than sticking to the same old static banner ads. With so much video competition out there, brands need to be creative and attention-grabbing to keep users engaged.

More importantly, however, streaming service providers need to be fast and reliable.

And this, unfortunately, is often where we see mobile video streaming fall short.

What are the main user frustrations of streaming?

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been streaming a video on your phone or tablet and just as it’s getting to the good part, the video pauses to continue buffering. (If you’re not raising your hand, you’re lying.)

This is the most commonly-reported frustration with mobile video streaming, according to Penthera’s recent report.

In order, the main user frustrations of streaming are:

  1. When videos pause to buffer
  2. Videos taking too long to start up
  3. User annoyance with advertisers

Whether on private wifi, public wifi, or data, all of these problems can occur, causing users to move on from a website or platform in search of better options.

And this is the most important thing that streaming services need to remember:

Users have other options!

Penthera reports that almost 60% of users will take some sort of action when growing frustrated with a streaming service. These actions range from giving up and trying again later to abandoning the service altogether.

What exactly can these services do to keep users interested and happy?

The solution: Minimizing user frustration

A sure-fire way around streaming complications is for companies to offer a download option.

Companies like Netflix, Showtime, and Starz have already started doing this. Users can download certain movies and shows directly to their devices to watch later on, with or without access to data or internet. This dissolves the potential for a bad connection to ruin a user’s experience.

The downloading solution has caught on quite quickly, since it’s proven so valuable for companies and individuals who use it.

In fact, according to this study, 71% of respondents reported that they would be willing to pay a monthly premium for downloading capabilities.

With this information in mind, streaming services would be well-served to include a download option to keep users happy and engaged.

Like that of many others’, my work day is typically accented by mini brain breaks when I hop onto the nearest social media network or streaming service to watch something. Whether on wifi at the office or using data while standing at the gas pump, I’m able to access a seemingly endless world of video just at the click of a button.

The normalizing of mobile video streaming makes things so much more accessible for everyone. It’s up to streaming services to provide users with the most robust options for a seamless and enjoyable viewership experience.

For more tips and tricks on how you can create long-term returns from your marketing campaigns, download the report, International Mobile Streaming Behavior.”

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