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Key Findings from NPAW’s 2023 Video Streaming Industry Report: QoE’s Impact on Engagement and The Rise of Big Screens

by | Feb 20, 2024 | Industry Trends

NPAW released last week its annual 2023 Video Streaming Industry Report, an in-depth examination of the content consumption, Quality of Experience, and device preference trends that are shaping global and regional streaming markets.

In this blog, we explore two of these trends and what they mean for streaming providers: the importance of ensuring a high Quality of Experience, and the growing dominance of big-screen devices.


The impact of the Quality of Experience on viewer engagement


In the rapidly evolving landscape of digital content delivery, Quality of Experience (QoE) stands as a critical pillar in ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

Offering high-interest content, along with providing the best possible viewing experience, is the best way to ensure your users have plenty of reasons to keep coming back to your platform and no reason to get frustrated and switch to the competition. 

Furthermore, providing a superior QoE is key to fostering viewer engagement: the better the QoE, the higher the engagement. When users encounter high-quality streams with minimal buffering, quick start times, and high-definition video, they are more likely to consume more content.


NPAW Video Streaming Industry Report 2023: how quality affects engagement

The correlation between Average Bitrate and Average Daily Titles per User for VoD observed in 2023 perfectly showcases this phenomenon. As the bitrate—which determines video quality—increases, viewers are more inclined to watch additional titles, translating into higher engagement levels.

In today’s streaming market, where content and platform options are plentiful, services that consistently offer superior viewing experiences stand out and are poised to reap substantial rewards, securing a loyal, more engaged user base that promotes sustainable growth.


Big screens expand their dominance, driven by Smart TV growth

Large-screen devices have been dominating streaming for a while now. Streaming consumers show an overwhelming preference for the big-screen viewing experience, reserving smaller-screen devices such as smartphones for streaming on the go or when big screens are not available. And, according to NPAW data, their dominance continues to expand, primarily driven by the growth of Smart TVs.

Our annual 2023 Video Streaming Industry Report shows that, as cord-cutting increases and Smart TVs become more advanced and ubiquitous, connected TVs are capturing an increasingly large slice of the total playtime. They are doing so mostly at the expense of PCs and smartphones, with both device types losing share to TVs.

NPAW Video Streaming Industry Report 2023: Big screens expand share of total playtime

But, while Smart TVs have taken the spotlight in the VoD segment, set-top boxes (STBs) have a bigger presence in the Linear TV category. When it comes to linear content, STBs are closer to Smart TVs in terms of playtime and they even increased their share in 2023. This suggests that STBs, historically the traditional online linear TV option for telcos, remain strongly associated with linear content even as OTT platforms multiply. Another factor in favor of STBs is their superior low-latency capabilities over OTT platforms, which play a crucial role in the streaming of live events like sports, where each second of delay counts. 

Overall, the consolidation and growth of big screens as the preferred device for streaming means that providers need to focus their optimization efforts and offerings accordingly. This includes enhancing video quality and improving app interfaces for large-screen experiences, as well as ensuring seamless integration with Smart TV software.


Interested in learning more? Dive deeper into the state of video streaming by downloading the full 2023 Video Streaming Industry Report.