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Study finds 80% of streaming services executives feel their quality of experience is not on par with the streaming giants, and 64% plan to improve it

Kaltura, released a new report titled “Go With The Stream”, a global survey of 200 streaming service provider executives. As the streaming market becomes hyper-competitive and consumers have more options than ever before, the report delves into how streaming providers are adapting to fast-changing technology and consumer expectations.

Consumers today are faced with a dazzling array of choices in video entertainment. Currently, there are over 5,300 streaming services globally and new players continue to enter the market. In such a competitive environment, user experience is increasingly crucial to business viability and media companies are acutely aware of this.

When asked how they rate their service’s quality of experience (QoE) and features from a consumer perspective, most executives said their services are “good” (43%) or “acceptable” (33%). Only 20% of executives believed their service to be as good as global streaming giants like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video. 64% of respondents plan to improve their UX in the next three years, with 32% planning to do so this year. The effectiveness of these investments, however, will depend on enhancing the service provider’s understanding of subscribers’ viewing preferences.

The report found that streaming services largely still struggle to know their constantly evolving customers. Only 25% of respondents claimed an excellent understanding of their audience and 47% acknowledged their understanding is limited, resulting in a misalignment in priorities across numerous functionalities. While some gaps are to be expected due to differing priorities, for example only 23% of consumers value free trials yet their clear value as a conversion tool makes them a top priority (58%) for streaming providers, others are more problematic. While 46% and 45% of providers ranked having a watch list and favorites sections respectively as a priority, no consumers did. Conversely, 28% of consumers want ways to find new content fast and no providers viewed that as a priority.

“Streaming services are dealing with a monumental challenge  — keeping up with constantly evolving consumer preferences and a market that becomes more competitive every day,” said Nuno Sanches, Chief Strategy Officer at Kaltura. “For media companies to be successful in the coming years, investing in the right elements, from the quality of experience to marketing and monetization, will prove to be key.”

Other key findings in the report include:

  • Media companies are not going at it alone: 79% rely on 3rd party technology to power their streaming services.
  • Multi-revenue models are becoming more prevalent: 28% of streaming services employ hybrid business models to achieve their financial goals, ahead of those who rely only on advertising (23%) or subscription-based platforms (20%).
  • Distribution is the top priority for investment: In both short and long-term plans distribution is the top priority, followed by engagement with content, monetization and advertising technologies, and marketing.
  • Streaming services are satisfied overall with their video platforms, yet flexibility remains a problem: 24% of providers are not satisfied with the integration of 3rd party solutions, and 22% are not satisfied with the breadth of features available.

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