Published on August 2nd, 2018 | by Brad Gibson


Hours of streaming worldwide surge 115% since 2017, survey reveals

In just one year the number of hours of streamed online video worldwide more than doubled while the number of times someone played a stream surged 102 percent, a new industry study reveals.

The study, released Thursday by the online video analytics company Conviva and covering the second quarter of this year, found streamed viewing hours jumped 115 percent as compared to the same period last year. 

Another indication of the growth in streaming TV was the impressive increase Conviva saw in two or more plays, as 7.9 million people tuned in during the World Cup, which amounted to 118 percent growth in peak concurrency from the same time period last year. 

conviva_chartThe number of plays in North America was the largest of any geographic region, up 124 percent from a year ago. Asia was second at 63 percent growth, followed by Europe with 28 percent and the rest of the world at 33 percent.

Viewing through an app versus inside a web browser clearly dominated with faster growth and a larger share of both total plays and viewing hours. Plays were up 159 percent from last year through an app versus only 19 percent via a browser, the company said. 

In terms of share of total plays, mobile devices lead the way with 49% of all plays, followed by TVs and PCs at 27% and 24% respectively. 

Overall, the study revealed viewers continue to prefer mobile devices tor consuming short-form content and connected TVs for consuming long-form programming. PCs are losing share to mobile devices, the data showed.

In terms of plays and hours of viewing through a TV app on a streaming device, Roku was first among manufacturers at 7.8 percent of plays and 22.1 percent of viewing hours. That was a 25.5 percent and 39.3 percent increase respectively. 

Plays and viewing hours through a Playstation was second, followed by the Xbox, and Apple TV in fourth place. The percentage of total plays on Apple TV was 4.1 percent – a 96.8 percent jump from a year ago – with total viewing hours at 6.1 percent, a growth of 64.5 percent year-on-year.

Conviva monitors usage through an electronic device connected to TVs. It also monitors the quality of streaming and found overall improvements over the past year in bitrate speeds, rebuffering, and video start failure. Speeds in megabits per second improved 24 percent, rebuffing of video had increased 24 percent, and videos failing to start sharpened 16 percent.

“As the average rebuffering ratio across the board improves, the streaming TV industry is well on the way to improving streaming TV quality around the globe,” the report indicated.

“Overall, the streaming TV market continues to enjoy a very healthy growth rate while the quality of experience delivered continues to improve each quarter,” researchers reported.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as,,,, and He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the AOL, the BBC, Associated Press, and United Press International.

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