tablet videoOnline video professionals in North America and Europe prefer to use a variety of devices when consuming media and they’re “equally concerned with pricing in CDN (content-delivery networks) service models as with the need to maintain multi-screen delivery to existing and emerging media consumption devices,” according to a market research report from Akamai Technologies and Streaming Media.

Two-thirds (67 percent) of online video industry experts, engineers and executives surveyed by Streaming Media prefer to stream their favorite TV shows on-demand rather than watch live broadcasts. Over half (56 percent) would rather watch live content on TV rather than streaming it online, however, according to Akamai-sponsored Streaming Media’s “State of CDN Services” report.

When North American online video professionals stream content for personal on-demand viewing, they prefer to use laptops (25 percent), followed by desktop computers (22 percent) and TV (19 percent), the CDN report partners state in a news release.

Commenting on the results, Streaming Media contributing editor and Transitions principal analyst Timothy Siglin said: “There’s never been a more critical inflection point for media delivery services. “The market is more fragmented, in terms of devices, than ever before, presenting an unprecedented challenge to premium content owners who need to deliver to multiple screens and device types.”

On-Line Video Habits
CDNs are facing a challenge as growing numbers of viewers turn to on-demand streaming to consume video content, the research partners note. Supporting this assertion nearly one-third of survey respondents said they’ll wait less than five seconds before abandoning a video, emphasizing how important load time and quality have become.

“More consumers are streaming more video across more devices, and their expectations for the quality of the content along with the overall experience continue to rise,” Neil Cohen, Akamai vice president, product marketing, was quoted as saying.

“This challenges the full online video ecosystem – from the technology that content producers and distributors are using to how and where ads are inserted to business decisions around formats and capacity planning. To address these challenges, businesses need to carefully identify and evaluate solutions to deliver the content and quality audiences want and expect at broadcast-size scales.”

Other key takeaways from the Streaming Media-Akamai report include:

  • Seventy-eight percent of respondents prefer a delayed start and then play without interruption, rather than stalling partway through playback;
  • The largest limiting factor for a CDN strategy is delivery costs/pricing control (48 percent), followed by economics of scale/contracts (21 percent), internal delivery preference (15 percent) and unfamiliarity with CDN benefits (13 percent);
  • Thirty percent of respondents deliver premium content, followed closely by enterprise training videos (28 percent) and promotional videos (15 percent);
  • There were more than 1,000 responses to the State of CDN Services survey. Eighty-seven percent of the completed surveys were from respondents who identified themselves as working for a company that delivers online video, whether in live or on-demand form.

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