The Guide to Analytics for OTT Streaming Services
Aspects such as broadband connection, video quality, content search or navigation, ratings and usage patterns make the big data of TV or business intelligence an intricate art form. This becomes more complex when you consider that TV is streamed on several devices, from browser, mobile and tablet to Connected TVs and Chromecast.
ANALYTICS FOR STREAMING ON CONNECTED TVs
Different devices support different technologies. Just looking at Smart TVs for example, the matrix of support for video streaming formats, and the DRMs you can combine it with, is very complex (check out this guide). What’s more, each of the formats supported natively by each smart TV device are tracked with different analytics SDKs and providers. These have an impact not only on how data is aggregated, but also complicate aspects of monetisation with adverts and tracking of user experience due to the OS capabilities.
Although Connected TV has seen major growth globally, broadcasters are delaying its presence due to the lack of good analytics and its integrations, which provide the foundation for advertising reporting and revenue.
TOO MANY STREAMING ANALYTICS TOOLS?
Big data mining and analytics have no agreed standards within the TV streaming industry. The input for analytics are often overlapping, but with very little technical similarities from source to consumption.
There is a huge variety of choice regarding the technology that collects data for video quality, internet connectivity, user behaviour and consumption patterns. Collecting this data is one thing, but collating the information and making sense of it is a whole other ballgame.
To broadly categorise the analytics sources, the most important items to track are the video, the experience and the ratings.
Video quality majorly impacts user experience. This category of analytics includes video tracking, Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS), which focus on tracking problems in the delivery chain of the video stream, and measurement of its eventual quality.
The value chain for video delivery extends from content original formats, transcoding choices, streaming protocols, origin servers, content delivery networks (CDN), internet service providers (ISP), network operators, home routers, devices, players and encryption, to mention the basics.
This is a “very” simplified flow of where a video stream originates and ends. Each of the sections require its own expertise and technical adaptations where one can foresee many different risks for failures or service impacts.
Analytics providers for QoE (which measures the delight or annoyment of a service) and QoS (which measures the overall performance of the service), have in recent years succeeded in supporting the collection of data around this value chain. However, they still have a long way to go, where such data is exploited to its fullest potential.
Companies which provide QoE and QoS monitoring, including Agama and Bridgetech, give OTT TV service providers the ability to monitor and collect data in real time.
Collecting user data from video streaming services is complex as there are many non-video aspects to it. This includes how users find, navigate and consume content, and how they experience the flow of accessibility. Search and discovery, hence become key business intelligence that results in effective monetisation or service improvements.
Understanding user behaviour in terms of churn, satisfaction, subscriber numbers, consumption patterns and advertisement tracking, are all examples of analysing the experience.
Examples of such analytics providers including Nice People at Work (NPAW), ad-servers, Comscore, Google Analytics, Tableau, and more. Such providers are normally experts at aggregating and visualising data to help make sense of it all.
TV ratings are key for audience measurement across different services, and have been (and still are) the most important data source for advertisers on where to invest their advertisement budgets. In Norway, Kantar Media is responsible for this while Nielsen is the main actor in the US. For OTT, these companies will require you to integrate streaming statistics and sometimes ads impressions to bespoke APIs on top of your internal trackings.
Below is a simplified snapshot of different analytics tools and providers for the evolving world of TV. This matrix is just an example of some key providers which come to mind, but is hardly comprehensive – it’s just a starting point for tracking video, experience and ratings.
The multitude of sources of where and how data can be collected are questions of technology. The use of such analytics spreads across product, business or technology, impacting strategic decisions. The plethora of data and its potential is only limited by privacy and investment issues.
BLOGS & PRESS
In this article, we will develop a simple streaming app on AndroidTV using React Native, and see how we can manage focus navigation. We will also go into detail about some limitations that the standard navigation has, and some ways to mitigate them.
Content has always been king – but what about the technology that delivers it? Can even the best of content be ‘spoiled’ by low quality video delivery or negative user experiences?
Should you develop your Connected TV apps using native or cross-platform technologies? Read about the pros and cons of each here!
Norwegian TV streaming technology company Norigin Media has been chosen as part of the 5GMediaHUB Consortium, alongside Telenor from Norway and other European companies. The project’s goal is to become a world leader in 5G, accelerating the validation of innovative 5G-empowered media and entertainment applications.
Norigin Media, the organisers of Northern Waves TV, have today announced that the conference will not take place in Oslo in 2021. The TV technology and business conference will instead become a series of online compact conferences in the spring and autumn of 2021.
RiksTV, Norwegian digital terrestrial television (DTT) provider who also offers streaming services, has launched an app on Samsung Smart TV with the help of Norigin Media.