OTT Video Series: Measuring the right metrics for OTT platforms

The old saying, “content is king” is as true for OTT video services as it is for Pay TV. But when it comes to OTT, the value of data analytics cannot be underestimated. The ability to collect data on internet video platforms is so powerful that companies like Netflix use learnings from their viewers’ behaviour to guide their in-house production strategy, from what type of shows to produce down to which scenes to include in which episodes to ensure viewing times are maximized.

Traditional Pay TV companies are not familiar working with this type of data and don’t intrinsically understand the value it offers them to improve their OTT platforms’ performance. In this regard, they are at a disadvantage compared to their native OTT competitors- one explanation why many Pay TV-led OTT services are struggling.


What key metrics must Pay TV companies measure as a starting point to improve their OTT services?

Pay TV companies must focus on measuring metrics that go beyond simply content popularity and look at user experience measures which lead to actions which can immediately impact viewership numbers.

These key user experience metrics include:

  1. Video Start Failure Percentage – Indicates how many customers were not able to watch a video they clicked on to play
  2. Video Startup Times – Shows how long customers had to wait for the video to start playing. This illustrative chart of video start-up times reveals larger delays on Android OS – The operator should review optimization for Android to provide a better experience to Android users
  3. Average Bitrate – reveals whether the customer had a smooth video viewing experience or a choppy one.
  4. Duration vs Play Re-buffering ratio – Gives the percentage of video viewing time when viewers experience rebuffering after the initial buffering
  5. Time viewed by Browser – Shows which browsers are being used most heavily to view the OTT platform - indicates which browsers to prioritize and on which browsers viewers may be experiencing problems.
This illustrative chart shows an analysis of video start up times revealing larger delays on Android OS – The operator should review optimization for Android to provide a better experience to android users

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