Streaming video consumption in Asia grew a barely perceptible 2% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2020. The rest of the world saw viewing time leap by an average of 63%.
Data from research firm Conviva, published as “Q2 2020 Conviva’s State of Streaming Report,” which draws on sensor technology built into billions of streams, shows streaming in Europe grew by 134%, North America, 57%, South America, 35%, and Africa, 30%.
The Asian picture appears to reflect the different pattern of coronavirus outbreak and recovery, compared with places where the pandemic arrived later. “Asia’s streaming growth rate slowed dramatically into Q2 to 12% in April before turning negative in June, possibly as shelter-in-place restrictions heavily abated. Asia was the lone continent in the world to experience negative streaming growth at any point in 2020, declining 5% year over year in June,” Conviva said.
Differences within the vast region further highlight that point. “Asia’s 2% year-over-year rise in streaming time in Q2 masks the reality that four out five Asian regions witnessed declines in the quarter. Eastern Asia, including China, Japan, and South Korea declined by 7.5% year over year. Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore, contracted the most with 34% year-over-year losses. Only Southern Asia, including India, Iran, and Pakistan, tallied a rise in viewing,” said the report, noting that minutes watched more than doubled year-on-year in South Asia.
“Counterintuitively, even though most regions recorded less overall streaming time, every region watched longer streams. Western Asia recorded the most minutes per play growth, up 28.8% year over year, eking out Southern Asia’s 28.6% longer plays,” said Conviva.
Desktop and mobile continued to dominate streaming viewership with an 86% share of streaming time. Live video still edged out on-demand video with 53% of viewing time, compared to 47% on demand. But the firm noted that the margin shrank as more viewers opted for on demand.
Asia enjoyed the world’s fastest video start up time, at 3.01 seconds, which was 9% slower year over year. “The continent’s advantage in start time likely lends itself, in part, to the wider prevalence of streaming via mobile phones rather than on connected and smart TVs with typically slower boot-up times,” said Conviva.