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Streaming Surges Worldwide, Explosive Growth Internationally

Fern Siegel

The streaming gold rush is on, and international markets are growing at eye-popping rates.

There are strong year-over-year rises in streaming time in North America (up 18%), but the big news is the international front. In Q1 2021, South America saw a 240% surge in streaming, with Africa up 149%, and Europe posting a 122% increase over 2020. By comparison, Asia saw only a 15% uptick, according to the Conviva State of Streaming Report for the first quarter of 2021.

Users continue to gravitate to connected TV devices, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. Big screens commanded a 73% share of Q1 streaming viewing globally. In North America, viewers favored the big screen for 81% of their viewing. Mobile viewing accounted for 8% of streaming time, with desktops at 7% and tablets at 4%. (Those pandemic-tilted numbers help explain why mobile-only Quibi was never able to gain a foothold.)

Per Conviva’s findings on devices: Roku grabbed a 30% share of global big screen viewing time, primarily driven by North America. Europe, the second-largest market for Roku, accounted for only an 8% share of the big screen.

That was followed by Samsung with 19%, Chromecast with 12%, Amazon Fire TV with 10%, LG TV with 10%, and Android TV with 9%.

Roku and Amazon Fire TV witnessed small declines – down 2.9% and 3.6% respectively in Q1 viewing time.

A big plus: Advertising on streamers rebounded from 2020. Q1 2021 saw a resurgence of streaming ads, with ad attempts growing 4% and ad impressions jumping 13%. Missed ad opportunities fell 16% quarter-over-quarter.

Conviva said the data showed streaming viewership growing in every region of the world.

“This rapidly expanding international audience has created an enormous opportunity for content developers, device manufacturers and advertisers to engage new audiences as the brands and publishers who understand exactly how, when and where people are streaming, will inevitably triumph,” said Conviva CEO Bill Demas.

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