Blog | Bart Spriester
September 21, 2020

Video Quality: Table Stakes for Audience Loyalty

When consumers are paying for something or receiving video from a big-brand media company, they expect a premium high-quality experience. It has to be as good as TV, on every platform and device – and that’s our main priority in the years ahead.

The above quote comes from one of the executives who participated in our newest research project with MTM (which is available at the bottom of this page). It’s not exactly a revelatory statement, but I’d argue that in my years with this industry I haven’t seen any evidence that consumer expectations for premium quality end with premium services. It’s quite literally the cornerstone of every video-centric service: if the video quality isn’t up to par, the best marketing in the world won’t matter, and frankly neither will the best content.

In Hindsight, Just How Clear Will 2020 Be?

This decade has started off with events that have upended a lot of trend lines – or sent them skyrocketing, as the case may be. Deloitte Insights recently published the fourteenth edition of their Media Insights survey, and it provides some fascinating data around how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted streaming services. We already know that usage in every category shot through the roof – that’s been one of the biggest media stories of the year, as giant bandwidth consumers like Netflix and YouTube even agreed to temporarily reduce their usage by double-digit percentages by throttling back on 4K and hi-definition programming.

From a quality standpoint, it’s all a stark reminder to media companies that they’ve got to be ready for anything. For many consumers who purchase subscriptions and on-demand content, or who are supposed to be influenced by advertising, the pandemic has had an impact on both spending habits and budgets. Set against the backdrop of increased usage and cancel-at-any-time subscriptions, it’s clear that media destinations have to demonstrate more value on a daily basis in order to maintain screen time with consumers who are looking to cut costs.  

Strong initial offers, incentives, or tentpole “big-event” content can do wonders for short-term gains, but the actual viewing experience has to be consistently on point in order to cultivate short-term watchers into a growing community and to build audience loyalty. It really is the sword that media companies need to keep sharp on both edges:

  • On one side is content – simply put, providing the things that people want to keep watching; not just to attract viewers, but potentially advertisers as well.
  • On the other side is the fact that on a global scale, you’ve got to serve that content to an ever-changing planet full of screens, most of which are mobile.

A content and distribution plan that’s built for quality is the first step for being competitive in the coming decade. From there, successful audience building needs a continued dedication to relationship building and performance optimization in order to get the most value out of every creative and operational investment. We reached out to a cross-section of our peers to see what that looks like.

New Paper: The TV 2025 Initiative

Comcast Technology Solutions has partnered with international research and strategy consulting firm MTM to present the TV 2025 Initiative; a collection of industry perspectives on the continued transformation of the video industry, and thoughts about what the future may hold for streaming services as we embark on a new decade.

Senior executives from over two dozen large media and entertainment companies participated in the research, sharing their current experiences and future expectations over a wide range of topics, tackling questions such as:

  • Now that streaming has finally come into its own, What are others in the industry expecting, from a quality and scale standpoint, for streaming’s near-term (and long-term) future?
  • What best practice trends are developing? How are media companies building a mix of internal teams and partner-driven expertise? How will your growth impact your technology’s ability to deliver broadcast-quality experiences?
  • At the rate of change in just the first part of this year, 2025 already feels like it’s practically around the corner; what do today’s executives think will be driving industry transformation? What can be learned in order to chart a strong course from here to there? 

Get the paper right now, right here.