SPONSORED CONTENT JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 streamingmedia.com WP75
Streaming video has evolved from something of a
hobby to a significant, multi-billion-dollar global business.
Services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and others are
now generating eight- and nine-figure revenues, and
services like PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now are pulling
consumers away from traditional cable providers. Each of
these trends brings opportunity as well as the challenge
of delivering a service across the chaotic—and near-unmanaged—internet that meets and exceeds consumers’
expectations. And those expectations are that the service
will at the very least match the quality of TV delivered
through satellite or cable services.
In order to achieve that level of quality, video publishers
must build or acquire tools that enable the tracking and
dynamic optimization of video streams. Put another way, an
internet video service that is to have any hope of achieving
broadcast quality requires holistic service monitoring,
coupled with active network management, to counteract
the challenges of internet congestion and micro-outages.
Because every person receives a unique content delivery
experience over the internet, both the monitoring and the
proactive adjustments must be based not on server load
or system diagnostics, but rather on the actual experience
being received by the consumer—meaning that only real
user measurements (RUM) can provide the intelligence
needed to understand the quality of experience.
Since its earliest days, the streaming video industry has
struggled to agree upon a core set of measurements that can
be broadly used to track, monitor, and establish benchmarks
for quality. While a disparate array of companies has offered a
range of reads on startup times, buffering (and re-buffering),
and stream interruption rates, it has to date been tricky to
compare outcomes across publisher services using different
tools to track user experiences. As a result, for many publishers
it has been possible to track how their service is doing—but
not to put it into context; to be able, as it were, to ask the
question “is that a good result?”
An industry group, including representatives from major
publishers and service providers, called the Streaming Video
Alliance, is seeking to address this lack of consistency. In
a recent paper, the quality of experience (QoE) working
group proposed a series of standardized streaming metrics.
Can Video Quality of Experience
Monitoring Help Publishers
Deliver Broadcast-Quality Video
Over the Internet?
WHAT IS THE
STREAMING VIDEO ALLIANCE?
The Streaming Video Alliance is a consortium
of organizations spanning the streaming video
value chain. From network operators to service
providers to technology developers to content
owners, these organizations are dedicated to
solving the critical challenges facing our industry
and helping drive continued consumer adoption.