While the broadcast industry has generally adopted common standards and practices for delivering programming, a survey of online video publishers shows that they adopt a variety of approaches to managing video delivery and quality of experience. Smaller providers generally lack the resources to deal with the inherent complexity of online video.

The research was commissioned by Conviva and conducted by MTM, based on interviews with staff at leading online video publishers in Europe and North America.

The original goal was to find commonalities across publishers to establish economic benchmarks but the interviews with staff at various services demonstrated that there is no such thing as a typical online video publisher.

However, there was general agreement amongst those surveyed that one of the most difficult operational tasks is performing root cause analysis of issues such as re-buffering or stream failures. Most respondents also agreed that automation or machine learning would help them with diagnosing the of root cause of any problem.

One conclusion was the need to establish industry-wide standards about what constitutes a high-quality streaming video experience in a way that consumers can understand and publishers can use as a benchmark.

The report suggests that online publishers should share knowledge and best practices with their industry peers related to operating, alerting, and issue resolution.

Monitoring quality of experience and resolving service issues requires technical staff with domain expertise and experience in identifying root causes of problems across a complex video delivery chain.

The implication is that Conviva offers a solution. Improved monitoring is certainly part of the picture, but it is increasingly evident that while big players are prepared to invest in delivering quality of experience, smaller providers may lack the resources to deal with issues of quality.

One respondent said: “Our service is something we spun up and executed with just a handful of folksnbsp;– the QA team is three or four people.” Apparently quality of experience monitoring “is a portion of the product manager’s job”.