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3 Ways Video Downloading Is Growing in 2021


In 2021, streaming video has continued its surge, as people around the globe increasingly rely on OTT for entertainment, fitness, education, and more. But as viewership grows, so do viewer frustrations with issues like re-buffering, slow startup times, and poor quality. Though strides are being made, the reality is that the current infrastructure is still struggling to keep up with online video demand. Despite the start of 5G’s rollout and improved CDN coverage, viewers are still facing high levels of streaming problems. In fact, in 2021, 92% reported feeling frustration when streaming video—up from 88% in 2020.


That’s why in 2021, video downloading is more popular than ever. OTT providers are increasingly prioritizing and innovating around their download offerings, and viewers are using download more and more to watch video, especially at home. Here are three ways downloading is becoming a bigger part of viewers’ lives in 2021.


Download is becoming a more integral part of OTT viewing.

Netflix has been at the forefront of download trends for years, and in 2021, the company has continued to add features to its download offering, developing its Downloads for You feature and giving users the ability to watch partially downloaded content. Meanwhile, HBOMax and YouTubeTV have made the ability to download videos a premium feature, leveraging the popularity of download to drive customers to higher tier subscriptions. Video providers across the industry are seeing how much download matters to viewers, and are strategizing around its increasing importance.


Viewers are watching downloaded content more and more at home and when connected.

The misconception that download is primarily for travelers has been dispelled for years, and in 2021 the data continues to show that viewers are downloading content to watch at home and in environments where they actually have a connection. In fact, according to Penthera download data, 67% of playback of downloaded assets happens while the viewer is connected. Further, according to our most recent research, h​​ome is the # 1 place viewers say they watch downloaded content—ahead of when traveling. This demonstrates that the real reason viewers download is that it’s a better way to watch, guaranteeing high quality video and no interruptions no matter where you are.


Download usage is growing.

In recent months*, we have seen an increase in download activity of almost 40% since 2020 across Penthera customers—and a 17% increase in the number of downloading devices. This means both that more viewers are taking advantage of download capabilities, and that viewers who download are downloading more content. This is a big win for OTT providers who offer download. Downloaded videos facilitate a perfect experience for viewers, and prevent the problems that lead to stream abandonment and churn. In other words, download helps increase engagement and session length.


To learn more about how to offer downloading to your viewers, or how to eliminate rebuffering, check out Penthera’s product pages.



*November 2020- June 2021


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