IBM emphasizes popularity of mobile devices and subtitles for streaming

Joint study with Morning Consult examines how viewing practices are linked to productivity in the workplace.

Report: The US will have 100 million 5G connections by 2023
5G will promote the growth of video streaming, the internet of things and augmented reality, says Conner Forrest of TechRepublic.

IBM revealed dozens of insights into how people can access video content in its new report on streaming and workplace productivity. The study “What your company needs to know about video streaming” looks deeply at what people value and hate most about streaming video content at work.

Chris Zaloumis, senior director of enterprise video offering at IBM, wrote a blog post explaining that IBM was working with Morning Consult research firm to “investigate employee streaming behavior, device preferences, and priority functions.”

According to Zaloumis, the main findings of the study were that mobile devices are one of the most popular ways people stream videos and that subtitling was a priority for companies that stream videos.

The report also emphasizes that despite improvements in internet speed and availability, many people still suffer from buffering problems that disrupt their viewing experience.

“Today, 62% of employees stream work-related video – such as training and development, corporate events and town hall meetings – on smartphones, more than double that of desktop (27%),” wrote Zaloumis.

“With this gap in mind, it is important to create content that is compatible with and formatted for mobile devices. One in five employees (20%) report that the inability to watch videos on a mobile device is the most detrimental to productivity in the workplace – ranked behind buffering issues, which is a top complaint with mobile and desktop streaming. ”

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Almost half of the respondents said they wanted to use mobile video platforms to get more in touch with both employees and customers.

One of the biggest complaints in the survey was about buffering, of which 53% of respondents said it had a noticeable effect on productivity in the workplace. Zaloumis said the main culprit was the lagging internet bandwidth, which was crucial because 83% of those who spoke to researchers said they used WiFi to stream video as opposed to 4G LTE.

The report notes that this is likely to change rapidly as 5G is rolled out to more and more users in the coming years. Zaloumis wrote that 5G “uses unique high and directional frequencies for a stronger internet connection, making the network very suitable for the current habits of smartphone streaming for employees.”

“5G makes mobile video streaming 10x better, not only for one person, but for everyone who simultaneously streams a video by creating a super-fast data highway. It also affects fixed office wireless connections, lightning-fast browsing and streaming, and uploading and download speeds, “he added.

An unexpected popular feature that many survey respondents emphasized was subtitling, which was popular for a variety of reasons. Nearly 70% of those who answered the survey said they used captions when streaming video, but within that number there were a variety of usage scenarios.

Only 5% said they used subtitles because of hearing problems, while nearly 20% said they used it simply because it is more convenient than listening. Another 15% use captions so that they can watch videos without the volume and 13% use them for translation assistance.

Looking ahead, the most desirable features that respondents hoped would be in the pipeline with downloadable and searchable content. Half of all respondents wanted to find a way to search for specific things in a video, with 25% saying they wanted to find keywords or phrases. Another 25% said they wanted tools to search for specific scenes, objects or people.

The most desirable feature of all was the ability to download videos and view them without internet, which seemed to be linked to the problems that people reported with buffering.

“By reinvigorating the relationship of their employees with video streaming in the workplace, companies can look forward to higher productivity and connectivity between teams,” Zaloumis wrote. “Companies must prioritize mobile compatibility, remain flexible as emerging technology such as 5G becomes a reality, understand the applicability of subtitles and invest in new capabilities that enhance the viewing experience.”

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