STUDY: Slow Video Delivery Will Doom Your Video Views

racecar with buffering image

Photo: Juan_Alvaro

Even the most entertaining, well produced video will lose a viewer’s attention the instant it buffers or stalls.

Understanding the implications of just one second of buffering or one delayed startup is critical for companies that rely on video as part of their business. How much are these issues costing the streaming industry in decreased engagement and missed revenue opportunities? A recent study by video optimization provider Conviva yields some thought-provoking answers.

Need for Speed

According Conviva’s Viewer Experience Report, viewers watch 250% more when they have an optimal video experience (fast startup, little to no buffering, and visual clarity). optimising viewing quality may be the single most important investment media companies can make to keep people watching.

Not only are viewers impatient when it comes to watching a video that starts slowly or has low resolution, but they’re also increasingly less tolerant of delays. In 2011, according to Conviva, each additional 1 per cent of buffering time usually led to three fewer minutes of viewing time. Now, that same 1 per cent increase in buffering leads to eight fewer minutes of viewing time.

Quality Control

More people than you might think (60% of viewers) experience some degradation in quality, which leads to their watching significantly less video. In the end, it isn’t the viewers who miss out when video playback is poor—it’s the content providers. Conviva estimates that if quality remains the same, content providers will miss out on $20 billion total over the next five years. For more details from Conviva’s study, including a look at top content sites that boast high levels of engagement, download the full report on video performance and viewer experience.

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