If a video takes more than two seconds late, then you are in trouble. An Akamai study suggests that in such a scenario, viewers will start abandoning the content for something else.
How did they come to this conclusion? According to the company, the study analysed an unprecedented 23 million views from 6.7 million unique viewers across the Akamai network. This included viewers in North America and Asia.
They found that viewers abandoned videos at 5.8 percent for each additional second of delay in loading.
Akamai said in a media statement that the study, Video Stream Quality Impacts Viewer Behavior: Inferring Causality using Quasi-Experimental Designs was conducted by Ramesh Sitaraman, an Akamai fellow and professor of computer science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and S. Shunmuga Krishan, a senior system software engineer at Akamai.
According to the researchers, it is the first study to show a causal relationship between video quality and viewer behaviour.
The study also revealed the following:
- Viewers are less tolerant of start-up delays in short videos such as news clips versus long videos such as TV episodes or movies
- Viewers with better Internet connections are less tolerant of start-up delays, with viewers using fibre connections being the quickest to abandon and those on mobile devices demonstrating the most patience.
- Viewers experiencing more interruptions, i.e. rebuffering, played video for lesser time
- A viewer who experienced a failed visit is less likely to return to watch more videos than a similar viewer who didn't experience the failure
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