Nearly 20% of Internet video viewers will abandon a poor video playback experience immediately, and many don’t have the patience to wait for the stream to work properly. Those are some of the findings in a new report from video analytics company Conviva that surveyed Internet video users in the United States.
These sorts of findings are important for many companies in the video sector. As over-the-top and streaming options expand, providers and content programmers alike should be aware of how viewers may change their habits if the experience is not up to par.
Poor quality viewing has the potential to turn off consumers forever. One in five Internet users said they would never return to a service if they had a poor experience, while only 10% would come back regardless of the quality of the experience. Conviva also said that more than four in ten viewers who have a negative experience “file that away in their memory.”
However, seamless video playback can lead to customer retention. More than 90% of Internet users will actively return to services that deliver high quality playback and user experience, the study said.
Consumers will often wait longest for premium entertainment videos to play, and they have the shortest tolerance for quality lags with product videos. Consumers expect product videos to play quickly and without interruptions.
This problem is essentially removed using adjustable bit rate (ABR) technology like Apple's HLS. That's likely the reason that iPhone's account for 68% of smart phone video views even though only having a 43% installed base.
HLS and the emerging MPEG-DASH deliver video in small increments (often 4 second chunks), switching to higher or lower bitrates as necessary to adapt to available bandwidth.