Commentary

Stop The Madness! Buffering Is Driving Us Crazy

Donald, you are right. Americans are angry. Rage is the new rage.

IneoQuest Technologies, which provides video analytics, quality management software and advice, has also seen the signs all around them--it’s a little twirling circle on a screen where video should be.

We’ve got Buffer Rage! Yes, we do.

A new IneoQuest study says over half of all Americans experience Buffer Rage, defined by doctors, or possibly just IneoQuest marketers,  as “a state of uncontrollable fury or violent anger induced by the delayed or interrupted enjoyment of streaming video content from over-the-top (OTT) services.”

America is screaming for relief. Or, at least, repetitively, angrily clicking, as if that will make thing better.

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“With cord cutting on the rise, and nearly three out of every four consumers watching streaming video daily (43 percent) or weekly (31 percent), IneoQuest determined that better understanding the implications of the Buffer Rage epidemic is essential for all members of the OTT value chain,” IneoQuest says.

A new study it conducted shows that 34% of respondents under the age of 35 suffer from Buffer Rage more frequently than road rage (for which we all should be a little thankful, actually).

I think it’s safe to say no age group is unfazed by buffering but an earlier report, from Conviva, actually said younger viewers were calmer than the demographic group known in the business as “old farts” who, in their study are much more likely to get Rageful, quicker. Different strokes for different folks, though, hopefully not literally.

Boston-based IneoQuest, through a firm called ResearchNow, studied 1,000 crazed consumers to determine some facts that probably are worth immediate attention, if not medication. Its infographic, designed with flourishes that recall annoying aspects of old Bufferin commercials, is a damn clever touch. (I hope it was deliberate.)

Some findings:

--58% experience their highest level of stress when buffering occurs while they’re using their mobile device;

--66% just lose it when mid-roll buffering ruins their experience, worse than buffering at the beginning;

--When buffering occurs during a sporting event a third of all men fly off the handle. They’re not good sports about it.

--And 58% blame their Internet Service Provider. The way things are going, that means customers who once just griped about their horrible cable service have neatly segued into complaining about their horrible Internet service--and likely, both come from the same company. Ah, tradition!

The IneoQuest data reinforces earlier studies that concludes consumers will not suffer buffering lightly: Nearly 40% of them will abandoned a bad buffer experience after just 10 seconds-worth of annoyance and more than 40% won’t ever try to watch it again.


pj@mediapost.com

1 comment about "Stop The Madness! Buffering Is Driving Us Crazy".
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  1. Chuck Lantz from 2007ac.com, 2017ac.com network, March 18, 2016 at 3:59 p.m.

    I'm surprised that the percentages of those who rage at buffering isn't much higher. Maybe those being questioned were put on hold?

    And as far as us "old farts" being more inclined to experience buffer rage, the simple reason is that we all grew-up watching TV and seeing movies in theaters, where even a few seconds of blank screen - whaich was extremely rare in those days - would have us changing channels or heading for the exits, demanding a refund.

    All of which may help explain why interruptions are no longer considered rude, due to the fact that those causing or experiencing interruptions are simply more accustomed to it, via buffered content.

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