It doesn’t matter how high the video quality is: Viewers don’t have a good streaming experience when the content buffers. Luckily, that frequent irritation is becoming a little less frequent. Conviva, which helps clients avoid streaming disruptions, released its 2014 Viewer Experience Report today, and it shows that buffering is on the wane. In 2012, 39.3 percent of all video views experienced buffering; in 2013, that number dropped to 26.9 percent. The percentage of views with start failures is on the rise, however, growing from 4 percent to 4.8 percent.
While buffering is on the decline, Conviva says viewer expectations have risen faster than video quality, and viewers are less forgiving of buffering now. In 2011, every 1 percent increase in buffering led to a reduced viewing time of 3 minutes. In 2012, a 1 percent increase in buffering led to a reduced viewing time of 8 minutes. In 2013, that same increase resulted in the viewer watching 11 minutes less, on average. It’s better to stream lower quality video than to stall playback, Conviva says.
The report used data from more than 45 billion global streams analyzed by Conviva.