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Users Abandon Ship If Online Video Quality Is Not Up To Snuff, Says Study 155

An anonymous reader writes "The first large scientific study of how people respond to poor video quality on the Internet paints a picture of ever rising user expectations and the willingness to abandon ship if those expectations are not met (PDF). Some nuggets: 1) Some users are willing to wait for no more than 2 seconds for a video to start playing, with each additional second adding 6% to the abandonment rate. 2) Users with good broadband connectivity expect faster video load times and are even more impatient than ones on mobile devices. 3) Users who experience video freezing watch fewer minutes of the video than someone who does not experience freezing. If a video freezes for 1% of its total play time, 5% less of its total play time is watched, on average. 4) Users who experience failures when they try to play videos are less likely to return to the same website in the future. Big data was analyzed (260+ million minutes of video) and some cool new data analysis techniques used."
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Users Abandon Ship If Online Video Quality Is Not Up To Snuff, Says Study

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  • Romero Institute (Score:2, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @10:32PM (#42112635)

    People don't keep using things that are broken, says latest scientific study from the Romero Institute. Professor Obvious, chair of the Three Kinds of Lies committee, said today that it was a shocking discovery. Many businesses have for years been selling things that are intentionally broken and assuming that people would simply keep buying them despite alternatives being available. Obvious has been nominated for an igNobel prize for his work, and says future studies may even uncover the precise mechanics behind why people continue to not use things that don't work.

  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @10:39PM (#42112679)

    The metrics mentioned aren't really about video quality, which I tend to think of as things like the resolution, encoding artifacts, sound/video sync, etc. These are more about the video player functioning correctly, at any quality of video: that it starts playing the video soon after the user hits "play", and it doesn't drop out during the middle of playing. That's a kind of video quality, sure, but it's closer to "I stopped watching b/c the damn player didn't work" vs. "I stopped watching b/c the video's quality was too low".

  • Five... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @10:39PM (#42112681) Journal

    5) Users bail when the video loads and it's a commercial that can not be skipped.

    Because unwanted, unskippable commercials are exactly like a pause before the video starts equal to the number of seconds the commercial plays. (See (1).)

  • Re:BIG data? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ZahrGnosis ( 66741 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @10:49PM (#42112737) Homepage

    Ah, good, I'm glad someone already mentioned this. Big did not deserve to be italicized there not only because 260 million minutes of video isn't "that much" (!) in terms of internet streaming viewers, but the statistics aren't really based on number of minutes of video analyzed... the main statistics are more about viewership and certain events (video startup, video freezing), which could be surrounded by hours of uninteresting video time that didn't really contribute to some of the metrics.

    Netflix has, what, 20+ million individual viewers per month? 10 hours a piece isn't hard to imagine. As the parent pointed out youtube is much larger than that.

    It's still very interesting analytics. it's not always the size that matters [happytechnologist.com] with "big" data. But let's not get carried away with the italics now people... this way madness lies.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @10:52PM (#42112761)

    Professor Obvious, chair of the Three Kinds of Lies committee, said today that it was a shocking discovery.

    Could you find a new hobby besides posting here? The purpose of studies is not just to confirm knowledge or common sense suspicions, but to quantify that knowledge. There is no way in fuck that Professor Obvious knows a priori that an additional 1 second delay will cause 6% of viewers to flee. Professor Brilliant might know this, but that ain't me and it ain't you.

  • by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @11:07PM (#42112889)

    Ever notice that the Advertisements load faster and are of better quality (DPI) many times than the video?

  • Pfft video (Score:5, Insightful)

    by megrims ( 839585 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @11:10PM (#42112911)

    Personally, I bail when the content is a video. Give me back my plain text internet, please.

    Videos are such a waste of time.

  • by runeghost ( 2509522 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:34AM (#42113533)

    Not exactly. What I notice about ads is that they often try to load in a higher quality than the video I'm watching, then stutter and choke on the crappy bandwidth that is the best I can get where I live. Or they try to do something fancy and interactive, and hang or crash my browser. And then I wonder again why I'm not just downloading my content from the pirate bay...

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein