5th Apr 2018

Streaming viewers have revealed that video start time is a crucial factor in how they rate a streaming service. In a recent survey by Akamai, who quizzed more than 300 online video streaming managers based in the US.

The results showed that 76% place high importance on video start time. This is defined precisely by measuring the delay between the viewer’s play button being hit, to the time the video starts to play. It is clear that this can make all the difference to the success of an online video service provider (OVSP).

The importance of a fast start time has changed since just last year, when video start time was rated as fourth on the priority list, and rebuffering was at the top. During this survey, it was found that rebuffering had dropped to second place.

Interestingly, the average start time for online video in the 2017 survey was at 4.84 seconds. This survey revealed that today’s longest start time was at 6.82 seconds. The report determined that an extra two-second delay can result in a loss of almost half of an audience – a significant issue that is leading OVSPs to work harder to reduce start time to keep viewers happy and coming back for more.

In order of importance, the following factors were rated:

  • Video start time – 76%
  • Rebuffering per play – 70%
  • Rebuffering rate – 70%
  • Live latency – 66%
  • Bitrate – 58%

Although there are clear factors to work on, OVSPs realise, there remains optimism for the next six months, as more than half of all participants revealed that their service currently meets or even exceeds (or will do before the end of the year) the reliability, quality and delivery of traditional TV.

The Streaming Company takes latency issues seriously, realising that low latency is critical to ensure video start time is fast and reliable. Find out more about our ultra low latency service, or contact us today to discuss your options.

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