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Viewing Quality Key to Streaming Video

A survey of web video users found that quality of playback experience was a key to retaining potential subscribers to the growing number of over-the-top streaming services.

Consumers can be pretty unforgiving when their viewing is interrupted by buffering or other streaming glitches, according to video analytics and optimization company Conviva.

Conviva conducted its survey during the fall and asked consumers what their response is when they view a stream with poor picture quality and 17% said they would give up immediately, while 59% said they’d wait for a short while. If a stream has excessive interruptions, 25% said they’d give up immediately, while 59% said they would be somewhat patient.

Having had a poor experience, one in five viewers will never return to that service. Just one in 10 will return regardless of the quality of service. On the other hand more than 90% of those surveyed return to services that deliver a superior experience.

Different age groups have different responses to quality of experience. The oldest viewers are three times as likely to abandon a poor experience than younger viewers.

“For services delivering episodic, or serialized, content, this could be a devastating blow. Every view lost to a disappointing experience is not just an instant reduction in audience, it contributes to the future degradation of audience numbers,” Conviva said in its report.

“Consumers have a broad array of choices when it comes to content, and it is rare indeed that any service offers something that is 100% exclusive, unique, and popular. As a result, consumers can afford to be picky most of the time, which includes quickly jettisoning a service that does not appear to meet their needs,” the report said.