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Story Buffering 79% ... low quality video makes us sad

22 Jun 17

It’s official. Watching low-quality videos that buffer constantly actually makes us sad.

The latest research commissioned by Akamai shows there is scientific proof behind our buffer-rage.

Over 1,200 participants went through rigorous scientific testing to determine the effects of low-quality streaming incidents. They measured how viewers disengage with content by tracking skin conductance and facial coding.

With something as seemingly small as the little buffering icon popping up, negative emotions in participants increased 16% and engagement drops a surprising 20%.

Other side effects of the buffer-itis include happiness decreasing 14%, sadness increasing 8%, attention drifting and focus decreasing by 8%.

Akamai suggests streaming service providers be aware of the science behind disengagement, as the competition in this area has never been higher.

The report’s findings show 76% of viewers would cancel or stop using services if small buffering issues occurred continuously.

Akamai media solutions director says the online video market is a battle, and buffering is their Achilles heel.

“The premium online video market is extremely competitive; the battle for revenue share is intense and subscriber acquisition costs are increasing, making differentiators like quality of experience more important than ever.

“Service providers cannot take risks with streaming experiences that are compromised by low resolution or buffering. They must provide consistent, high-quality experiences to help retain subscribers and reduce acquisition costs.”

With most media consumers using a platform like Netflix to view movies and television, the little buffering icon could become the epitaph on a company’s headstone.

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