Viewers Won’t Wait Longer Than 2 Secs for Video to Load

Viewers Won’t Wait Longer Than 2 Secs for Video to Load

It only takes two seconds of delay before viewers start
abandoning ship when watching online video, according to
research released by University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Every second of additional delay costs the video around 6% of
viewers, and after 5 seconds have passed, around 20% of the
viewers will have moved on, according to the research
conducted by computer science professor Ramesh Sitaraman.

Sitaraman studied data from 23 million video views and 6.7
million unique video viewers, provided by content delivery
network Akamai.

“To our knowledge, our work is the first to provide evidence
that video stream quality causally impacts viewer behavior,”
Sitaraman said in his paper “Video Stream Quality Impacts
Viewer Behavior.”

Sitaraman said viewers are less tolerant of delays in video
play when the video is short, but more tolerant of a delay
when the content is of longer form. Viewers are also likely to
abandon the video when there are frequent interruptions in

The study also found that viewer patience correlates with the
type of Internet he or she has. The most impatient viewers are
those with high speed fiber, while the most patient video
viewers are those watching the video on a mobile network.

About the Author

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