Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Keep Calm & Buffer

Rubbish dressed up as facts continue to propound in the online TV market.

The latest myth to drop in my inbox is a seminar with the title "why 1 second video delay can cost you your audience". This comes on the back of some ludicrous research that shows that the majority of video viewers will leave a website if a video does not start playing within 2 seconds.

This is tripe. Let me explain why:

1) The underlying stats are wrong - since most video these days is delivered over a HTTP connection, many of these will be opened when requesting a video and server side metrics tend to count each of these as a request. So, this is a failure of technology and statistics. (Other delivery methods such as RTMP and HLS also have delays built in).

2) The average web browser based video player has a buffer time of 3 - 4 seconds for video, so almost all users will experience a delay of at least this.

3) I just loaded Netflix movie and it took 17 seconds from clicking on the icon to loading the movie. So the majority of Netflix users give up and go away, huh ?

4) Getting to a full screen video on my television usually takes several seconds.

5) People are generally more patient than hyped-up marketeers give them credit for.