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47% of Online Streamers Rate Rebuffering Most Frustrating Problem
What makes consumers angry? Rebuffering tops the list. A Mux survey shows viewers will only tolerate 3 rebuffering episodes before abandoning a video.
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"Pretty consistently, rebuffering is identified as the worst thing that could happen," says Jon Dahl.

Dahl is one of the founders of Mux, a Bay Area startup that aims to solve video quality control problems faced by mid-sized companies. Today, Mux released its "2017 Video Streaming Perceptions Report," an attempt to learn from consumers what video issues bother them the most.

Stalling and rebuffering was far-and-away the biggest annoyance, rated "most frustrating" by 47.0 percent of those surveyed. It was followed by failed video playback at 19.9 percent, slow load and start times at 18.8 percent, and low picture quality at 14.3 percent.

When people were asked about the most frequent problems they faced, rebuffering again took the lead with 41 percent.

Mux's survey also asked consumers where they place the blame when something goes wrong. When they experience rebuffering or slow load times, they usually blame their internet service provider. But, when they experience poor picture quality or playback failures they blame the app publisher providing the video stream.

One finding that surprised Dahl is that 95.5 percent of those surveyed rated stream reliability and quality as very important to their viewing experience.

"We know quality is import, but I was honestly surprised by how many people said the quality and reliability of their streaming service is very important to them," Dahl says. "I assumed more people would consider quality and reliability to be a secondary thing compared to being able to access the content they want, but over 95 percent of respondents said that quality and reliability were very important to them."

The majority of those surveyed—52.7 percent—will attempt loading a stream 2 to 3 times before abandoning it.

The online survey questioned 1,035 U.S. consumers in late March. Visit Mux to download the full report for free (registration required).

Mux has one other piece of news this week. While the company was created to help mid-sized video streamers, Mux now offers a Starter option for $49 per month. Designed for smaller companies, this self-service plan offers a snapshot of the client's streaming performance for up to 1 million views with limited granularity. Mux's Pro and Enterprise plans offer more granularity and longer retention times. 

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Mux makes it simple for media companies to learn exactly what problems their viewers are experiencing, and then find solutions.