Streaming Media

 
Streaming Media on Facebook Streaming Media on Twitter Streaming Media on LinkedIn Streaming Media on Google+ Streaming Media on YouTube
Sponsors

Low-Quality Streaming Reduces OTT Viewer Loyalty, Finds Akamai
Using biometric tests, Akamai learned exactly how disengaged and unhappy viewers become after experiencing even minor streaming issues.
Learn more about the companies mentioned in this article in the Sourcebook:
{0}

While low-resolution streaming and playback issues are obviously a nuisance for over-the-top (OTT) service subscribers, how much do they impact the bottom line? To find out, content delivery network Akamai worked with research firm Sensum to test the reactions of 1,200 subjects using biometric methods such as facial coding and skin conductance.

That testing quantified just how much streaming issues cause viewers to disengage from storylines and lose interest. Poor streaming made negative emotions rise by 16 percent, while engagement dropped by 20 percent. If streaming issues continued, 76 percent of those sampled said they would stop using the service.

How people react to poor experiences depends on what type of service they're using. Buffering leads to a big loss of engagement for subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) customers. Comparatively, transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) services see the greatest loss to customer loyalty.

When viewers experience buffering, their happiness drops by 14 percent, negative emotions rise by 8 percent, and focus drops by 8 percent.

"One of the reasons we did this study is because what viewers say and what they do are often very different," explains Shane Keats, a media research analyst for Akamai. "This study sought to find our unconscious reactions to higher and lower video quality. And one of the most fascinating things we found is that higher resolution video—even when that resolution is imperceptible to the viewer—generates 10.4 percent more emotional engagement for that viewer."

To improve their customer satifactin, programmers should look to their bitrate ladders and step everything up by one rung, Keats advises.

For more results, download the white paper "The Science Behind How Our Bodies React to Video Quality" for free (registration required).

Related Articles
Turning last-mile delivery problems on their head, Akamai creates a customer-focused method for avoiding video congestion.
With LiveOrigin, Akamai hopes to make live linear streams as reliable as broadcast, with low latency and an emphasis on content ingestion.
Targeted at media companies, the service will intelligently learn what content consumers enjoy and download it before they ask.
Today's market is too competitive for subpar experiences. If companies aren't monitoring quality of service and quality of experience, they're likely losing viewers—and profits.
Why the move to HDR matters for more than just 4K—and why OTT services and devices are going to lead the way