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Video: How Important Are Fast Start Times in Keeping Viewers' Attention?

Learn more about meeting viewer and advertiser expectations at Streaming Media West.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Eric Boyd, JW Player: Publishers who have faster start times tend to have higher fill rates with their advertising creatives that they're using and higher engagement. Viewers tend to stick around longer if they don't have the same metrics that we were just mentioning like the time to first frame, buffering events. The lower those are, the longer viewers stick around. Advertisers, I think, have a little bit different expectations than publishers. Akamai actually put out a really good report at the beginning of the year that shows engagement over time to first frame. If you don't show a video in the first two seconds, every additional second you lose 6% of your audience. What we see is ad creatives sometimes will take six seconds to load, eight seconds to load. A lot of that is a back and forth between the client side and the server side decisioning engine of what ad creative actually has to get filled.

Paul Crawford, Daily Burn: Most of our video is [accessed because] someone has taken a very explicit action. They want to do a workout. They're there for a very specific purpose so there's a little bit more leeway for them to wait an extra second or two. They're invested in it. Where we find it really matters though is we optimize our experience and our bit rates so that we will always show you a worse picture just to keep the information flowing. When you're doing the workout, the last thing you want is it to pause so that it looks better as opposed to Netflix, say, where you might want it to be the best picture quality. For us, we'll be aggressively down switching bit rates to try and make sure that you always have that content coming.

Tim Siglin, ReelSolver: You're doing a lot of adaptive bit rate from that side?

Paul Crawford, Daily Burn: Yep.

Tim Siglin, ReelSolver: Do you find that customers complain about the quality?

Paul Crawford, Daily Burn: No. People complain about if it doesn't work. They do not complain about the video quality almost ever.

Corey Behnke, LiveX: When I was head of production at Livestream, one of the things when we added to the broadcaster encoder was adding a thumbnail pic. That was one of the ways to get around this. If I see something in the player, I'm okay because I know something's happening. I think a lot of times when we'll have clients build out either the player using JW or whatever, they're not incorporating some of those best practices. Just give me a thumb. Give me something happening so that the user is not going to walk away because it's a black screen and they think that their flash plug-in is not up to date or something stupid like that.

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