What's the Price of Video Rebuffering? In One Example, $85,000
Putting a dollar sign on the cost of rebuffering, a report from CDN Akamai and research and consulting firm MTM finds the costs are surprisingly steep. A single audience-wide instance could cost a company $85,000 in lost revenue.
In a report titled "Understanding the Value of Consistency in OTT Video Delivery," Akamai and MTM created an estimate for a U.S. network with 370 million annual plays. If that network experiences one rebuffering event seen by all subscribers, it will see a corresponding increase of its program abandonment rate of 1%. That leads to 3,700,000 plays being abandoned or 496,417 lost viewing hours. Those viewing hours would have shown 10.7 million ad impressions (if showing 11 minutes of ads per hour with an average ad length of 30 seconds), which means $85,800 in ad revenue won't be collected.
"A quick scan of Twitter is enough to show that viewers are not shy when it comes to expressing their displeasure about an interruption," wrote Alex Balford, senior product marketing manager at Akamai, in a blog post. "Audiences, in fact, are becoming increasingly sophisticated when it comes to communicating about and even identifying service issues."
Improving video quality will have the opposite effect. The report notes that one SVOD service boosted its video quality and reduced subscriber churn by 90%.
For more on streaming consistency, download the full report for free (no registration required).