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Users Abandon Ship If Online Video Quality Is Not Up To Snuff, Says Study

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the make-a-resolution-for-higher-resolution dept.

Media 155

An anonymous reader writes "The first large scientific study of how people respond to poor video quality on the Internet paints a picture of ever rising user expectations and the willingness to abandon ship if those expectations are not met (PDF). Some nuggets: 1) Some users are willing to wait for no more than 2 seconds for a video to start playing, with each additional second adding 6% to the abandonment rate. 2) Users with good broadband connectivity expect faster video load times and are even more impatient than ones on mobile devices. 3) Users who experience video freezing watch fewer minutes of the video than someone who does not experience freezing. If a video freezes for 1% of its total play time, 5% less of its total play time is watched, on average. 4) Users who experience failures when they try to play videos are less likely to return to the same website in the future. Big data was analyzed (260+ million minutes of video) and some cool new data analysis techniques used."

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155 comments

Brilliant business model. (1)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112539)

How do I get a job there?

Re:Brilliant business model. (4, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112889)

Ever notice that the Advertisements load faster and are of better quality (DPI) many times than the video?

Re:Brilliant business model. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112939)

In fact, I have! I live in China and tried to use Hulu through a VPN. The actual shows SUCKED(lag, stutter, failure of the player to transition from ads back to the regular show) but the ads never skipped a beat.

Been using pirate bay and have never looked back.

Re:Brilliant business model. (4, Insightful)

runeghost (2509522) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113533)

Not exactly. What I notice about ads is that they often try to load in a higher quality than the video I'm watching, then stutter and choke on the crappy bandwidth that is the best I can get where I live. Or they try to do something fancy and interactive, and hang or crash my browser. And then I wonder again why I'm not just downloading my content from the pirate bay...

Re:Brilliant business model. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42113731)

I've seen that on twitch.tv lately with the Mass Effect 3 (or is it the new DLC?) ad that has been running. Looks like it is fairly high resolution and it just stutters and chokes to a horrible degree. I'm not sure if they're stopping the underlying stream when the ad runs but it almost seems like they aren't.

I try to keep adblock for twitch streamers off but if that ad plays then adblock goes on and I reload the page.

Re:Brilliant business model. (1)

LocalH (28506) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113553)

You mean higher bitrate or resolution. DPI has no meaning in the world of video, with different display devices.

Re:Brilliant business model. (1)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113941)

Yeah...that.

Re:Brilliant business model. (2)

SeaFox (739806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113657)

No, in fact I see the opposite on Hulu quite often. The advertisements are of such poor quality I sometimes wonder how Hulu tricked companies into paying for the placement.

Re:Brilliant business model. (3, Informative)

smellotron (1039250) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113723)

Ever notice that the Advertisements load faster and are of better quality (DPI) many times than the video?

No [opera.com]

Re:Brilliant business model. (1)

sarysa (1089739) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113917)

Higher resolution (or poorer compression), yes. Loads faster, absolutely not. Drives me nuts frankly -- I abandon videos on my sketchy home wifi when the ads chug on Hulu. If anything I hope they learned from this study to keep the ads' bps close to that of the content.

In before a million posts about AdBlock. I put up with the ads simply because I want this business model to succeed. Yes, I suppose that makes me stupid. Though I'll be ready for the day they can seamlessly insert ads into the same stream as the program. (Ad blocker programs will have a hard time with that) Also, I take in a lot of media via Netflix, and no I don't pay for Hulu Plus.

If a video freezes (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112545)

"If a video freezes for 1% of its total play time, 5% less of its total play time is watched, on average."

no shit, cause it pisses you off to sit there watching a fuzzy video of a ZX Spectrum game that the asshat somehow encoded and uploaded at 20480P and is hosted by blip

Re:If a video freezes (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112579)

Let me ask you this, sir... How old are you? Because your post implies that you are 14.

Re:If a video freezes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42113999)

Worse if you're paying for the megabytes to download it or you have a quota before throttling.

Fuck this shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112563)

Slashdort is full of dorks and dweebs. Whose moms get fucked by Nigga Tyrone whilst they jack their microdicks with cheetos-stained fingers.

Re:Fuck this shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112595)

Back to reddit with you.

Re:Fuck this shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112763)

Why would I ever go to some place that's filled with even bigger losers than Slashdort?

Re:Fuck this shit (1)

ButchDeLoria (2772751) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113513)

Reddit's too PC what with its high population of liberal college kiddies. Sounds more like either a glory-days former /b/tard or a 9gagger.

so passenger ships.. (5, Funny)

jasontheking (124650) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112585)

so passenger ships shouldn't get dodgy video playback equipment, cause people might jump overboard, even if its freezing?

I guess I should read the article, huh..

Re:so passenger ships.. (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112623)

Well sure, what did you think really happened on the Titanic?

Re:so passenger ships.. (2)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112731)

I don't know, I forgot the ending of the movie . . .

Re:so passenger ships.. (2)

jd2112 (1535857) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112891)

I don't know, I forgot the ending of the movie . . .

Leo DiCraprio Dies! Probably the best performance of his career.

Re:so passenger ships.. (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113095)

Holy shit, you mean the Titanic was REAL?

Re:so passenger ships.. (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113603)

Sigh, you mean you Haven't downloaded it from TPB to see the ending? //facepalm

Re:so passenger ships.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112979)

It hit a digital iceberg. But since the bit rate was slow and the codecs were primitive (it was still 1912 after all), the iceberg was all jagged. Due to a couple of lost packets, the bulkheads didn't get assembled completely. Oh and some asshole damaged a router that connected the forward and aft parts of the ship when he was screwing some chick in a car. Naturally, the ship split into two smaller LANs. By then the quality of the streaming Waterworld movie went to shit and people started jumping off the ship to save their sanity (though arguably, this was an impossible task). Kate Winslet got naked at some point, but since she didn't show much, everybody on the ship started searching for their porn elsewhere. This caused the data center to overheat. Wisely, the captain scuttled the ship to provide additional cooling. The End.

Re:so passenger ships.. (2)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113061)

Well sure, what did you think really happened on the Titanic?

I stopped watching it because the video froze for a few seconds and never saw the end.

Re:so passenger ships.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112875)

It's my opinion that the summary was carefully worded to avoid mentioning what they're "jumping ship" from.

Assuming, of course, it's not about real ships and people jumping off of them.

My battleship for an editor!

BIG data? (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112603)

260,000,000 minutes of watched video is less than 1 day of youtube viewing (500 years per day)

Re:BIG data? (3, Insightful)

ZahrGnosis (66741) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112737)

Ah, good, I'm glad someone already mentioned this. Big did not deserve to be italicized there not only because 260 million minutes of video isn't "that much" (!) in terms of internet streaming viewers, but the statistics aren't really based on number of minutes of video analyzed... the main statistics are more about viewership and certain events (video startup, video freezing), which could be surrounded by hours of uninteresting video time that didn't really contribute to some of the metrics.

Netflix has, what, 20+ million individual viewers per month? 10 hours a piece isn't hard to imagine. As the parent pointed out youtube is much larger than that.

It's still very interesting analytics. it's not always the size that matters [happytechnologist.com] with "big" data. But let's not get carried away with the italics now people... this way madness lies.

Users who experience failures when they try to pla (2)

CamD (964822) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112633)

Users who experience failures when they try to play videos are less likely to return to the same website in the future.

Take note, Slashdot.

Re:Users who experience failures when they try to (1)

wooferhound (546132) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113197)

I have never seen a video on slashdot cause they don't play
but I came back

Romero Institute (2, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112635)

People don't keep using things that are broken, says latest scientific study from the Romero Institute. Professor Obvious, chair of the Three Kinds of Lies committee, said today that it was a shocking discovery. Many businesses have for years been selling things that are intentionally broken and assuming that people would simply keep buying them despite alternatives being available. Obvious has been nominated for an igNobel prize for his work, and says future studies may even uncover the precise mechanics behind why people continue to not use things that don't work.

Re:Romero Institute (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112761)

Professor Obvious, chair of the Three Kinds of Lies committee, said today that it was a shocking discovery.

Could you find a new hobby besides posting here? The purpose of studies is not just to confirm knowledge or common sense suspicions, but to quantify that knowledge. There is no way in fuck that Professor Obvious knows a priori that an additional 1 second delay will cause 6% of viewers to flee. Professor Brilliant might know this, but that ain't me and it ain't you.

Re:Romero Institute (2)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113201)

"The purpose of studies is not just to confirm knowledge or common sense suspicions, but to quantify that knowledge. There is no way in fuck that Professor Obvious knows a priori that an additional 1 second delay will cause 6% of viewers to flee. Professor Brilliant might know this, but that ain't me and it ain't you."

I think the OP's point is that some research is simply not worth the paperwork and grant money. I mean knowing precisely how broken a video can be before people stop watching is interesting, but theire are more interesting, and possibly more important, things out there. Studies like these divert resources from those research projects especially now during hard economic times.

Re:Romero Institute (4, Interesting)

chmod a+x mojo (965286) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113379)

Well I think that video streaming sites would be VERY interested in this data. Probably interested enough to at the very least partially fund the research.

Hmmm, Thinking about it, probably any type of retailer would be interested in data like this. It's a quantifiable amount of time before loss of interest, not just "customers hate waiting".

Another interesting tidbit from this study, it's probably a bad idea to put an ad at the very beginning of the video ( for ad supported sites ) since most ads are more than two seconds long. This may seem counter intuitive since if you show the ad BEFORE the video you shouldn't have to interrupt the actual video - like hulu does it - and you would think users would prefer getting it out of the way first so as not to be interrupted. Then again that breaks the traditional commercial model that people are used to from television and may take them out of their comfort zones.

Re:Romero Institute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42113619)

When I get an ad up front instead of the requested video I "abandon ship" about 87% of the time.
Not because they are over 2s long, but just out of principle.
If he ad is 30s long, however, my back button rate is about 96%.

Re:Romero Institute (1)

tsotha (720379) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113481)

It's probably not worth grant money, but to online content providers and advertisers this is gold.

Re:Romero Institute (1)

Maow (620678) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113471)

Professor Obvious, chair of the Three Kinds of Lies committee, said today that it was a shocking discovery.

Could you find a new hobby besides posting here? The purpose of studies is not just to confirm knowledge or common sense suspicions, but to quantify that knowledge. There is no way in fuck that Professor Obvious knows a priori that an additional 1 second delay will cause 6% of viewers to flee. Professor Brilliant might know this, but that ain't me and it ain't you.

Give him/her a break; their posts are almost always insightful or entertaining. In this case, you are correct in that the quantification is useful info, however the GP post was entertaining in that it was humorous.

GirlInTraining, please don't stop posting here.

Re:Romero Institute (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42114117)

I have no intention of doing so. I do not negotiate with terrorists. :)

Re:Romero Institute (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112811)

Nobody cares about you on fark? Too bad, it is even colder on slashdot.

Re:Romero Institute (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113355)

Nobody cares about you on fark? Too bad, it is even colder on slashdot.

Not really. I quite like her style after seeing several handfuls of comments from her, and the comment scores she is getting seem to be agreeing with me. On the other hand someone who seemingly has an axe to grind and is afraid of even posting under his own account....

Re:Romero Institute (4, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113013)

Look, no one gives a flying fuck about YouTube videos of Fluffy and Buffy if we're talking about cute poodles. Now, if we are talking about two-legged bitches, that's another issue.

Let's be serious here, we're talking about porn.

Seriously, it's hard to get hard with choppy video of the "old in-and-out". For the total turn-on, we require high quality video and a nice transfer rate. Seriously.

I mean, how am I going to get my "freak" on with stilted choppy bad video? I might as well go down to the local "Adult Entertainment Shop" and buy a CD or check into a booth (with complementary kitchen towel roll (COSTCO) and a sticky floor)...

Come on people, good video and "personal satisfaction" go, er, hand in hand...

Re:Romero Institute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42113047)

This study is really a revelation for me, the findings are highly non-obvious. I had thought that people would wait indefinitely for the video to appear, based on the "sunken costs" theory, i.e. I've already invested mm minutes and ss seconds waiting for this to appear and it might appear at any moment. The longer people wait, the greater their sunken investment, while success could still be rewarded momentarily. As for reaction to video freezes, I would've expected that they would heighten the suspense of the content to come so viewers' adrenaline would incline them to watch more video than the control group, not less. And those who experience repeated failures attempting to watch video would probably think, I've just had a run of bad luck at this site, now the law of large numbers is on my side and I should have better than average experiences from now on.

Re:Romero Institute (2)

gnoshi (314933) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113801)

This study is really a revelation for me, the findings are highly non-obvious. I had thought that people would wait indefinitely for the video to appear, based on the "sunken costs" theory, i.e. I've already invested mm minutes and ss seconds waiting for this to appear and it might appear at any moment.

This actually captures well why people should hesitate before deriding studies which have seemingly obvious outcomes. This study may be on the margins of that - although it is the quantification that is actually interesting about it - but sometimes studies find counterintuitive results [spring.org.uk] . Even better, if a study produces a what may be a counterintuitive result then hindsight bias [wikipedia.org] means people will tend to revise memories so they believe that was the expected outcome all along.

Great business plan! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112641)

1) State something even more obvious than "the sky is blue," "water is wet," and "Slashdot polls don't have enough CowboyNeal options" combined.
2) Back up (1) with equations and graphs with lots of symbols last seen in calculus class.
3) ???
4) Profit!

Tell me about it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112645)

This describes my YouTube experience every other day or so.

less about quality, and more about functioning (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112679)

The metrics mentioned aren't really about video quality, which I tend to think of as things like the resolution, encoding artifacts, sound/video sync, etc. These are more about the video player functioning correctly, at any quality of video: that it starts playing the video soon after the user hits "play", and it doesn't drop out during the middle of playing. That's a kind of video quality, sure, but it's closer to "I stopped watching b/c the damn player didn't work" vs. "I stopped watching b/c the video's quality was too low".

Re:less about quality, and more about functioning (1)

Smauler (915644) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112791)

Definitely - I don't mind low quality video most of the time. Sorry, but people who require high definition are looking at the picture, and not the content.

Skipping, pausing, buffering, out of sync sound, and flakey sound are the things that bother me. They're nothing to do with video quality as most people understand it.

Re:less about quality, and more about functioning (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113509)

Definitely - I don't mind low quality video most of the time. Sorry, but people who require high definition are looking at the picture, and not the content.

Skipping, pausing, buffering, out of sync sound, and flakey sound are the things that bother me. They're nothing to do with video quality as most people understand it.

To each his own I guess. While it's not as important as proper basics, high def is still pretty high on my list.

Re:less about quality, and more about functioning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42113611)

I have terrible vision myself, so I HATE videos with shitty sound. Two pet peeves of mine are clipping and unnormalized audio.

Re:less about quality, and more about functioning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42113639)

To each his own I guess. While it's not as important as proper basics, high def is still pretty high on my list.

Depends on the content. If it is some cat being silly, 240p might be okay.
If its a how to video showing some detailed diagrams, computer screen shots with text, etc. then it may still be too blurry or pixelated at even 480p.

Re:less about quality, and more about functioning (2)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113371)

This isn't about quality of the video at all. It's about QOS for video. [ciscopress.com]

This report is what Comcast uses to determine just how much to throttle Netflix to get the most people to come running back to cable but not run afoul of the FCC.

Re:less about quality, and more about functioning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42114029)

I stopped reading because you abbreviate random words down to single letters like some kind of illiterate teenage texter.

Five... (5, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112681)

5) Users bail when the video loads and it's a commercial that can not be skipped.

Because unwanted, unskippable commercials are exactly like a pause before the video starts equal to the number of seconds the commercial plays. (See (1).)

Re:Five... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112701)

Except it's worse than a pause because it's extra data you have to download compared to simply waiting for your wanted video's data.

I skip all videos with ads (and other movie trailers are ads too), no matter how much I wanted to see the video.

Product placement (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112759)

I skip all videos with ads

Are there major-studio feature films without any sort of product placement anymore?

Re:Product placement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112967)

Were there ever any in the past without product placement?

Re:Product placement (1)

tsotha (720379) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113527)

I keep going back and for on product placement. On the one hand, it's advertising, and if they're throwing in scenes because they need to place products the movie or show is likely to end up being kind of crappy.

On the other hand, our lives are full of commercial logos. If you were to film me right now you'd have a 20 oz Diet Coke in the frame. If Pepsi wanted to pay you to replace it with a Pepsi, presumably the movie wouldn't change one iota. So why not? Movie characters have to drive some kind of car. If the brand isn't central, hell, have the main character drive whatever pays the most.

Re:Product placement (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113569)

I skip all videos with ads

Are there major-studio feature films without any sort of product placement anymore?

I can endure product placement if it doesn't hold up the film. But a 30 second pause on a can of Pepsi, unless it's *really really* germane to the plot and the director's artistic integrity, is probably not going to fly.

Incidentally, anyone remember Better Off Ted? They had hilarious commercials for bogus products.

Re:Five... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112839)

Same, but not so much about bandwidth (I have fiber) I just don't want some candy bar, SUV or fabric softener linked in my subconscious with some music or video I enjoy. In the 90s Burger King used Smoke On The Water in a Big Mac ad and I still can't hear that riff without picturing a cheeseburger. Screw ads, man.

Re:Five... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112963)

Burger King advertising Big Macs?
What's next? Cats sleeping with dogs?

Re:Five... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42113125)

My bad bro, it was The Whopper. All I remember was a big picture of a giant floppy cheeseburger (nothing like the soggy squished things they sell at fast food joints) bouncing around on the screen.

Re:Five... (1)

runeghost (2509522) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113563)

Hey now, movie trailers are an art form. They're frequently better than the films they advertise. :-)

Re:Five... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112863)

5) Users bail when the video loads and it's a commercial that can not be skipped.

Because unwanted, unskippable commercials are exactly like a pause before the video starts equal to the number of seconds the commercial plays. (See (1).)

In Australia Youtube now interupts your video at a random point and inserts unskippable ads. I have stopped using Youtube for the most part. That's just too annoying.

Re:Five... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42113101)

Who sees commercials before videos anymore? Jeez, I thought everyone ran AdBlock. (And NoScript, and Ghostery, and Flashblock...)

My connection is fast and only returns to me what I ask of it.

Re:Five... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113571)

And that works for in-line commercials that are part of the video? I'm not talking those annoying video ads on the side of the frame.

Re:Five... (1)

PNutts (199112) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113199)

Definitely. And worse to watch four videos on a site that have the same unskippable ad at the beginning of each. It's a good time saver as it makes me realize I don't need to consume the content.

Re:Five... (1)

smellotron (1039250) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113759)

Because unwanted, unskippable commercials are exactly like a pause before the video starts equal to the number of seconds the commercial plays.

Worse... they're loud with superficial friendliness that says, "my friend, I have a wonderful offer for you..." Ugh, I'd take a throbber any day over pre-video ads.

Re:Five... (2)

Splab (574204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113775)

What really pisses me off is when it starts playing automatically which a lot of US news sites do.

Oh and commercials that are longer than the video content. Or commercials for pure US products...

Payment expectations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112689)

So what if this was Netflix?

Download? (1)

Thor Ablestar (321949) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112729)

I always make a download of any video I watch, and I watch it during download. Firstly, I don't see anything frozen, except EOF, of course. Secondly, I live in Russia. In Soviet Russia, TV watches YOU! - and I cannot be sure that the video I see today will be available tomorrow. And the last: Both Flash and Virii are NOT available for platform I use, so I have no choice except migration to Windows.

"Big Data" (1)

hsmith (818216) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112795)

The most obnoxious buzz word out there currently.

Re:"Big Data" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42113087)

Personally I think "The Cloud" is much more pervasive and obnoxious.

Re:"Big Data" (1)

tsotha (720379) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113543)

This. Definitely. "The Cloud" doesn't even mean anything anymore - it's just a symbol on graphics we give to the higher ups.

Impatience? (2)

Azure Flash (2440904) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112803)

They say it's impatience, but if you're on a broadband connection and you're used to videos starting to play in less than 2 seconds, then when it drags out you just assume something's wrong and you move on, possibly to go back to it later. How is that impatience?

Top 10 Online Video Complaints... (5, Informative)

dtjohnson (102237) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112829)

10. "You don't have Flash 10.7 installed and need to upgrade to Flash 10.7" when you're running Flash 11.x
9. Embedded ads
8. 'special' video players (I'm looking at you ABC)
7. Video freeze during play due to lack of server response
6. Sound but no video
5. Video but no sound
4. Incompatible video formats
3. Video resolution inappropriate to the method of delivery...either way too high or way too low
2. Websites that insist on posting useless bandwidth-hogging 'talking head' videos rather than posting a simple photo and a text summary.
1. Digital Rights Management and all its limitations

Re:Top 10 Online Video Complaints... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112869)

The worst is when I sit through the ad and then the main video is blank or unavailable for some unexplained reason, the one promised by the caption. This happens more on Yahoo than on other sites.

Re:Top 10 Online Video Complaints... (5, Interesting)

xetovss (17621) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112901)

You forgot to put this on your list: Videos skip and pause when fully buffered . I am not sure what is the actual cause for it is but something causes it, even on a 2.8GHz Core2Duo w/ 8GB of memory with Win 7 64bit I get that a lot especially with youtube sometimes with others.

Re:Top 10 Online Video Complaints... (3, Informative)

adolf (21054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42114153)

I had this issue with recent FF builds under Windows. With one simple change, it works as fine now as it did several years ago:

Tools > Options > Advanced > Use hardware acceleration. Uncheck* this. Press OK. Restart FF.

Done.

*: Yes, really.

Re:Top 10 Online Video Complaints... (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113135)

11. Video content that is purely snippets of text fading in and out with various video editor techniques. I can't count how many videos I've clicked on only to find plain text content. There is something about people these days that makes them want to put everything in a video otherwise "it doesn't feel real".

Re:Top 10 Online Video Complaints... (1)

Maow (620678) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113487)

11. Video content that is purely snippets of text fading in and out with various video editor techniques. I can't count how many videos I've clicked on only to find plain text content. There is something about people these days that makes them want to put everything in a video otherwise "it doesn't feel real".

Damn right, cannot agree more on this.

I was tethering for my internet connection for a month and had to stay below 5 Gb lest I be throttled. I was searching for info on X and found something promising, but a video.

Load it up and watch - nothing but video of text with a couple still images embedded. I was quite furious - what's wrong with people that put those together and what kind of idiot is their intended audience?!?

Grrr.

Re:Top 10 Online Video Complaints... (1)

michaelbuddy (751237) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113155)

Good call outs here. Every local news station has the worst video player mechanism. Rarely does my browser crash but it happens more than half the time I stumble on a local news site video. I try to exit those tabs as soon as I realize because those pages are loaded with shit. Local news sites are the absolute worst players and then they doubledown with 20 other concurrent flash apps playing at the same time. Idiots.

Re:Top 10 Online Video Complaints... (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113425)

2. Websites that insist on posting useless bandwidth-hogging 'talking head' videos rather than posting a simple photo and a text summary.

This one is one of my pet peeves: I can't even count the number of times I've wanted to know more about something that could have been explained much more clearly AND in only a few passages of text but the author(s) insisted instead on making a video with a talking head that adds absolutely not a single thing to the topic. What's the point? Video should be actually used for something, but when it's just a head saying the same thing that could've been said in written text it's waste of everyone's time.

Re:Top 10 Online Video Complaints... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42113819)

11. It's on Vimeo.

Pfft video (5, Insightful)

megrims (839585) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112911)

Personally, I bail when the content is a video. Give me back my plain text internet, please.

Videos are such a waste of time.

Re:Pfft video (2)

SumterLiving (994634) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113071)

I'm with you on video being a waste of time. I really enjoyed the Justin Beiber concert in text format. He rocks....or not

Re:Pfft video (1)

antdude (79039) | about a year and a half ago | (#42114045)

Where is this text format at? :)

Re:Pfft video (1, Funny)

michaelbuddy (751237) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113183)

Agreed, I would much rather read the transcripts to x-rated films than watch them. Way better.

Re:Pfft video (1)

tsotha (720379) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113575)

If I'm trying to absorb information I agree 100%. My company has heinously begun to release every bit of employee communication in video format, so what used to be just a one minute email scan has become fifteen minutes of watching the CEO tell me stuff. Are there really that many illiterate people out there?

No shit. (1)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112927)

I could have told you this without an expensive study - the results are exactly what I would have expected.
But will management listen to this study or will they continue to live in fantasy land where people actually like their poor service and advertising?

This again (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113005)

Back in the day most usability people were saying that putting graphics on web pages would mean that the load time would be too slow and people would leave. This was true, to an extent. Web pages that had too much stuff on it were probably abandoned more frequently. And we have been used to faster and faster loads.

But the reality is that page loads have become slower, not only due to large number of ads, but a non responsive and evidently critically maimed Google Analytics. Yet despite these issues, user still go to web pages and wait.

So my question is what is really going on here and why do we care. If these video delays are not going to effect advertising, probably no one cares, just like no one cares that google analytics regularly cause web pages to hang. And a site is not advertising, then what is the issue if a random user bails.

Speed and reliability is a part of the design compromise. Certainly those who want to sell bandwidth and speed are going to say that those are most important, but they really aren't.

Re:This again (2)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113597)

You write this as if Google Analytics is the only ad service out there.

Google Analytics is pretty responsive. Very responsive if you compare to a lot of other ad services.

Another thing that has bogged down browsers over the years is the sheer amount of JS that dwarfs the amount of HTML on a web page, leading to an arms race to see who wins - the web page devs or the browser JS engine devs. The engine devs lose most of the time, and when the rare occasion happens that there is a breakthrough in JS speed, web devs tack on even more crap, because they can. Add to this the ridiculous amount of JS that ad services and trackers throw in, and you have a fucking nightmare of inefficiency. Adblock is the only real way to combat this for now.

But this has nothing to do with video playback once the stream is started. Once the ads are loaded or blocked locally, the video itself should play and the server should keep the buffer full for the player, which often times fails. QOS for video is atrocious from the viewer's POV. While it's amazing that Youtube is able to stream as many videos as it does without completely imploding, this does not matter to the viewer. What matters to the viewer is that the video starts playing, and then a minute or so into it, the buffer goes away, because the video server forgot all about the stream and "will get back to it in a bit." Then the viewer bails unless it's really compelling and he hits pause and waits for the buffer to fill again, or the viewer(a very small percentage of the total) uses a downloader to save the file locally and later viewing, which I do sometimes (I do this for videos on wimp.com).

From the viewer's POV, video on the Internet sucks for the most part. It's not good enough for non-casual watching and is unlikely to be so for quite some time unless infrastructure becomes better.

--
BMO

And yet ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113077)

... PornHub seems to keep going.

derp (1)

michaelbuddy (751237) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113127)

People abandon videos that don't play, big surprise. This has nothing to do with poor video quality. Experience tells users that if it's going to lag at the beginning it's probably going to lag the way through. Seems lke more short attention span than demanding quality expectations. It's surfing useless entertainment. These users aren't trying to watch something that their life depends on. Laggy video is not entertaining, so you switch it off. This isn't much of a scientific study. Anyone who publishes their video on a stats based player, such as brightcove are used to these abandonment stats.

Just press pause (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113187)

Simply press pause and wait for the video to load. That's how I watch all my videos.
Streaming simply does not work. It's not a bandwidth issue, it's that the flash-based video players involved are crap and can't do buffer management or seeking properly.

Re:Just press pause (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113699)

The problem is more fundamental.

The internet is fundamentally a best effort statistically switched packet network. No delivery guarantees. No particular order of delivery.

Video uses temporal compression and requires timely delivery for a stable reconstruction of the video. Drop a master frame and all hell breaks loose. At a low level this is incompatible with the design of the internet.

Throw in the fact that people are conditioned to a highly reliable delivery system (cable TV) with dedicated bandwidth and you are simply going to find that they are not going to tolerate the performance profile you are going to get trying to cram a high bandwidth stream down a statistically switched pipe.

Re:Just press pause (1)

mikael_j (106439) | about a year and a half ago | (#42114009)

In my experience it tends to be less a failing of the design and infrastructure of the Internet as a whole and more a failing of whoever is hosting the content (bogged-down server(s) or lack of bandwidth on their end).

There are always exceptions, of course, I know a few people who insist on using "wireless broadband" even when they have access to FTTH/FTTP services simply because they chose the wireless service a year or two ago and they keep telling themselves it's "good enough" (while waiting 30-90 seconds for Youtube videos to buffer enough to start playing) much in the same way that they feel their TV reception is "good enough" when the signal doesn't drop out too often on days with good weather (and it's pretty much unwatchable on rainy or snowy days). These people are the exception though, they're the ones who just won't admit that their setup is broken for whatever reason (a lot of times the Swedish word "dumsnålhet" would seem to be fitting, it translates to something like "cheap/stingy to the point of stupidity", it's when you've got a $1500 gaming PC and you won't spend another $3 per month on broadband because it's "too much money" or you've got a $2000 3D TV and you can't be bothered replacing the antenna cable because a new one costs $10).

Beer (1)

ebonum (830686) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113303)

In other news, researchers have found that when people take a sip of beer and it tastes like sh*t, they drink less.

Humans. Always stating the obvious.

This just in (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113439)

Users who know that making something of good quality is possible are not going to accept worse quality at the same price.

I am absolutely shocked at this revelation.

Reading the stats wrong (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113517)

They're not accounting for the 10 times a day I bail on a page because I DON'T WANT TO WATCH THEIR STUPID VIDEO AT ALL.

shopping for presents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42113909)

I watch a lot of videos when I'm "shopping for presents," and I have to agree with the findings of this study.
But the again, I usually never watch the entire video anyway, and I never actually buy anything either. Odd.

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