LB: In the Words of Nikki Finke: “Toldja!”

Ah, I love the smell of vindication in the morning!

Study: Online Video Viewers Start Leaving After Waiting Two Seconds – by David Murphy

One of the more frustrating things that can happen to your average Web surfer is the dreaded, “Why is my video not playing” error. Whether YouTube’s having a hiccup, your connection’s fizzling out, your browser’s taking a nap or some other perfect storm of problems is preventing you from watching two minutes of a cute kitty cat do its cute kitty cat thing, the end result is the same: No video.

You have a few choices when this happens. You can wait it out. You can hit refresh and hope that the problem goes away. Or, if you’re like most people, you can get hacked off and close the Web page.

In fact, a new study by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has found that it only takes people two seconds, on average, to get fed up with a video not loading. Once that happens, they start leaving.

Here are the raw details: After two seconds of a video not loading, potential video viewers start getting itchy to leave. Every second thereafter, approximately six percent of a video’s potential audience begins to depart. After around five seconds, twenty percent of the people who were going to watch the video have now departed.

Of course, that’s just a generalization. The specific timings actually end up varying by the connection types that the viewers are using when accessing the videos. The drop-off rates for those with fiber, cable, or DSL Internet connections are fairly consistent, but viewers trying to access a video on mobile are a lot more patient about waiting for a video to load, as illustrated in the study.

However, if a viewer does successfully load a video and the stream glitches, that’s a problem too. According to the study, viewers encountering errors during video playback are around 2.3 percent less likely to return to that site within a week’s time. That’s not a huge percent on paper but, when mapped across the huge audience of online video viewers, it does add up.

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Not to get all Donald Trump on you, but what have I been saying? Short. Quick. Now. Now. Now! For better or worse, that’s where our culture is these days. Something we all have to keep in mind when writing/shooting/editing.

Or, to put it another way: Your audience considers any gratification that is other than immediate as unprofessional, and if you disappoint, it doesn’t come back. Create accordingly, kids!

About LB

Larry Brody has been profiled in such national magazines and websites as Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Starlog, People, Electronic Media, IndieSlate, TechTV, io9, and of course TV Guide. A legendary figure in the television writing and production world, with a career going back to the late ’60s, Brody has written and produced literally thousands of hours of network and syndicated television. Brody has also been active in the TV animation world, writing, creating, consulting, and/or supervising the cult favorite STAR TREK animated TV series, the SILVER SURFER, SPAWN, SUPERMAN, SPIDERMAN, and SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED animated series, and was showrunner of the French animated series, DIABOLIK, as well as part of the team that developed and wrote the live-action/cgi animation sci-fi series Ace Lightning for the BBC. Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys.