Viewers Don't Tolerate Slow Video Delivery Load Times

Viewers Dont Tolerate Slow Video Delivery Load TimesTubeMogul recently asked the question - How long will you wait for a video to stream? They sampled almost 200 million video streams across several content delivery networks and found out that we're waiting more than we should. Almost 7% of all streams required some sort of rebuffering. What did that result in? 81% of video viewers going elsewhere instead of waiting for rebuffering.

TubeMogul used their InPlay technology, which tracks detailed data on billions of monthly streams, for the answer.


For a 14-day period, they recorded a sample of 192,268,561 streams from six top video sites and platforms, tracking detailed data on video delivery quality. The data hailed from the following top content delivery networks: Akamai, Edgecast and Limelight. Both short-form content (i.e. 2-10 minutes) and full-episodes of TV episodes were included.


Some key data points:

  • Rebuffers are commonplace, occurring in 6.84% of all streams.
  • When encountering a rebuffer, viewers click away 81.19% of the time rather than wait for the video to re-load.
  • Delays in start-time (the amount of time that passes between someone clicking "play" and a stream starting) were above one second for every network tested.

Viewers Dont Tolerate Slow Video Delivery Load Times


As online video audiences continue to grow, CDN imperfections like these will be increasingly relevant to the publishers' bottom lines. When you consider that one out of 25 streams experiences a rebuffer and most people click away when that happens, it's probably fair to conclude that far fewer ads are getting clicked (or watched).

Campaign delivery stats like these are available to large publishers and platforms via our InPlay Performance Module. Other stats include rebuffering and bandwidth usage by video, campaigns, geography.

Works Cited:

Tube Mogul report on Rebuffering and viewer wait times.

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About the Author -
Mark Robertson is the Founder and Publisher of ReelSEO, an online information resource dedicated to the fusion of video, technology, social media, search, and internet marketing. He is a YouTube Certified, video marketing consultant and video marketing expert, popular speaker, and considered to be a passionate leader within the online video and search marketing industries. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • preetam

    It's a toss up between "instant-on" vs. "re-buffering" for progressive downloads.
    YouTube goes the "instant-on" route, which often causes buffering a little later into the video.

    At Marcellus, we try to create a little bit of initial pre-buffering to minimize the chance of buffering during playback.
    Another interesting scenario is the pre-roll video advertisement...if folks don't have the patience to wait for a video to load, then it's unlikely that they'd have the patience to wait for the pre-roll before the video to load either.

    Nonetheless, an interesting problem.