I’m often amused by the scientific need to confirm the obvious – it can’t be real until it’s been tested, documented and peer reviewed, which I fully understand has a purpose. A recent study claims to show causality between video streaming and viewer behavior. Causality in itself is a significant term indicating that there is a proven relationship between one factor and another establishing cause and effect. Typically what science documents is that there exists a correlation between two or more factors. Correlation indicates a relationship, but not cause and effect. In this case, relying on more than 23 million video playbacks and more than 6 million unique visitors, the study released late last year documents that a video “start” delay lasting for more than two seconds causes viewers to begin to abandon the video (Sitaraman & Krishnan, 2012). Additionally, using regression, 5.8 percent of viewers abandon the video for each second beyond that in which the video fails to start. Last, those viewers that use fiber optic connections will abandon a video 38.25 percent more often than those attempting to view the same video on mobile devices, an effect to which I can personally attest to (Sitaraman & Krishnan, 2012). The psychological effect on the individual is obviously impatience with our new technologies as we seek instant gratification, but I predict that in the next 1-2 years we will see a change in how video is delivered and it will be near real time – no more than a one second delay on a fiber optic connection. Our attention as consumers is far too valuable to be lost due to a data transference speed.
Sitaraman, R. K., & Krishnan, S. S. (2012). Video Stream Quality Impacts Viewer Behavior: Inferring Causality using Quasi-Experimental Design. Boston. Retrieved Jan 10, 2013, from http://people.cs.umass.edu/~ramesh/Site/HOME_files/imc208-krishnan.pdf