When streams buffer, viewers click away. At the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City, Stephen Condon of Verizon Digital Media Servicesemphasized that quality is still an issue for over-the-top (OTT) video.
"We're not meeting the needs necessarily of consumers at the moment. Quality may be increasing, but still Conviva released some data during this month that showed of the 2 billion samples -- they talk of video streams and they're analyzing them from the actual player side, so they're seeing what's going on for the users of their content -- now, over 60 percent of them were some way impacted by quality," Condon said.
What's worse than a selected video buffering? The ad before the selected video buffering. When that happens, there's no way to keep viewers engaged.
"I think that's one of the biggest things we need to address in this marketplace is how we deliver a better over-the-top quality experience in terms of views because the ad model seems to be getting some traction and consumers are getting more used to the advertising, but I tell you what, if that ad is buffering before a video is playing there's nothing more frustrating," Condon said. "Not only have I got to watch an ad, but it's buffering in front of me. That's terribly frustrating. One of the things we're hoping to solve is to try and ensure that quality of over-the-top video is as best as it can be."