Website Viewers Don’t Wait Around Long for Online Videos to Load

Posted on Dec 04, 2012

How long do you wait for an online video to work before giving up and looking for another video or website? You likely do not wait too long if you are like the average American viewer of online videos.


A recent University of Massachusetts Amherst study found that, on average, Americans only wait two seconds for their video to begin before they start giving up on watching the video. Specifically, the study found that:


  • After two seconds of not loading properly, viewers begin to consider leaving.
  • For every second thereafter, six percent of potential viewers leave.
  • If a video does not load for five seconds, then, on average, 20 percent of potential viewers have left.


The study also found that people’s patience and willingness to wait for a video to load is connected to the type of connection they are using to watch the video. For example, people are more patient while waiting for videos to load on mobile devices than if they are using computers connected to the internet by DSL, cable, or fiber connections.


The problem of viewers leaving may not be limited to a particular video or day. According to the study, viewers are about 2.3 times less likely to return to a site where they had a problem loading video during the week following the problem.


The study is believed to be one of the largest of its kind and included more than 23 million video playbacks from 6.7 million unique viewers who watched an aggregate of 216 million minutes of 102,000 videos over 10 days. Our Fairfax website video encoders encourage you to make sure that your video is properly encoded to avoid viewing problems in the future.

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Jim Folliard
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