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The consequences for a website where video content underperforms are a significant loss in goodwill, return visitors and potential advertising revenues, according to an Akamai Technologies study conducted by JupiterResearch.

The Akamai study explores two elements of online video’s future success: consumer preferences around video consumption and consumer reaction to low-quality viewing experiences.

Some findings from the Akamai/Jupiter study:

  • 46% of online consumers watch online video monthly or more frequently.
  • 43% of online consumers who connect to the internet by broadband watch online video at least once per week.
  • 80% of online video users accept the presence of advertising as a trade-off for providing free online video content.

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  • Online video that is interrupted for buffering purposes and playback that is slow to begin are the greatest sources of frustration.

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  • 60% of frequent online video users (i.e., those who watch online videos at least once per week), are less likely to return to a site for video content if the viewing experience is poor, and close to half will seek their video content from a competing website.
  • More than a quarter of those users said they would be less likely to visit a poorly performing website again for any reason; they also said they would have a more negative overall perception of a site with poorly performing video content.
  • The survey also sought insight into the appetites of online video consumers:
    • More than one-quarter of online consumers are interested in bandwidth-intensive video content such as full-length movies and TV programs viewed from their PCs.
    • On the other hand, 42% of online consumers indicate they are less interested in online video content, because they prefer their TVs for a rich viewing experience.

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  • In general, online video users are also considerably younger than are consumers who have not yet experienced online video content:
    • 43% of online video users are age 34 and under
    • Only 17% of online consumers who do not view online video are age 34 and under.

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About the study: JupiterResearch designed and fielded a survey in February 2007 to online consumers selected randomly from the Ipsos US online consumer panel. A total of 2,319 individuals responded to the survey. Respondents were asked approximately 11 closed-ended questions about their behaviors, attitudes and preferences as they relate to viewing video online.

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