Study: viewers have no patience for buffering, abandon videos after two seconds of waiting

Gagnam Style YouTube

It’s hardly a surprise that viewership drops the longer it takes for a video to buffer, but a professor has analyzed data from 6.7 million unique visitors to try and put some numbers with the trend. According to a paper published by professor Ramesh K. Sitarman of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, viewers begin to abandon a video after a two second delay, with six percent disappearing per second thereafter. Depending on what kind of user you are, that may sound a bit low, but that may be due to the types of videos that Sitarman analyzed. The professor considered videos under 30 minutes long as “short” — we’d assume that your average minute-long YouTube video would lose far more users per second of buffering. As shown in the…

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