Online Video Watchers Hate Bad Quality More Than Ads

Good News for Marketers With Eye on Digital Content

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Believe it or not, there is something more annoying to online video watchers than advertising: poor quality.
One bit of good news for advertisers from the Akami study: most users understand the advertising-content equation.
One bit of good news for advertisers from the Akami study: most users understand the advertising-content equation.

Despite all the attention given to ad models in the online video space and what will be least likely to turn off viewers, buffering actually ranks first on the list of factors that annoy watchers of online video. Video that takes too long to load, poor picture quality and the need to register for some sites were also major sources of frustration for viewers. The complaint that ads inside the video running too long or too frequently was the sixth most cited source of frustration.

The data comes from a Jupiter study commissioned by Akamai, technology company that focuses on delivering web content. (It's worth noting, of course, that Akamai's business is in virtual networks that ensure quality of video.)

Interest in long-form video
The study does point to an increase in interest in long-form online video content -- 34% of broadband users were interested in watching TV shows online and 30% in full-length movies. Online video watchers get their content from a variety of sites: 41% visit portals, 39% social-networking sites, 36% news and information sites, and 27% TV program or channel sites.

The good news for advertisers is that most users understand the advertising-content equation. When it comes to online video, 80% accepted the presence of advertising as a trade-off for free content. The most acceptable online advertising was banner ads.

"There's a lot riding on media companies getting premium CPMs and growing the popularity of their video," said Suzanne Johnson, senior product marketing manager of digital media at Akamai. "And we know that as content gets richer and video gets better quality, streams get larger and delivery isn't so straightforward."
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