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Streaming might be at an all-time high, but old frustrations remain

Rebuffering is still the most frustrating aspect of watching online video finds Limelight's State of Online Video report

While streaming has seen a surge during the pandemic, the old frustrations around buffering and poor video quality remain.

Limelight’s State of Online Video 2020 found that in the UK, viewers spend 7 hours 24 minutes watching online video on average per week in 2020.

UK viewers spend 1 hour and 42 minutes a week using specialised content providers such as Disney Plus, compared to 4 hours and 42 minutes a week watching broad content platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, and 2 hours 18 minutes using live TV such as YouTube TV .

However, 50 per cent of viewers said rebuffering is their primary viewing frustration, with 31 per cent frustrated with poor video quality and 11 per cent when the video doesn’t play.

Globally, viewers between 18-25 find video rebuffering as the most frustrating (48 per cent) while older consumers have more tolerance for the issue.

“Online video demand has clearly accelerated around the world this year, especially with so many people looking for entertainment, information and communication as they have spent more time at home due to COVID-19,” said Nigel Burmeister, vice president at Limelight Networks.

“Our research shows that with the rise in viewers and subscriptions, it is critical that content providers have the right combination of the content consumers want, the infrastructure to scale to meet demand and technology to give them the best possible online experiences.”