Report: Half of Video Streamers Experience ‘Buffer Rage’

BOSTON—If you have ever wanted to throw something when that infamous spinning buffering wheel appears while you’re trying to stream a TV show or movie, you’re not alone. A recent study by IneoQuest Technologies, a media company and service provider on video quality and audience behavioral intelligence, has revealed that 51 percent of streaming viewers experience “buffer rage.” IneoQuest defines buffer rage as a state of uncontrollable fury or violent anger induced by the delayed or interrupted enjoyment of streaming video content from OTT services.

While 51 percent is the overall number of consumers that have experience buffer rage, 66 percent of respondents claimed frustration when a video buffers; 21 percent of those reported “severe levels of irritation.” For consumers under 35, 34 percent say they suffer from buffer rage more often than road rage.

One of the biggest causes of buffer rage appears to be not being able to start a piece of content. Up to 27 percent of respondents said buffering most often occurs before a video starts, while 34 percent experience buffering within the first 15 seconds of the video. This causes a negative reaction for many viewers, with 40 percent saying they only wait 10 seconds before clicking out of a buffering video, and nearly 40 percent of those respondents claim they will never attempt to re-watch the video.

Interruptions during live sporting events, watching content on mobile devices and mid-video buffering are other big factors in inducing buffer rage, according to IneoQuest.

Respondents said that buffering was a regular issue; 34 percent encounter it once in every three videos, while 24 percent experience it once in every five.

“This data shows that OTT service providers need to do more to ensure the delivery of a more reliable, consistent, enjoyable viewing experience to consumers in order to prevent a rampant buffer rage epidemic,” said Kurt Michel, senior marketing director at IneoQuest.

IneoQuest commissioned Research Now to conduct the study of 1,000 consumers. To see more on the study, click here.