buffering video

2 seconds.

That’s how long some consumers will wait before abandoning a streamed video that hasn’t started playing, according to a University of Massachusetts study.

After 5 seconds of waiting, 25% of viewers are gone. After 10 seconds, half have left.

Corporate communicators take note: your employees are consumers at heart, and the same behavior will take a toll on adoption of internal video portals and the videos you are relying on to increase engagement and transfer knowledge.

This challenge is actually more acute for businesses than for YouTube or other consumer-facing outlets serving more widely dispersed audiences.  That’s because of the Law of Proximity: the closer people are situated, the higher the stress on the infrastructure.

When all of your employees try to watch the CEO’s live-streamed address, they’re all using the same pipes in the same building.  Uh oh – slow!

The solution is to distribute videos as close to the viewer as possible.That means routing a single stream of each video to each of your facilities and beefing up on relatively cheap LAN bandwidth to support enough simultaneous streams to meet your needs.

Another way to distribute the load is to enable mobile device streaming. This offloads the mainstream computing network for those that choose to view on iPads or phones. It has the added benefit of being employee-friendly: more and more users prefer to view videos on their mobile devices.

Effective communication and collaboration rely on participation. Don’t let slow-streaming videos prevent you from moving your organization forward.