November 13, 2012

UMass Amherst Computer Science Research Quantifies How Online Video Stream Quality Affects Viewer Behavior

It may seem like common sense that the quality of online video streaming affects how willing viewers are to watch videos at a website. But until computer science researcher Ramesh Sitaraman at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and collaborators at Akamai developed a way to rigorously study the question, no one had been able to scientifically test the assumption.

They conducted the first large-scale study of its kind to quantitatively demonstrate how video stream quality causes changes in viewer behavior. “Video stream quality is a very big topic of interest,” says Sitaraman. “Anyone who provides online video content, from the major news channels to sports and movie outlets, is worried about such things as do videos fail, how fast a video starts up, does it freeze, and how such loss of quality affects viewers.”