State of Online Video 2017 – Viewer Expectations Continue to Rise

Blog Post created by mmilligan on Sep 12, 2017

People around the world are rapidly shifting their video viewing online, and preference for accessing their favorite content is quickly changing as well. Important insights on this shift and more are available in Limelight’s just released “State of Online Video” consumer research report. 


Our latest global survey of online video viewing includes responses from 500 people each in France, Germany, India, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, U.K., and the U.S.  The data shows online video viewing has grown 34% since last year’s survey.  That’s rapid growth.  Highlights from the report include:


  • People are now watching an average of 5 hours and 45 minutes per week of online video.  Those numbers are even higher in India, Singapore and the U.S. where people are watching 7 hours, 7 minutes; 6 hours, 37 minutes; and 6 hours, 35 minutes per week, respectively. 

  • Younger viewers watch more online video each week than older viewers.  Millennials watch more than 7 hours each week, while people aged 60+ watch 3 hours 46 minutes per week.  Men watch an average of 6 hours 10 minutes per week while women average only 5 hours 20 minutes per week.
  • While globally, people use a computer or laptop as their primary viewing device, smartphones are being used more than ever.  In fact, smartphones are the primary viewing device for people in India and South Korea as well as with viewers aged 35 and under. 

  • When it comes to watching streaming video on a television, there are lots of options.  More than 32% of viewers use a Smart TV with built-in streaming capabilities for online viewing.  More than 20% use Google Chromecast and set-top boxes or DVD players for online streaming.  Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and video game consoles are also used by many people worldwide.
  • Online Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) services are becoming more popular, with the average global online viewer subscribing to 1.08 services.  However, those numbers are much higher in the US (1.67) and India (1.63), and lower in France (0.71) and Germany (0.83).

  • Despite all of the concerns about people “cutting the cord” and moving exclusively to online streaming, our survey showed cable and satellite television subscribers have twice as many SVoD subscriptions as non-cable subscribers. 

  • Rebuffering remained the top frustration with online video viewing, with 21.6% of people saying they will stop watching a video the first time it re-buffers.  That is up from 7.9% of viewers in last year’s survey.  After the second rebuffer, you lose another 39.8% of viewers, meaning 61% of your viewers are gone if a video rebuffers twice.  Only 15.3% of people will continue watching after the third rebuffer.


So, what does this all mean?  Consumers are watching a lot more online video, using lots of different devices, and have very high expectations.  You need to deliver the best online viewing experiences, even on mobile devices in regions where mobile networks may not provide the most reliable bandwidth and latencies.  That’s why Limelight continues to invest in developing purpose-built software and services, rather than relying on third-party components that cannot be tuned for the unique challenges of global content delivery.  By continually monitoring a user’s connection and optimizing how content is delivered based upon real-time analysis, viewers can stream videos at a higher quality while also experiencing fewer re-buffers.


Limelight delivers the lowest rebuffer rates in the industry – and we guarantee it.  Try Limelight video delivery for free for 90 days to see for yourself.  If we don’t improve your video rebuffer rates by 10% or more, you pay nothing. 


Let us help you deliver the best online viewing experiences.