From Shakespearean performances to pub drinks with friends, it seems any activity can be made virtual now, yet streaming issues may be causing us to shy away from these resources. This is according to research on How Video is Changing the World from content delivery provider Limelight Networks.
Globally, 14 per cent of adults are watching seven or more hours of online video every day – making it an important channel for communication and sharing information.
However, nearly two-thirds of Brits (61 per cent) have had technical issues with the online video for virtual events in the past two months. Many of these are linked to difficulties delivering high-quality online video with the speed and convenience UK consumers expect. The most common complaint with online video offerings was Internet connectivity problems (36 per cent), followed by videos loading slowly (13 per cent) and poor-quality video (12 per cent).
So, which of the services out there are we really using?
Doctor, Doctor: Online doctor’s appointments are not very popular among Brits – 68 per cent of UK respondents say they haven’t tried one and don’t plan to do so in the next six months.
Feeling chatty?: People are on the fence about virtual gatherings with family or friends – 38 per cent have tried it out in the past two months, but 39 per cent are still convinced they won’t use the technology for the foreseeable future. Another third (32 per cent) have attended or would attend a public event virtually, if they could not attend the IRL version.
Let’s get physical: A third of us (31 per cent) have tried an online fitness workout in the past two months, with a further 16 per cent planning to give one a go in the next six months. But half of us (51 per cent) still aren’t tempted by it.
Parlez-vous français?: Only 19 per cent of Brits plan on learning a language using online video in the next year. Interest in online classes to learn other hobbies (such as gardening, woodwork, and cooking) was slightly higher with 24 per cent of respondents considering these services.
What’s holding us back?
“Online video is a key part of many online activities, so it’s no surprise that long load times and buffering is frustrating consumers and potentially stopping them from trying out virtual activities,” explains Steve Miller-Jones, VP edge strategy and solution architecture at Limelight Networks. “Our research shows that whether for work or play, people in the UK simply aren’t willing to put up with poor online video experiences. Too often, video latency or a poor-quality picture can prevent virtual activities from delivering the personal connection and experiential benefits that consumers expect.”
“Businesses who want to offer a virtual experience need to carefully consider their content delivery strategy. This means choosing the right technology partners who can ensure end users have a high-quality, low latency experience,” he advises.
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