The Pillars Of Video Performance: Buffer Ratio

We look into exactly what buffering is, why it happens and what the best services in the industry like to see when they look at their buffer ratio. This includes the crucial metrics and KPIs to track in order to understand where buffering is coming from, the impact of high buffer ratios on total playtime as well as how this can be monitored and controlled in order to boost QoE and stop user churn.

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The Buffer Ratio Issue

There are many components that dictate how well a video performs, including play failures, join time, exits before video starts, and quality (bitrate, renditions, bandwidth, throughput). In this paper, we will be looking into the importance of buffer ratio

The buffer ratio is the ratio of the total playtime users have experienced buffering for during a video session. The ratio is obtained by dividing the buffering time by the total playtime. When calculating the ratio, initial stream-join buffering is excluded

Industry leaders trust NPAW to understand consumption trends, improve their platform, and create reliable streaming experiences that delight and retain users

NPAW is the leading video intelligence company helping online streaming services grow. A global leader in its space, NPAW has a decade of experience developing groundbreaking and scalable analytics solutions to optimize performance and user engagement to build media experiences that maximize revenue. NPAW serves more than 190 video services and processes over 124 billion plays per year worldwide.


The NPAW Suite provides OTTs, broadcasters, operators, and media groups with holistic and advanced visibility of platform performance, audience behavior, advertising, and content efficiency in real time to support informed, data-driven decisions.

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