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After 500 million video streams, here's what we've learned

After 500 million video streams, here's what we've learned

In a previous post, we announced that we've delivered over 500 million video streams on behalf of publishers both large and small. It's been an incredible journey talking with customers, streaming countless videos for small businesses, monitoring playback performance, and making sure end-users on thousands of websites have the best possible experience while watching video.

Here are just a handful of the most important lessons we've learned along the way.

1. Video stalling-out, aka "buffering", during playback is a pervasive issue.

Measured across hundreds of millions of video streams, 24% of all playback experiences result in a stall-out lasting 1 second or longer. The location, network, or device type is virtually irrelevant. The issue is prevalent across the board. Think about that for a second. In 1 out of 4 instances, a video will get interrupted for more than a second in the middle of playback.

SmartVideo acceleration brings this rate down below 3% (compared to 24% previously).

This 8x reduction in stall-outs means site owners benefit in the following ways:

  • 📺 Visitors go on to watch 2.77x more video
  • 📈 36.6% increase in website engagement and brand sentiment
  • 💰 37.2% increase in video ad inventory and revenue for those that sell ads

2. Blurry video is not the answer!

Nearly all publishers, or video hosts, reduce quality in an attempt to avert the stall-out issue, but according to an eMarketers survey, end-users hate poor playback quality even more than stall-outs.


SmartVideo takes care of both problems: streaming video at the highest quality with virtually no buffering or stall-outs.

3. We witnessed countless small businesses take control of video playback on their website.

Cluttered, slow-loading embeds look unprofessional, steal visitors, and slow websites down. For small businesses looking to maximize the potential of their website visitors, the true cost and risk associated with using a "free platform" like YouTube is too great. Over the past 2 years, we've witnessed many companies take the leap and graduate from YouTube and other "free platforms".


During the same period of time, SmartVideo auto-migrated thousands of videos for site owners. Those videos were then encoded, placed on a global delivery network, and accelerated for their visitors during playback. SmartVideo increased video load speeds 12x on average in benchmarks compared to YouTube. Combined with an 8x reduction in playback stall-outs, SmartVideo's video acceleration helped double the marketing effectiveness of their videos.

4. While small businesses "graduated", we saw many blue-chip media brands "drop-out" and declare video bankruptcy.

These companies turned from self-hosted, "native" video they controlled, to uploading their content to YouTube and embedding it back on their website, giving up control over the playback experience and monetization. In a way I get it. Many large media companies spend millions of dollars each year on complex, costly solutions (not to mention teams dedicated to managing them) for streaming video on their sites. It's not surprising that those businesses are eager to escape the madness and massive expenses. YouTube seems like a great way to do just that, but the platform is costly in other ways.

One of our key takeaways from the past two years is that small businesses are tired.

They're tired of YouTube siphoning their visitors. They're tired of YouTube overshadowing their own brand on their site, but they can't afford the massive expenses that are usually associated with creating a professional on-site video experience. That's where we come in.

We took what we learned from building enterprise-level video delivery solutions for massive media corporations and built SmartVideo. SmartVideo sits at the intersection of cutting-edge, simplicity, and cost-effectiveness. We built the platform specifically for small to medium sized businesses who are looking to take the next step from YouTube and other free platforms, but can't afford the costs associated with an enterprise-level online video platform. With SmartVideo, businesses get fast-loading, clean, professional video experiences for their sites without taking out a loan to afford them.

Swarmify created SmartVideo around a simple idea; video is hard but publishers of all shapes and sizes deserve tools that create effortlessly uncluttered, accelerated, playback experiences on their website that load fast and look professional with all-inclusive dead simple pricing and automagic YouTube migration. Get your free trial today!