Delay in video streaming creates higher stress level than driving in heavy Jakarta traffic

  • Ericsson ConsumerLab’s latest study “Every second counts” measures neurological reactions to mobile delays from 170 smartphone users in Jakarta
  • Delay in video load time on smartphones immediately casues stress levels to go up, with peak stress resulting from delays exceeding 4 seconds.
  • Net Promoter Score drops by 14 points if consumers face delays beyond 2 seconds, indicating negative impact to unconscious emotional brand satisfaction towards telecommunication, internet and content providers.

Waiting for a video to load on your smartphone can be even more stressful than driving in heavy traffic in Jakarta – was one of the findings from the newly-published “Every second counts” report by Ericsson ConsumerLab. The study, conducted by Ericsson ConsumerLab, involved 170 smartphone users, aged between 18-50 years, from Jakarta and analyzed the link between time-to-content on mobile devices and the stress levels of users, as well as their emotional engagement with the mobile operator’s brand.

The study found that it is the millennials, the 18-35 year olds who represent the younger generation of mobile users and data consumers, that are the most sensitive. Specifically for younger millennials aged between 18-24 years old, only a 2 second delay in loading a Youtube video caused a 16 percent rise in cognitive stress, whereas 25-34 year olds lost interest completely when the video delay crossed 4 seconds. In a comparative study, the results showed that waiting for a video to stream was also comparable to other unpleasant and stressful scenarios, such as watching a horror film and having an argument with a partner.

Afrizal Abdul Rahim, Head of Ericsson Consumerlab South East Asia & Oceania says: “Indonesians have a strong appetite for digital content, with Youtube ranked first among smartphone apps based on monthly active users1. Yet video streaming issues are often observed as 30% users facing such issues daily2. As smartphone users become more advanced, they will have higher expectation from their providers for instantaneous and seamless results of content on the move. This demand is expected to even increase when Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality become more common.”

Besides measuring stress levels due to delays in loading videos, the study also looked into stress caused by delayed uploads on social media. The study revealed that Indonesians suffered from ‘selfie stress’ if they faced delays in uploading their images on social media networks. Similar to video loading, the breaking point for Indonesians uploading images on social media via smartphones is 4 seconds, where 47 percent of users lost motivation or temporarily resigned from uploading images, such as selfies.

The stress users faced due to delays in loading has a direct effect on the whole mobile eco-system. The study reveals that user satisfaction drops significantly when they experience a two second delay compared to when enjoying an uninterrupted seamleass video experience. Both handset manufacturers and content providers see their brand engagement drop at high delays, indicating that users pin the blame on all entities when the experience is extremely poor. The Net Promoter Score also shows a similar pattern; average scores drop by 14 points if mobile users face delays beyond 2 seconds.

Ronni Nurmal, Head of Network Products, Ericsson Indonesia says: “Erosion of loyalty over time linking to video and web delays concerns not only mobile operators but the whole eco-system. Indonesian mobile service providers can leverage on the report insights to align their network performance benchmarks with user expectations, as well as optimize the networks to meet the consumers’ rising expectations and plan for future technologies like 5G and Internet-of-things (IoT).”

Ericsson, in collaboration with government, partners and customers, has been innovating for 110 years in Indonesia. Ericsson has been pioneering 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G and will continue to transform Indonesia towards to a truly Networked Society, enabled by 5G, IoT and Cloud.

1 Ericsson Mobility Report South East Asia and Oceania June 2016

Ericsson ConsumerLab, Experience Shapes Mobile Customer Loyalty 2016



Download the report here

For media kits, backgrounders and high-resolution photos, please visit



News Center
(+84936 804 986)


Ericsson is a world leader in communications technology and services with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Our organization consists of more than 111,000 experts who provide customers in 180 countries with innovative solutions and services. Together we are building a more connected future where anyone and any industry is empowered to reach their full potential. Net sales in 2016 were SEK 222.6 billion (USD 24.5 billion). The Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on NASDAQ in New York. Read more on