Bad Video Search Costs You $100,000 Every Year

How often can your organization afford to throw away six figures in lost productivity?

Without a good video search solution in place, that’s just what your organization could be losing each year for every 500 employees — meaning for larger organizations of 5,500 people or more, you could be losing more than a million dollars a year.

Can’t believe it? Here’s how the numbers add up.


For the calculation, we start with IDC data that reports the average knowledge worker spends 9.5 hours per week just searching for information.

From there, we estimate the percentage of those 9.5 hours dedicated to searching video content.  We chose 2% as a very conservative estimate, which works out to about 11 minutes spent each week searching through video. To gauge the validity of this estimate, we cross-referenced Gartner data showing that workers today already stream 2.5 hours of work-related video each week. Based on that, 11 minutes of time spent searching seems reasonable.

Then, to calculate the cost of time spent searching through video, we used data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This data shows that the typical knowledge worker costs companies $75,000 including wages and benefits, which works out to an hourly cost of $37.25 (assuming a 40-hour work week and accounting for 2 weeks of annual leave).

These figures yield an annual productivity loss of $355 per employee, or $177,415 for a 500-employee organization.

Better search can’t negate that loss entirely, but studies from Google and Nielsen Norman Group suggest that improved search tools can reduce total time spent searching for information by 53%.

Keep in mind that, for video content, this figure might actually be a bit conservative.  Why?  Because traditional video search is a two-step, highly-inefficient problem:

  1. First you have to find the video you’re looking for.  This is based on manually-entered metadata like titles, descriptions and tags. If the creator of the video didn’t include the tags you’re searching for, you might be out of luck.
  2. Assuming you find the video, you then have to find the content you’re looking for inside the video.  For business and education videos that are often 30-60 minutes long, this can be a time-consuming, frustrating process of hunting and pecking using your video player’s slider control.

What’s the end result? For every 500 employees, a better video search system could be saving you $95,000 in lost productivity. And for every 5,500 employees, a better video search system could mean a million dollars toward your bottom line.

Is there a really a video search tool that’s that much more productive?

You bet. Panopto’s Smart Search allows you to search through video in Panopto the same way you’d search the internet, or your email.

  • Search for any keyword ever spoken in your videos, with automatic speech recognition.
  • Or for any word that ever appears in your videos, with optical character recognition and PowerPoint and Keynote slide ingestion technologies.
  • And search for any keyword included in any video metadata — including viewer notes and comments.

Smart Search allows your team to search across every video, ever created in your library – new or old and whether or not it was recorded with Panopto — and get specific results that fast-forward to the exact moment the keyword occurs in your video.

Gartner Research predicts that within 2 years, every employee at large organizations will stream an average of 45 minutes of work-related video every day. Which means now is the time to get the right video search tool in place at your organization.

Want to know more about how video search can help your organization and get a specific ROI calculation for how much Smart Search by Panopto can save you? Contact our team today.

Published: April 15, 2014