Disadvantages of adding Audio and video in web pages

Online multimedia service providers will promptly put up an hour long presentation to highlight the advantages of inserting audio and video clips in websites. No doubt that visual and voice stimuli have greater impact and imprint on a visitor provided it doesn’t compromise on the marketing strategy. Apparently, the best marketing strategy for any website is to have larger number of visitors and to have longer duration of stay. This improves the probability of converting a visitor into a potential customer.
So in what ways, can the addition of audio and video in a website, may lead to a marketing disaster? Here are the main ones:
Reduced efficiency: Web pages containing audio/video clips will have larger file size and will take a longer time to open than simple “no-frills” websites. Apart from small sized midi or wav files (audio file formats), most of the audio files consume better part of the internet bandwidth. And using a video clip directly into a web page will ensure that a large number of users having slow dial-up internet, would never be able to wait twenty minutes for just one web page to open completely.

More costs: A good website designer can link audio/video files to a separate external location, without increasing the files size of web pages. However, more bandwidth and more space will still cost more money. At the back-end, the infrastructure required to host websites with large file sizes and file numbers, should be state-of-the-art for flawless navigation of web pages.

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Overriding choice: Inserting an audio in a website, without giving an option to the user to switch it on or off, is more like “inflicting” the audio. Sounds and videos should always be posted as an option that a visitor might like to explore; imposing such content may cause lot of annoyance to the visitors. Unexpected pop-up audio or video may also earn disrespectful glances from colleagues to the users at offices.

Copyright issues: Quite a few irresponsible designers have burnt the fingers of their employers by inserting copyrighted or trademarked music in the background of web pages. With improved Internet vigilance, such instances have shrunk to negligible numbers, but still there are many that operate from offshore locations and continue juggling with copyrights.

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