It wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if I were to tell you that streaming of video and music is taking up increasingly large chunks of bandwidth. But you might be shocked to learn just how widespread streaming has become.
According to broadband services company Sandvine, streaming now accounts for more than 70% of all U.S. downstream traffic. And it’s not just the volume of streaming that’s so astounding, but the rapid rate of growth, as well: just five years ago, that figure stood at 35%. And as broadband adoption rates continue to steadily climb, there’s no reason to believe that the growth of streaming will slow.
The continued growth in popularity of both YouTube and Netflix have contributed mightily to this 70% figure. But relative newcomers Amazon and Hulu, still nascent in 2010, now account for nearly 6% of usage combined.
On the mobile front, video and audio counts for 41% of mobile traffic, most of that via YouTube. Social media—primarily Facebook and Snapchat—represents 22%.
With the continued critical and commercial success of Netflix and Amazon’s original programming, and the viewing public’s newly-acquired penchant for “binge watching,” expect to see these streaming numbers to continue to grow well into the foreseeable future.
Undoubtedly, when Ralph Kramden got together with his pal Ed Norton to watch the Friday night fights on his small, black and white TV set, he thought he had it pretty good. Little did he know that decades into the future, fans of the sweet science would be able to step into the ring with their favorite pugilists.
Virtually, anyway. DirectTV has announced plans for a virtual reality (VR) app that will enable boxing fans to view fights up close and personal.
Affiliated with Big Knockout Boxing (BKB), the virtual reality app for VR-ready smartphone users is now available for Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition and Cardboard (Android and iOS) headsets.
The app allows users to select from a variety of fight highlights and select their choice of up-close camera feeds.
“We know that VR can be a deeply engaging entertainment medium. It delivers a compelling sense of ‘being there’ that’s unmatched by any other technology,” said DirecTV’s VP of Digital Entertainment Products Jon Molod. “We believe that much of VR’s growth will be mobile driven. As the technology evolves we hope to find new ways to use VR to enhance not just BKB, but all sports experiences.”
Other providers are following DirecTV’s lead. Netflix and Hulu have announced plans for their own VR apps, and SyFy has already brought theirs to market. In the very near future, fight fans—and sports fans of all stripes—can put themselves into the middle of the action.
Just don’t forget to duck.
(Here’s a bonus for you Honeymooners’ fans: Ralph Kramden’s surprisingly accurate vision of the future of television.)
There’s a reason why the ice storm that struck the D.C. area this past weekend—Mother Nature’s latest insult in this seemingly interminable winter of 2015—didn’t sting quite as much as it might have: on Friday, Netflix made the entirety of the third season of its political thriller “House of Cards” available for viewing. Let the binge watching commence!
The series, which debuted in 2013, marked a significant gamble for Netflix. The company was in the process of morphing from a mail-based DVD distributor to a provider of streaming video content. Yet without a way to differentiate themselves from other online content providers, Netflix’s market share would never be truly secure. The key to the service’s ongoing viability would be coming up with something that nobody else could provide consumers. It rolled the dice with Frank Underwood and “House of Cards.” Read more
(Google purchased YouTube in 2006 in a transaction valued at $1.65 billion.)
Dubbed “YouTube Music Key,” the service is designed to compete with companies such as NetFlix.
Pricing for YouTube Music Key will start at $7.99 per month, and, in addition to removing advertising, will also allow viewers to watch videos offline and listen to music while using other applications. Read more