5G Streaming is Going to be Beautiful When it Gets Here But…
Smart Growth – Despite the higher cost, most consumers prefer to use a smartphone rather than feature devices since the ability to make a call isn’t very high on their priority list. IDC projects sales will increase over the next few years and telcos are already planning for the expansion of their data services.
It doesn’t bother them that there are over 3.6B active Internet users around the globe and people are getting used to their OTT (over the top) viewing options.
And they’re inclined to use them … all of them!
OTT Opportunities – While telcos are boringly optimistic that everyone will be watching their content on their mobile device, Ooyala and other monitoring services find that people still consume the majority of their content on the larger screen and after that, whichever screen is close at hand/convenient.
The smartphone might be ever-present and convenient, but a lotta’ folks think bigger viewing is better.
Still, the providers are confident their usage and revenues will soar.
In the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region, mobile video play grew to 63.5 percent. In Latin America, it topped 56.3 percent and; in the Asia-Pacific region, video play topped 70 percent.
Behind the curve, about 92 percent of 18-29 year-old North Americans own smartphones and a rising number of older adults (presently 75 percent) have smartphones.
According to Ooyala, there are a lot of indications that mobile video will continue to grow rapidly because more than 51 percent of video starts on smartphones. IDC recently announced that smartphone sales growth will return with overall shipments reaching 1.6 billion devices in 2022–most with larger screens.
While there was a lot of disagreement on how people were consuming their content at IBC, everyone agreed that TV has evolved from a world of limited options to virtually limitless choices.
Around the Globe – In many countries, people don’t have a lot of discretionary income, so they invest in the devices that will serve the majority of their needs. The choice is often a smartphone followed by a TV at home, so viewing times favor TV sets and smartphones.
OTT has allowed the viewer to dictate what they want, how they want it packaged and how they want to consume it.
Now it’s up to media and delivery companies to figure out how to make a buck.
Of course, they all like to get an inside look at how the big kid on the block is doing it.
Netflix, which has more than 130M subscribers in 190 countries, shows there is a difference on how people sign up and how they view their content.
Sit Back, Enjoy – Netflix has found that subscribers may sign up for the viewing service on one of their screens, but actual content consumption might be different. For example, in Thailand, most folks signed up for mobile viewing, yet the majority of screen time is spent with a TV.
The global subscribers consume a large chunk of the cable, broadband and wireless bandwidth requiring 4 Mbps for HD streams and 8-12 Mbps for UHD (4K) streams.
Sounds simple enough for content distributors and delivery folks to figure out, but they often overlook that Netflix has spent a lot of years and money to refine how they compress data for streaming and how they decompress it for viewing – on any device.
In addition, they invested in the development of a globally distributed CDN (content distribution network) to minimize the distance a viewer’s content choice must travel – faster, more responsive refresh; consistent quality.