There was a time almost 100 years ago that people would gather around a radio at night to get the latest news and then get entertained by a show; there are not a lot of people left alive who even remember this. The invention of the TV in 1926 essentially was the radios death sentence and changed things forever; it is a history of introduction of new media technologies that repeats itself over and over again, something new is invented and the older media’s worth gets severely diminished or even abandoned forever. With a major push for business by streaming video services such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Netflix; there is now a clear shift toward gearing content for smart technology devices in the current marketplace. According to an article in Fast Company Online Magazine last month, it points out the fact that times are rapidly changing. ten to fifteen years ago when kids went off to college they packed their TV among the things they were taking to school; nowadays, the TV stays home and collects dust and the new generation of students simply pack their laptop and tablet into their backpack and take it with them everywhere they go. It is changes like this that have smart devices poised to take over a huge share of the streaming media market.
The On-Demand Trend
People have gone from just being happy that streaming technology had become available to demanding more and more from streaming technology providers. Users want to watch what they want when they want and to watch it wherever they are. Just as the popularity of the internet shifted focus from TV’s to computers; so is the development of mobile internet switching popularity from computers to smart devices. It is a new age of carrying your life in your pocket or your backpack; devices like smart phones and tablets store your favorite movies, your favorite photos, your favorite songs, and even have apps that let you keep in touch with your family and friends by webcam or voice at the click of a button. Years ago it would have taken a phone, a camera, a desktop PC, and a portable music device to do everything that a lightweight and highly mobile smart phone or tablet can do now. Who would have thought ten years ago that articles such as the one written in Brain Solis, that detail how Video Sharing companies are challenging Hollywood for viewers, would even be relevant in 2014?
People don’t want to wait around at home anymore for their favorite TV shows to come on when they have a smart device that can stream it live or download it to be watched anytime they choose. There is no longer a need to leave the office to catch your favorite sports team’s game; with these new smart devices you can stay late and get your work done and still not miss a minute of the game. This is what the market now demands and companies that produce content for computers and TV really have to take notice of this and plan accordingly.
Some Statistics Showing the Trend will only increase more
There is no better way to convince someone about something than to show them some concrete statistics that back up this current trend. According to Cisco’s Visual networking Index (2014), here are some startling figures of data from 2013:
- Mobile Data traffic grew almost 83%
- Over 526 million data devices were newly connected last year alone
- Over 73% of the mobile phones now in use are smart devices
- There are now over 92 million mobile connected tablets in use; that is 2.2 times as many as the year before
If these statistics can change that much in one year, just imagine where this technology will be in three to four years from now.
Big Companies are making big bets on this trend
Are the big companies with interests in these areas taking notice?Absolutely, both media companies and technology companies are all competing for a bigger slice of the pie. It is evidenced by such large mobile internet providers as Verizon and AT&T and their rush to increase download speeds to capture customers by satisfying their demands to access streaming technology faster; 4Gspeeds have become readily available globally over the past 5 years and 5G speeds are expected to arrive in the next 5 years to keep up with this demand.
Media companies are also looking for ways to cash in on the new smart device demand for streaming media. Look no further than Disney’s takeover of Maker studios as evidence of this. Makers Studio is a company that manages over 55,000 You Tube Channels. Disney’s willingness to invest a half billion dollars in this transaction is proof that the big media companies only see the trend towards using streaming technology on smart devices as something that will continue to grow dramatically in the near future. Yahoo got in on the act also as they acquired the high quality streaming company RAYV from Israel.
Even giant cable companies such as Comcast, who long enjoyed monopolies and high profits in the areas they served, needed to do something to keep up with this trend so they released their own brand of streaming video technology called XfinityStreampix.
YouTube itself has transformed from a fun afterthought to a big business. With a whopping one billion users per month and over six billion hours of video watched, it is hardly something that businesses can just ignore. Alloy Digital Media just acquired the rights to YouTube’s #2 subscription show, Smosh. Even such popular TV channels as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network are getting in on the act by increasing air time for YouTube based programs; an example of this is the Annoying Orange web series that is now a show with a regular time slot on The Cartoon Network.
This is a trend that is just beginning to entrench itself as a permanent part of people’s lives and the demand for streaming media on mobile devices looks to continue to be strong well into the future. You might even want to take a photo of your TV, using the camera on your smart phone of course, so that twenty years from now when they don’t exist you will be able to look at the photo and remember what one looked like.
Cisco.com (February 2014) Visual Networking Index. Retrieved August 24, 2014 from http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/white_paper_c11-520862.html
Comcast (February 2012) COMCAST LAUNCHES NEW STREAMING VIDEO SERVICE: XFINITY STREAMPIX. Retrieved August 24, 2014 from http://corporate.comcast.com/news-information/news-feed/comcast-launches-new-streaming-video-service-xfinity-streampix
Dreier, Troy (March 2014) Streaming Media.Com. Disney Will Acquire Maker Studios for $500M Retrieved August 24, 2014 from http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/News/Online-Video-News/Disney-Will-Acquire-Maker-Studios-for-$500M-95900.aspx
Imtiaz, Asif (August 2014) US Finance Post. Yahoo Acquired High Quality Video Streaming Service. Retrieved August 24, 2014 from http://usfinancepost.com/yahoo-acquired-high-quality-video-streaming-service-rayv-21479.html