The situation that we, as a world, are finding ourselves in at present is not normal. The Coronavirus Threat is keeping the entire world on house arrest, so to say. With extreme measures being taken to prevent the dreaded virus from causing any more loss to lives, and Lockdowns almost everywhere, people are turning to video streaming for various purposes – yes, even other than Entertainment, that is. Education, Ecommerce, and other areas of life and work are turning towards video streaming more than ever now-a-days, with almost every educational institution, company, market, theatre, or shopping mall adhering to the Lockdown that might continue for some time, now. This development, as also the rate at which people are staying indoors on quarantine or self-isolation, is causing the video streaming market to see a boom, as more and more people are watching videos to keep themselves informed, updated, engaged, entertained, or even distracted.
This situation is likely to continue, with Lockdowns continuing. Video streaming is likely to become more of a norm in our daily lives; till the infrastructure of the Internet, of course, can bear the load of it all.
It is reported that WarnerMedia, in its official blog, has said that video streaming is likely to witness an upward surge, with people continuing to stay at home.
There have been more related reports on the present scenario; let us take a look at some of them, here.
- The television industry has seen an overall increase of 20% viewing in the latter half of March 2020 as compared to the previous month.
- HBO Now has witnessed the most usage on its platform. Movie watching has gone up by 70%, while binge viewing of series has gone up by 65%.
- The Chief Content Officer of Netflix, Ted Sarandos, has informed CNN that streaming video can hopefully make people feel a little less isolated when people are physically staying away from each other.
- Between March 14th to March 16th 2020, the time when Social Isolation commenced in the United States, subscription signups for Disney Plus and other such video streaming platforms saw a great surge in usage.
- Twitch, the other streaming platform of Amazon, has had a viewership increase by 31%. Its total amount of hours watched has reached 43 million on 22nd March, from 33 million on 8th March 2020.
- Ever since people have started Social Distancing, the Gaming streams of YouTube have witnessed an increase of 15%.
What we need to look into next would be the Internet situation – would it be able to keep up with all this video streaming?
Broadband networks might not be ready for this kind of pressure. Many video streaming platforms can take up a lot of bandwidth – whereas services for music streaming, such as Apple Music, and Spotify, can consume a lot less of bandwidth.
As per reports, video platforms such as YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Plus have all committed to reducing their quality of streaming in Europe, in adherence with the request of the EU. Netflix brings into use an adaptive streaming tool that can automatically adjust the quality of the video streaming on the basis of the bandwidth that can be accessed.
YouTube has made an announcement that it shall automatically present videos in standard definition – and not in high definition – for thirty days, the world over.
Amazon, it is said, is getting ready to reduce bit rate streams in the US, as also in other countries the world over, as and when the local authorities request for it.
The Internet service providers are witnessing huge surges in the usage of the Internet as more and more people are
- Working from home
- Studying / learning from home
- Video chatting with friends and family from home
The point we need to keep in mind is that if video streaming exerts too much pressure on the networks, not only entertainment, but also the entire communication channel might have to bear the brunt of it.
The fact is that streaming can take up a lot of bandwidth. Under normal circumstances, too many people do not stream together, all at the same time. However, the times are not too normal, currently. People are being forced to stay confined indoors, and, as mentioned earlier, are using the Internet to stay active, earning, and learning. There is video conferencing on between so many people who are working from home. There are so many learners taking online classes. All the streaming platforms are having to share the bandwidth.
There are some who are looking at the present situation as one in which new, or yet-to-launch OTT video services could expect more success, with more and more people searching for fresher content to watch.
This could also mean every platform and every company trying to get some bandwidth.
One thing is clear:
A company which is into video streaming can stay fine, as long as the Internet infrastructure remains so.
Would you like to share your ideas on the subject of video streaming with us, or even clear your doubts, if any? Feel most welcome to get in touch with us at Ascentspark Software for a consultation – free of cost, of course.