Streaming is a method of transmitting or receiving data, particularly video and audio content, over a computer network as a steady, continuous flow. The data can be played back to start while the remaining data is still being received. Streaming media is multimedia data that is transferred in a stream of packets that are interpreted and rendered in real time by a software application as the packet arrives.
Streaming video includes over-the-top (OTT) video streaming services such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, and operator-based streaming and direct consumer streaming. Many operators offer streaming of the content that they own the rights to.
TV shows and movies are the most commonly watched types of online video content. Most global online video viewing takes place on laptop or computer and smartphones. Smartphones have become the primary viewing device for online videos in India and South Korea, as well as among global viewers aged 35 years and below.
Increasing penetration of mobile devices globally has resulted in an expanding social networking application user base. In addition, increasing video and audio traffic has dominated the Internet in terms of data consumption, and continues to drive adoption of online video and streaming sites.
According to Statista, 221.8 Mn online video viewers in the US accessed videos in 2017, which is expected to reach 236 Mn viewers by 2020.
In addition, increasing Internet speeds and better connectivity is driving adoption of online videos in developing and developed countries, and has been contributing significantly to the current high demand for online video content.
According to Statista in January 2018, there were 64% of Internet users in Saudi Arabia who watched online video content every day.
According to Statista in January 2018, there were approximately 50% of Internet users in the US who watched online videos every day.
Increasing number of digital media players such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Apple TV, Roku, and Boxee, among others are challenging the traditionally maintained supremacy of the television as the main entertainment hub.
According to Sandvine Incorporated in 2018, Netflix accounted for 14.9% of global application traffic share, followed by HTTP MEDIA STREAM and YouTube.
According to Limelight Networks, online viewing has grown significantly in 2017 as compared to 2016. The weighted average global viewing duration was 4.28 hours/week in 2016, which increased to 5.75 hours/week.
Benefits of Various Online Video and Streaming Sites:
YouTube TV: One of the benefit of YouTube TV is unlimited DVR storage. Recorded programs can be saved up to nine months. Viewers can stream on three devices simultaneously with a subscription.
Netflix: Netflix allows users to download shows or movies to watch offline. Netflix provides the most economical base subscription along with Hulu. Moreover, Netflix does not charge to remove ads.
Hulu: Users can create up to six personal viewer profiles with one subscription. Moreover, Hulu offers enhanced cloud DVR, unlimited screens, and no commercials ads.
Sling TV: Sling TV offers country and language-specific packages. It provides 50 hours of cloud DVR recording for US$ 5 per month.
Amazon Prime Video: Prime Video offers movies, original content, and TV shows with ad-free streaming, and the site is accessible on mobile devices and most streaming boxes and sticks.
HBO Now: Subscription of HBO Now is lower cost as compared to HBO Go. DirecTV charges US$ 17.99 per month for HBO, which includes HBO Go, but HBO Now is just US$ 15 per month, and the same features as HBO Go are available.
Philo: Viewers can watch on up to three devices at the same time on one subscription, or use a cloud DVR service to record shows up to 30 days.