By 2019, nearly 80 percent of the world’s internet traffic will be video, according to a recent study done by tech giant Cisco. This sounds great for tech users all over the world. Video is primarily used by millennials who have embraced live streaming as their main source for news and other information. After all, YouTube is nearly a necessity among youths today as a way to survive. Though, considering Google owns YouTube, how will Apple and Microsoft Corporation be able to complete in an evolving market?
The evolution of technology, especially when it comes to personal use for news and communication, the consumer always wants a faster medium. This especially holds true now, when nearly everyone in the world comes down with a case of ADD when they get their hands on their smartphone. Though, this has been a problem for over 100 years.
When radio was born, many people thought newspapers would become obsolete, considering the consumer could flip on the radio and receive their news at that moment. This was the first time news from all over the U.S and the world at large could be transmitted to different areas of the globe. Though, the newspaper, as a medium, did not go away, it had to adapt to the times to fit the needs of the consumer. Not only did print survive, it got better. At that point, publishers were forced to collect and report information faster than before. This created an opportunity to advance all information platforms due to the emerge of newer one.
The same scenario emerged when television was invented. Consumers then had a more advanced medium which they could use for news and information. Once again, many thought no one would listen the radio ever again, discarding it in the old tech trash can. However, just like the newspaper did, television adapted to the times and evolved to become a better medium in the end.
Currently, video streaming is what the television was during the 1950s. It is a very powerful medium that is only in its infancy. If Apple and Microsoft Corporation can see the beginning of the future of Internet video, the technology will explode.
In 2014, video content provided 64 percent of worldwide Internet traffic. Even though a good fraction of those are cat videos on YouTube, it is a very impressive margin. Though, Internet video is much more than YouTube. Internet video is any short-form content (YouTube and Facebook), long-form content (Hulu), Internet-to-TV (Netflix), and live streaming. Cisco’s study has shown there will be a massive Internet video bubble over the next four years.
During this time period, the Internet will see an information streaming level beyond anything that has ever been seen. Global IP traffic will triple, reaching two Zettabytes, and in 2019, nearly one million minutes of video will cross the networks every single second. To put this in comparison, it would take one person five million years to watch the amount of video that is streamed online each month. Therefore, if four out of five units of content on the Internet are through video, how will YouTube handle that?
Apple and Microsoft Corporation are the leaders in an age where the new medium of technology is the Internet and the applications therein. Industry leaders like these have an obligation to move with the times, even if it means stepping outside of their comfort zone. A few years ago, then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the launch of Apple TV. The device allows a user to stream YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and many other Internet “channels” through one’s home television.
Microsoft Corporation also has the latest version of the Xbox. This console has the capabilities to live stream online video content. So, does this mean Apple and Microsoft Corporation will be able to compete with Google’s YouTube?
The world has already seen this with Netflix. House of Cards was one of the first series shows that was released strictly available via a mobile platform. Moreover, instead of watching re-runs of Parks and Recreation, Breaking Bad, and Seinfeld on TV as one normally did just a few years ago, it can now be streamed via any compatible device in an area accessible to Wi-Fi. Since blockbuster films, sitcoms, and other made-for-TV shows have been integrated into the already growing video platforms on the Internet, the next item to be added to the online list could be television shows, including news, weather, normal programming.
Cisco stated the dramatic increase in video traffic will not just be driven by the increasing popularity of OTT streaming services, but the sheer increase in the number of people who will have mobile connectivity over the next four years. In 2019, nearly half of the human race will have access to the Internet. Even more impressively, the number of devices of Earth that will be connected to the Internet will be three times the global population. As well, traffic from wireless and mobile devices will rise by 66 percent.
This is where Apple and Microsoft Corporation have the advantage. Both companies already have the infrastructure in place to allow them to greatly expand their manufacturing needs. Moreover, they have industry-leading mobile technology applications. Even though they are only being utilized in mobile devices and computers, they should not be far off from developing a plasma-screen size console to give the consumer an even greater video streaming experience. There is no need for a huge rush – 4K resolution hit the market just last week, in technology time, of course. Some tech companies have already begun diving into 4K online streaming, so Apple or Microsoft Corporation could already have something being developed in secret.
Also, companies like Microsoft Corporation could be one of the reasons why over four billion people will have access to the Internet in the future. Tech companies could go into a region on Earth where there is no infrastructure to hold a network and create it. This could possibly give Apple and Microsoft Corporation a fraction of the Internet market share by using their own systems. From that point, the region could be entirely supported by either company.
In the end, will Apple and Microsoft Corporation be able to compete with Google’s YouTube? Just as what was seen during the birth of radio or TV, the previous medium will survive, becoming a much better platform. If Apple, Microsoft Corporation, and other tech companies hop on board with the next step in the evolution in technology, they will adapt and evolve into greater purveyors of Internet technology.
Opinion by Alex Lemieux
Reelseo: By 2019, 80% Of the World’s Internet Traffic Will Be Video [Cisco Study]
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