In this day and age, streaming content is king. Gone are the days of endlessly flipping through channels on the TV. Streaming is the current industry standard for people to binge watch their favorite sitcoms past and present or watch the latest stand-up comedy special. Recent numbers show the average American is subscribed to 3.4 different streaming services.
According to BusinessWire, those monthly subscription fees make up a market that’s doubled in size this past year, worth over $50 billion today and is expected a compounding growth rate of 20.4% unitl 20127. Whether you’re watching a stand-up special on Netflix, binging on Hulu, or catching up on your favorite comedy podcast on Youtube, you are participating in the growth of an industry that’s advancing faster than the eye strain it causes – and this was before a national quarantine had us all holed up in our houses looking to consume some of that comedy content.
The most-recent foray into the game is HBO Max, whose comedy offerings were recently broken down on this very website a few weeks ago.
TECHNOLOGY IS GETTING BETTER
There’s currently a major focus on improving production quality of streaming content. It’s through the use of technology like AI in cinematography, video editing, and other aspects of the filmmaking process. Streaming platforms are using similar tech to deliver better content, in spite of the exploding amount of mobile users whose screens are too small to notice the difference.
Cloud technology is moving deeper into the framework that keeps streaming services online. Ongoing innovations in performance and security strive to meet the expectations of viewers who can’t go a day without complaining on social media about their first-world problems.
The influx of new players poses a growing threat to streaming giants while increasing competition and adding to the mountain of arbitrary daily decisions forced onto the modern consumer. Not just traditional media entities but mobile ones like AT&T and Verizon adding to the list of services nobody asked for. Educational content is making its way into schools online – webinars, courses, and video presentations are improving the learning process. The same technologies are contributing to the growth of online institutions, giving students the opportunity to pursue worthless degrees through web-based universities that aren’t recognized by any employers.
From the user perspective the market features a nearly-equal split between enterprise and consumer users. The former is made up of marketing, training, client engagement, and corporate communications among other sub-segments.
On the opposite side is the consumer segment, whose larger share is characterized by live content, gaming, social and digital learning. It’s driven by convenience and mobile adoption. Hiding who you are online with VPNs and other privacy tools is also pretty popular thanks in no small part to nosy governments and invasive marketing companies.
Live and non-linear video form the two segments for streaming type, with the former holding a dominant share. This can be owed to factors like ad-free content, improved connectivity, analytics, and higher quality video. Future growth in the non-linear segment is expected to be fueled by increased watch times, reduced buffering, and live pause. With video conferencing like Zoom becoming the dominant video platform right now, we’re starting to see live comedy events spring up with remote audiences for stand-up shows, podcasts, and panels. Making live the next frontier for streaming, leaving some to question if streaming is just the modern version of traditional broadcast, particularly with the bundling of new services. The platform once seen as a liberator to cord cutting now reflects old school cable bundling in some ways.
Mobile devices held the highest market share in 2019, with laptops, desktops, smart TVs and consoles completing the list. The presence of built-in streaming apps on smart TVs will contribute to major growth on the platform in the coming years, while increases in internet accessibility will further drive mobile growth. We’ve also seen the comedy community move through these platforms as well. Just a few short years ago Comedy Central was awarding comics with specials, then Netflix muscled into the game gobbling up premiere talent and made ambitious moves by releasing specials every week for a year. Now Amazon Prime is clawing some of that special ownership which many comics made the decision to forgo a platform and put their specials out for free on Youtube – whether that be deliberate or because of lack of interest.
Rapid growth in the cloud computing sector has made it the dominant segment next to on-premise deployment. This is largely due to the improvements in bandwidth and speed that cloud technology facilitates on content streaming platforms. The shadow cast over on-premise by the cloud will only grow as vendors continue to innovate.
Water is wet, the sky is blue, and North America has the largest market share in streaming services. Europe is seeing steady growth while rapid technological advancement in Asia Pacific will contribute to the region experiencing equally rapid growth. The burgeoning of monetization opportunities in Southeast Asia is particularly noteworthy here.
These are exciting times for content streaming. Perhaps it’s a safe bet to add growth and innovation in the streaming market to death, taxes, and whatever else is on the list of things you can rely on as much as tomorrow’s sunrise.