We are living in the middle of a technological revolution: processors are getting faster, and technology is growing smaller, and the results are changing every aspect of our lives. Technological advances are bringing new opportunities, new challenges, but above all new freedoms. People have the freedom to watch what they want when they want, and this added convenience has seen a rapid rise in the online video traffic figures.
Sports Are Driving Demand
We’re a sport mad society, and whether you love football, baseball, athletics, soccer, or something completely different, online videos and live streaming have made the big events easier to access than ever before. The old days of families gathering around their TV sets to watch a big game together are gone, as younger viewers embrace the convenience of watching their favorite sport team wherever they want. This was demonstrated by Superbowl 2015. It was an exciting finish for fans of the New England Patriots, but it was just as exciting for online video analysts. NBC’s live web stream of the game was watched by a peak figure of 1.3million, up from 1.1 million in 2014, setting new records for a football stream, and indicating the growing importance of live streaming. There have also now been more than 1 billion views of Superbowl footage via online video sites such as YouTube.
Record Figures At The World Cup
The FIFA World Cup is not only the pinnacle of the soccer world, it’s the biggest single sport event in the world. The 2014 World Cup ticked all the right boxes: exciting soccer, hosted in the game’s spiritual home Brazil, and a fine performance from team USA. With these factors on board, the online viewing figures went through the roof.
Here are just some of the astonishing statistics confirmed by Akamai Intelligent Platform, one of the world’s leading content delivery networks:
- Regular online figures of more than 5 million per game
- 6.9Tb per second during the Argentina v Netherlands semi-final
- Live streams delivered to over 80 countries around the world
This peak viewing rate of nearly 7,000,000,000,000 bits per second is a new record for online video traffic, but with current trends, the record may not last long.
The Exponential Growth In Online Video Traffic
Of course, it’s not only sporting events that capture the attention of viewers. The marriage of Prince William of England to Catherine Middleton was watched by viewers globally, and many of them tuned in online. The ceremony attracted a peak of 2.9million concurrent streams and 1.3Tbps via the Akamai platform. One reason that online video is becoming increasingly popular, alongside the added convenience it brings, is the increase in quality. As HD and 4K increase the picture and sound clarity, more and more people will tune in to it, as borne out by one otherwise surprising statistic. You’d probably expect the Summer Olympics to be more popular with viewers than the Winter Olympics, but the 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi had 70% more viewers than the 2012 London Olympics, with the peak winter event attracting 4 times as much traffic as the peak summer event of two years previously. The reason? The higher quality available in 2014 has led to more viewers selecting online viewing as their platform of choice.
Mobile Internet Traffic
Smart phones are becoming smarter every year, and they are rapidly becoming the favored platform of the millennial generation when it comes to consuming video content. The Ericsson Mobility Report of November 2014 showed continued growth in mobile data traffic, with the latest quarterly figure showing a peak of around 2,800 million gigabytes. The rise in online video traffic on PCs and mobile devices shows no sign of abating, and as well as providing great opportunities for broadcasters to monetize their shows, it also allows modern media consumers to choose exactly how they watch the shows and events they love.