Live Streaming will dominate the next 5 years (updated)

To be clear.
If we solve properly scale and latency challenges, the current TV distribution models don't need to exist anymore. At that point would we really need decoders and satellites?
Though, it will be a long process.

Meanwhile, Live and VOD streaming are progressing steadily to take center stage in the sport and entertainment arena.

Scale. The SuperBowl, in the US, has 110M viewers on a variety of TV distribution models. The digital record in India for Hotstar us 25M, most others are way behind.
We are getting closer. We may still need an extra leap.

Latency. The supposed no-latency quality of current TV models is a myth — you can get from 4 to 8 seconds easily if not more. Digital latency range around 20 to 30 secs. New technologies are close to becoming mainstream and will radically change that.
The advent of 5G will also bring an increase in bandwidth and services available.

I don’t need to remind you of the upside of digital OTT and streaming: use the best screen available, anywhere, anytime, personalization, interactovoity, ease of use, enhanced experiences.

What is predicted to happen?

  1. LIVE traffic will surpass VOD traffic by 2024, with both increasing substantially, with a ~20x factor for LIVE and ~10x for VOD.

2. Revenues for CDN are set to increase substantially too with different patterns in each region.

3. Split by regions for total streaming traffic will see Asia take the lead

From the report article:

“The increased uptake of subscription services has led to video taking a commensurately enlarged proportion of CDN traffic and this is going to see a boom in low latency protocols according to a study from Rethink Research.

The analyst noted that the great attraction of secure reliable transport (SRT) and associated protocol reliable internet stream transport (RIST) is because of their ability to shave latencies much closer to the ultimate limits imposed by the laws of physics.

Rethink regards live streaming as emerging from the shadow of Netflix-driven SVOD which even though it believes has plenty of room for growth, even in the relatively saturated markets of Europe and North America, live streaming traffic will rise much more steeply and overtake non-live video traffic between 2020 and 2024. So while live video accounted for 11 Exabytes (EB) compared with total CDN video traffic of 58 EB in 2018, by 2024 it will be 238 EB against 453 EB.

Moreover, Rethink notes that the SRT protocol is not confined to live video and will be used extensively for distribution of on-demand video as well. It added that in the absence of live video and associated demand for low latency streaming, SRT would not have been developed and the world would have continued with predecessor real time messaging protocol (RTMP) which it said served the era of Adobe Flash well enough but suffers from too much latency with TCP retransmissions of dropped or corrupted IP packets and is con- founded by long distances, rendering it unfit for contemporary CDNs.

As a result leading CDN vendors are dropping RTMP most notably Akamai which is ceasing support for the protocol in January 2020. This says Rethink clears the ground for rapid advance of SRT, which it expects to account for an even greater proportion of IP and CDN traffic growth than live video. Some of that SRT traffic it says will go through CDNs and some over unmanaged Internet links as part of online video platforms (OVP).

The bottom line calculates the analyst is that revenues associated with SRT traffic with the total for all video CDN traffic will soar from just over 2% in 2018 to 43.5% in 2024. That would mean SRT traffic revenue generated will have grown from 2018’s $236 million, compared with $4.46 billion for CDNs in total, to $9.66 billion in 2024 and $22.2 billion for CDNs respectively.

The research also revealed strong regional differences in rates of growth in CDN video traffic and particularly live streaming, with Asia Pacific set for an especially rapid increase in traffic, which will account for 51% of the world’s total in 2024 compared with 29% in 2018. There were also considerable regional differences in the proportion of total CDN video traffic accounted for by private CDNs owned by larger streaming providers such as Amazon and Netflix. These said Rethink Research in its report will account for a rising proportion of total CDN traffic in all regions but with the trend strongest in North America where they will likely account for three-quarters of traffic by 2024.”


Let’s focus on two sides of the digital streaming and OTT revolution:

  1. Upside: Continue to enhance the experience with more personalization and more interactivity and ease of use
  2. Filling the Gap: Solve the scale and low latency issues



A great and comprehensive article I found on this subject thanks to Alex Drosin is the one below by Phil Cluff.



There is no way back: fans need sport, sport needs reach, reach needs digital

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carlo de marchis

@CDM / Advisor. 35 years in sports & media tech. Electronic Label and Musician (NEOM Records). Vinyl selector as Carlo's Turntables.