Streaming Media Takes Center Stage

Over the past two weeks the industry has heard some exciting announcements from HBO, CBS and ESPN around plans to offer Internet-based streaming services directly to subscribers, in some cases citing ‘untapped markets’ as one reason for the new offer.

PeerApp calls the growing demographic that makes up this untapped market “Broadband First.” These are the content consumers who want any and all of their content – television & more – to be available on any device, at any time anywhere they happen to be.  In other words, they are unlikely to go to the “television first”, even for television content!    And these customers don’t just want the convenience factor of any device, anywhere, they expect ‘broadcast quality’ no matter the device or location.  And while ‘Millennials” (the 18-34 age group) are certainly early entrants to the “Broadband First” demographic – using digital platforms for 33% of the time they spend watching original TV programs[1]– the trend goes beyond any age boundary.   There are plenty of market data points confirming & defining this rising demographic.  Here are a few:

Two recent articles, one on Mashable , the other on LinkedIn by Will Richmond underscore the fact that the media & entertainment ecosystem (specifically television) is in for some big changes and the recent announcements are just the start.  The articles also note that these recent announcements – as exciting as they are – also leave a lot of questions to be answered.One thing that is not a question:  in a ‘Broadband First’ world, content consumption will continue to rise driven by an increase in content availability, consumer appetite, proliferation of advanced devices and – of course – broadband access speeds.Some in the industry believe a new architecture is needed but that may take years, so it won’t satisfy today’s growing demand.  Augmenting broadband networks with local delivery of streaming content is both viable and scalable today, and is becoming more and more essential to ensure a high quality of experience.    Once such a local delivery platform is in place, operators also have a platform with which they can look to bundle their own new content, media or entertainment services.  Indeed, the landscape will definitely be changing…[1] ComScore USTotal Video Report, 2014


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