Streaming video goes mainstream and gets monetised

Joseph O'Halloran | 19-12-2012

Research from the Cisco has found huge demand for streaming and multiscreen video and an increasing willingness to pay for it.
Cisco fundamentally believes that providing consumers with a breadth of content, a quality experience free from technical glitches, and choice of device will allow for greater monetisation of online video services in the future. It is confident that a vast audience is ready for higher quality online video and waiting to be tapped. But providing the right experience will be crucial if streaming is to continue its push into the mainstream.
Overall, the research studying the trends and behaviours of 1,152 video consumers in the US found that while broadcast television still rules, nearly half (48%) of consumers have increased their streaming of professionally produced video content in the past two years, making it the fastest-growing category of video use. Indeed 70% of US broadband users are watching professionally produced Internet video every week, with an average viewing time of more than 100 minutes per week. Among 18 to 24-year-olds, this viewership rises to 94%. In general terms streaming video is ahead of downloading and about even with DVDs and Blu-ray discs.
The networking giant expects online video streaming will continue to grow in the future. It says that the average Internet viewing of professionally produced content via both streaming and downloading stands at 13.8% of viewing time, and may soon surpass personal video recorders (14.5%).
The survey also revealed that consumers spend nearly four times more time streaming premium Internet content than they spend watching downloaded Internet video from sources such as Apple iTunes. In what will be regarded as very encouraging news for service providers, the survey also found that even though free/ad-supported sites such as TV network sites and the Hulu over-the-top (OTT) service each pull in more than two-fifths of viewers, just over a quarter (27%) of all online viewers would purchase more video if they had a safe, reliable cloud service.
Cisco also notes that as the amount of online options continues to multiply from premium cable and DVDs, to online choices such as Apple, Netflix, and Hulu traditional TV is giving way to PCs, smartphones and tablets. Indeed, it calculates that more consumers have increased their consumption of Internet video on the tablet in the last two years than on any other video-capable device. Cisco concludes that as portable devices meet the cloud, more consumers will expect to view their favourite content anywhere, anytime.