The Internet has had a big impact on the entertainment industry, especially since people can use it from the comfort of their homes, more so with the introductions of portable devices like tablets and mobile phones as the user can access music, movies and games from anywhere with just a single touch. It has provided the innovators with a different avenue to explore and create art.
Earlier people would watch TV through cable but due to the rise of the internet that has changed and there has been an increase in video on demand services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube, which uses a subscription model that requires users to pay a monthly or yearly fee to access a large catalogue of content which mainly includes movies and TV shows. There has also been an increase in the availability of music online so individuals no longer have to buy cassettes and CDs to listen to their favorite music.
Due to the popularity of these services, popular cable companies have started their own version of the video on demand services through apps enabling the user to access their contents from anywhere they like. With the availability of online music, there has been seen an introduction of digital music services where an individual can access millions of songs all at one place. Thus, the researcher of this report intends to investigate the usage, trends, and impact of internet-based entertainment like video streaming and music streaming.
Online Video Streaming
Technological development and advancements have always had big impact on the entertainment industry. The entertainment industry has gone through some major changes in the course of most recent couple of years. Among this major changes in the recent years is the introduction of Online streaming or video on demand services.
Online streaming has become popular in very short period of time as it provides user with majority of features available on DVD and portable media players.
Generally, online video streaming may be referred as a system which grants its user to access and watch video content such as movies and TV shows whenever they like. Online video streaming has become popular because earlier consumers were needed to change their schedule so that they can watch their favorite TV shows or had to buy the movie from their neighborhood store. These inconvenience are no longer felt with the introduction of streaming media.
Almost everything is available on streaming service when it comes to number of TV shows and movies that are available on the platform. If video on demand is accessed through the internet one can discover every motion picture and program imaginable including TV shows from different nations. Movies from past years including entire television series are available online to watch through the streaming services on demand. Initially, video on demand started only for movie access but with high speed internet and advancement in technologies there has been wide selection of content that can be accessed including ability to watch live sports and news. Thus the reason video on demand is increasing in popularity.
Benefits of online video streaming
Convenience: Presently online video streaming or video on demand is provided by providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu among many others where you can choose to watch the content that is available on the service and watch them at whatever point needed, whenever needed and as regularly as needed. Consumers can opt in and out of the subscription for the service at any point of time unlike the conventional TV operators that only allows fixed long term contracts. Video on demand allows watching of content regardless of the location of the user just by logging into the account to watch the video unlike the traditional cable model where access is only available according to the location of the user.
Connectivity: It just requires a device which can be connected to a stable and high speed connection to work.
Cost: Different services have different business model while some have monthly subscription others allow free access with advertisements. They still cost less than the cable TV which have very high prices.
Variety: Video on demand service providers provide large catalogue of movies and TV shows to access with addition of live sports and news.
Devices: Unlike the traditional cable which required expensive hardware to work, same is not true for the VOD as they can be easily accessed through portable devices like laptop, tablets and mobile phones.
Major Service Providers
There are various companies that provide video on demand services to the masses but following three are the most popular service providers that attract large audiences around the globe.
Netflix: Netflix is an online video on demand service provider that provides big library of movies and TV programs which include content from other cable providers and those produced in house. Their main source of revenue is through this service which they provide through subscription based model where they charge a small subscription fee that is charged per month to access their catalogue.
Hulu: Hulu is also similar to Netflix as this service also provides big library of movies and TV programs and also follows the similar subscription based model.
YouTube: YouTube is another platform which allows users to add, view and share videos on its platform. This service is different from other services as it allows user to upload content on its platform which can be viewed by other people. They have different revenue model as compared to Netflix and Hulu as they allow advertisements to earn money but it also offers a premium version which offers ad-free viewing for small subscription fee.
Popularity of streaming services have slowly but gradually increased in recent times with all the major service providers stating increase in the subscribers that are subscribed to their platform.
In a survey conducted by “Pew Research Center” found that internet has changed the way people access media and news. They found that about 6 out of 10 people aged 18-29 (61%) watch television through streaming services while (31%) said they used cable service providers to watch television programs and only (5%) used digital antenna to watch television programs. The research also found that people of other age groups were less likely to use streaming service and they preferred cable TV as their preferred choice to watch television. Among the other findings of the survey: Women were less likely to use online streaming as their preferred choice as compared to men (25% vs 31%). Those with high school diploma or less (22%) of those used online streaming as compared with (35%) of those who had college education or more.
There has been increase in number of companies that provide streaming services which has made this division of internet the biggest and most attractive sector in recent years. There are few key trends that are set to rule the streaming market:
Artificial Intelligence for user experience: Streaming services are using artificial intelligence to predict the likeness of users based on their previous viewing habits and suggest them new contents to watch. In future this technology will be more deeply integrated into the platforms allowing far better user experience.
Growth in userbase: Online streaming will see high growth rate in terms of spending by the user as it will increase from 18.7 billion presently to 30 billion in 2020. There will also be increase in consumption of internet traffic by streaming videos which will rise to around 82% in next three years.
Live events to drift online: More broadcasters are using live streaming for sports and music performances as there has been improvement in the quality of the coverage of these events and this trend is going to gain further momentum as it provides quick and safe access to consumers across the globe.