Streaming media continues to reach more areas of consumers’ daily lives and as these markets mature attention begins shifting to new opportunities; opportunities that bring additional value, but also engender new technical hurdles and challenges. This white paper explores the impacts of future streaming media trends and the technical considerations necessary to accommodate these advancements, including business models, streaming protocols, connectivity, and end-user devices. Streaming video remains at the forefront but this facet of the market is emphasizing more than just ever-increasing data traffic.
Video services, for example, are increasingly pushing live/linear content, which brings heightened attention to other streaming traits like latency and in time degrees of immersion. Updates to streaming protocols (e.g. tuned/short segment HLS/DASH) and new codecs (e.g. AV1, H.266) are part of the ongoing and future equation to reach increasing levels of video quality and viewing experiences, but 5G stands as a key technology enabler that will help alleviate potential bottlenecks and offer new levels of performance (e.g. lower latencies and higher data rates). Other technologies like augmented/virtual reality and natural communications will present new opportunities from social engagements to workplace collaboration and targeted advertising. As more content, services and compute reach the cloud and get pushed to the edge other industries will see paradigm shifts – gaming, for example, will see further developments in cloud gaming.
The opportunities presented in this paper will develop over time, but streaming media is on a trajectory that will increasingly push the data boundaries – eventually surpassing the ability (or economic viability) to continue overprovisioning within the data networks. This creates both a need and an opportunity to address these hurdles by gaining efficiencies through edge computing, multicasting, and enlisting more efficient codecs. Ultimately the industry needs to view these challenges through a new lens that looks to other areas outside of overprovisioning alone in order to yield the most efficient operations and maximization of value.