TMCnet Feature
April 10, 2013

ISPs are Becoming 'Access to Video' Providers

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor

Any way one looks at the matter, Internet service providers (ISP) are becoming “access to video” providers, just as most connected computing devices are becoming content consumption devices. That doesn’t mean people don’t work, don’t create content and communicate.

In that sense, “bits are not just bits.” But these days, most bits consumed by users are video bits, and mostly entertainment bits.

iGR assumes that the amount of video traffic, in particular, will continue to grow, reaching just over 71 percent of total mobile data network traffic by 2016.

The number of respondents who watch Internet video  at least once a week on a PC or notebook rose to 65 percent in 2013 from 59 percent last year, according to an Accenture (News - Alert) survey.

During that same period, the number of respondents watching video content on a mobile phone or smartphone rose to 31 percent from 24 percent, and the number of those watching video content on a tablet increased to 22 percent from 14 percent.

Consumers have evolved in their use of different devices to match the content they are viewing. The Accenture data shows that more people are watching full-length movies and TV series on their PCs and notebooks in 2013 than last (47 percent compared to 41 percent); tablet viewing also grew to 33 percent from 27 percent.

More consumers are viewing short video clips on their smartphones as well (49 percent compared to 44 percent in 2012), according to the survey.

iGR estimates that use of  LTE (News - Alert) Broadcast for multicasting popular programs could  offload 12.5 percent of the video data traffic from unicast overall and 15 percent during peak hours.

Similarly, iGR’s model shows that much of the audio demand in 2016 will be for streaming music services, and that LTE Broadcast would offload 30 percent of the total mobile data network traffic attributed to audio overall – and 45 percent during peak hours.

Overall, 90 percent of consumers globally now watch video content over the Internet, including movies, TV programs, videos on demand and more on a given device, the Accenture study suggests.

More than a quarter of consumers watch video content over the Internet on a PC every day, and another 22 percent do so at least three times per week. Those watching on connected TV every day jumped from 21 percent to 30 percent in one year, and mobile phone video watching frequency increased from 7 percent watching daily to 12 percent.

Edited by Braden Becker
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