There are a lot of people in this world who have the weirdest ideas. Some will tell you the planet is only 5,000 years old, others that aliens live among us and still more think that our planet is flatter than a 42 Inch Sony Bravia. They are of course nuts, because as we superior intellects know... we're actually living in the Matrix.
There are a lot of theories out there, and one of my favourites is evolution. To the wise evolution is a fact of life, but for the sake of any flat-earthers amongst us, there's a place where you can see evolution in practice... and that place is technology.
The Evolution of Tech
If evolution ever needed a poster-boy, then technology is that freckled kid. As our race hurtles through the cosmos at bazillion miles an hour, technology races ever faster. Since someone realized life was better with a set of wheels, we've been honing and refining everything in our lives to become more efficient, economic and awesome. Those devices, techniques and ideas, which become outmoded, inefficient and less cool - we’re put to sleep in favor of their successors. Nowhere is survival of the fittest more obvious than in the world of technology.
Which brings me to my point: entertainment as we know it is dying. There's a new tech at the top of the food chain and this apex predator is streaming. We've had streaming for a while, it's hardly an epoch-shifting formula. We all know how it works. We've got it in our homes, our cars and even our pockets.
A recent study by COMSCORE, indicated over half of all American wifi users employ at least one media streaming service and of those 75% use Netflix.
A brief history of streaming.
Streaming began in 1992, under the title Video-on-Demand (VOD), a phrase which lingers on in the realms of cable and satellite TV. Early pioneers all suffered the same fate and for the same reason. VOD used too much bandwidth and the speed was less than desirable. The upshot of which meant it could take a week to get through a single episode of The Simpsons. So, the studios put their weight, faith and product into the new fangled DVDs, which had great picture quality and were inexpensive to produce.
But Video-on-Demand wasn't beaten yet. The first real contender came along at the turn of the millennium; when US power giant Enron stuck their fingers into the broadband pie. Before it was revealed as a massive Ponzi scheme, Enron tried to sign a 20 year deal with the ill-fated home-movie titan Blockbuster, but the deal went sour effectively sealing the fate of them both. The speed still wasn't there yet, but by now everyone knew that one day soon it would come. Although, even today's fiber-optic speed still has its moments. The manufacturing goliaths fought back with Blu-rays, Hi-def, 3D and 4K. By backing these higher quality formats, they were hoping to push the quality of the material out of the reach of even the fastest broadband. But in the end, it all came down to one simple fact. In evolution, only the fittest survive.
Fast forward to recent times and you can already see the impact video streaming has had on our lives. Aside from the impressive viewership figures, kids now aspire to a career as a you-tuber above most others. Only the allure of being a writer, thanks to the enormous success of J K Rowling and her creation Harry Potter, ousted reality-star from the top spot. The survey, carried out by tech retailers, Curry's PC World, also suggested that finding a career they enjoyed held more appeal than cash. Let that sink in for a second, almost all of today's kids aspire to a career which couldn't have existed only a few short years ago.
Streaming is Evolving
If you want your business to survive in this dog eat dog world, then Darwin tells us you have two choices: fight or flight, or as we prefer to say... step up or sit down.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let's just clarify something. Streaming isn't the future, it's the present. We'll get to the future shortly, but for now, if you have a website or a web presence, you need video content. Fortunately, it's never been easier to create.
Even the simplest smartphones carry hi-def video cameras and decent ones come equipped with 4K video. You can pick up a video editing suite from the app store for the price of a pint and your six-year-old niece could show you how to string a promo together. If your site needs a boost, it's easy to pull in some containers, bare metal servers or even just a little bit more bandwidth to help you cope. If you need more information you can download our white paper here.
The Future isn't Far Away...
...and with it will come live TV, 360 streaming - and let's be honest, it won't be long before they can just inject movies directly into our cerebral cortex. For now, we'll have to be content with good old fashioned video streaming... and the scary bit is that last statement doesn't even look wrong. What do you think?