Streaming Media Market Trends

Streaming Media Market Trends

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00011004

Publication Date: 2302

Report Type: MARKET


Streaming media – whether audio, video, or multimedia – is more popular than ever, as both consumer and enterprise users increase content consumption. The content can be delivered in real-time (live) or on-demand. Trends in streaming media include platforms that enable delivery over multiple devices such as tablets, computers, smartphones, gaming systems, and Blu-ray players as well as subscription-based video-delivery services such as Netflix and Hulu. No matter if the use is for work, education, or personal entertainment, streaming media is impacting our lives on numerous fronts. This report outlines trends in the streaming media marketplace.

Report Contents:

Executive Summary

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Streaming media technology is designed to allow for the real-time and/or
on-demand distribution and presentation of audio, video, and multimedia
content over a communications channel, typically the Internet or a
dedicated IP network that is operated by a service provider.

Faulkner Reports
Content Delivery Networks Tutorial
Video Streaming Standards Tutorial
Videoconferencing Technology

The presentation of streaming media has evolved into an integral part of
the Internet experience for both consumers and enterprise users.
Businesses are more likely to access services over an enterprise’s
dedicated IP network, thus avoiding the public Internet and the traffic
congestion associated with it. Normally delivered at broadband speed,
streaming media allows users to receive audio, video, and multimedia
presentations without the need to download files to one’s system, thus
saving time and storage while providing media owners with built-in copy

Today, streaming media is rapidly replacing static content forms (such as
CDs and DVDs). It can also facilitate e-learning initiatives and is used
to disseminate advertising campaigns, among other aims. The streaming
media market is divided into segments such as:

  • Video streaming
  • Audio streaming
  • Content delivery networks (CDNs)

Among consumers, streaming media solutions are overwhelmingly used for
real-time entertainment, Web browsing, file sharing, gaming, and social
networking. Within the enterprise, however, streaming media solutions tend
to be employed for knowledge sharing, e-learning (or distance learning),
and, increasingly, sales and marketing.

Market Dynamics

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The concept of “streaming media” first appeared in the mid-1990s; it
enables the real-time or on-demand distribution of audio, video, and
multimedia content over either the Internet or dedicated IP network
operated by CDN (content delivery network) service providers.

Streaming media is designed to eliminate lengthy wait times associated
with downloading audio and video files, as the technology can play almost
as soon as the Internet transfer is commenced. The widespread
availability of broadband access has helped to accelerate the use of
streaming media, further reducing content delivery lag time.

Content Delivery Network

One of streaming media’s principal enabling technologies is the content
delivery network (CDN). In a CDN, content is copied and
distributed – or replicated – to strategically
dispersed servers, as illustrated in Figure 1. When a specific page or
file is requested by an authorized user, the CDN identifies the nearest
server (as determined by the minimum number of nodes between the server
and the user) and disseminates the information. By ensuring that
content is delivered from the nearest source, data transit
time – and, thus, system response time – is minimized.

Figure 1. Single Server Content Delivery (on the left) Vs.
A Content Delivery Network (on the right)

Figure 1. Single Server Content Delivery (on the left) Vs. A Content Delivery Network (on the right)

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Among the major CDN providers are:

  • Akamai
  • AWS CloudFront (Amazon)
  • Azure CDN (Microsoft)
  • Cloud CDN (Google)1

Streaming Plus

As reported by Precedence Research, streaming media providers are
incorporating new technologies, like blockchain and artificial
intelligence (AI), to enhance video quality. “Cinematography, video
editing and voice-overs, [script-writing], and other facets of video
creation and uploading are all made easier by these technical
developments. Additionally, they aid in data organization, encoding, and
distribution, simplifying the digital environment.”2

Streaming Competition

While media experts have long predicted the demise of traditional “over
the air” TV, in which a viewer watches a scheduled TV program when it’s
broadcast (or records the program on a DVR for subsequent consumption),
OTA TV is staging a comeback. As analyst Tyler Nester reveals:

The introduction of Advanced Television
Systems Committee (ATSC) 3.0, or Next Gen Broadcasting, will accelerate
the adoption of “antenna television” by improving the broadcast quality of
both video and audio.

Inflationary pressures will cause consumers to
reconsider their commitment to paid streaming services. According to
Richard Schneider, CEO of Antennas Direct, “As people review their monthly
outlays, there will be a reduction in all forms of pay TV, including
streaming content. The media landscape will look radically different in a
year, much like a Godzilla movie, with major media players duking it out,
destroying Tokyo, with some tapping out or going bankrupt, with a few
players surviving in their current form.”3

Market Leaders

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Video Streaming

As projected by Precedence Research, the global video streaming market,
estimated at $375.1 billion in 2021, is expected to reach $1,721.4 billion
by 2030, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.45 percent
during the 2022-2030 forecast period.

Where Netflix and Amazon once ruled the video streaming market, at least
in terms of video entertainment, the video space is crowded today with
more companies competing for existing content and customers, and having to
invest, often heavily, in the creation of new content and video services.

Along with Netflix and Amazon, other significant streaming players

  • IBM
  • Alphabet
  • Hulu (Disney)
  • Brightcove
  • Apple
  • Roku
  • Haivision
  • Tencent Holdings Ltd. (China)
  • Disney +
  • HBO Max
  • Paramount+4

Audio (Music) Streaming

As reported by Dynamic Media, in 2021 the global market for music
streaming was $29.5 billion. Four familiar services dominated:

  • Spotify – $11.4 billion
  • SiriusXM – $6.6 billion
  • Apple Music – $5 billion
  • Pandora – $2 billion5

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Streaming Is Non-Essential

In this post-pandemic period when the price of food, gas, and other
essentials is on the rise, consumers are cutting back on discretionary
spending, including audio – and, particularly, video – streaming services.

Many of the mainstream video providers have aggravated the situation by:

Raising their monthly fees,
however modestly and reluctantly; and

Releasing new series one episode per
. This practice effectively eliminates “binge-watching,” a
customer-favorite consumption model in which all series episodes –
normally released concurrently – can be viewed in one or two days,
allowing customers to sign up for a month, watch their favorite series,
and then terminate their agreement. Under the new limited release model, a
customer would need to sign up for at least three months to enjoy a
complete ten-episode season.

Igor Oreper, chief architect at Bitmovin, predicts that “As a result of
the ongoing cost of living crisis, Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV (FAST)
services will continue to rise in popularity.” He believes, however, that
the trend may not last, as providers reduce their subscription fees in

Speaking of FAST

What was once anathema to streaming services, namely ad-supported
programming, is now being promoted. Dan Robbins of Forbes reports
that “The last 18 months have brought new ad-supported tiers from Disney+,
HBO Max and Netflix, among others. These joined ad-supported streaming
services – including Peacock, Pluto TV, Tubi, and more – to present
advertisers with an array of audience opportunities. Consumers are
embracing these new options at a rapid clip. For instance, prior to the
launch of Disney+ with ads, a TiVo survey found that 30 percent of Disney+
users said they would switch from their ad-free subscription to the
lower-cost tier once it became available.”7

The Piracy Problem

Simon Brydon, senior director, Security Business Development at Synamedia
warns that “Streaming technology makes it simple and cheap to steal,
aggregate, sell, and deliver content illegally, rubbing salt into the
wounds of broadcasters who face spiraling rights costs. For a
get-rich-quick criminal enterprise, piracy is a winning business model and
requires no technical know-how. The super-aggregated illegal pirate
service offers premium sport and entertainment content at a price point
that no legal service could ever come close to rivaling.”8

Making the situation worse, many customers are enabling content theft by
sharing their access credentials with non-paying friends and family – a
phenomenon that frustrated providers are attempting to address.

Serving the Enterprise

While hardly a new tool in the enterprise portfolio, streaming continues
to serve enterprise interests. The prominent use cases include:

Collaboration – Streaming
media takes much of the cost out of collaboration, providing multimedia
presentations that can be viewed in real-time or on-demand. Information is
available to all concerned parties almost immediately and provides
security so that no unsecured data ever leaves the place of business. In
addition, the use of streaming allows a business to track and report on
all end-user activity whether in the organization or outside of it. Live
streaming presentations often negate the need for expensive business
travel and are replacing audio conferencing and video conferencing, which
are often more costly. In addition, media recordings of meetings and other
business dealings can be archived as part of a records-retention program.

E-Learning – Businesses can
utilize streaming media to deliver seminars, presentations, and training
to employees via their desktop, either live or on-demand, reducing both
travel time and expenses. Similarly, educational institutions can
provide coursework online, and the use of on-demand content further
expands their educational reach. With the reduction in cost and
improvement in features, e-learning software has reached beyond
universities to include general business training. For businesses,
streaming media platforms can be tied into their learning management
systems to deliver training to employees that work from home or in small

Strategic Planning Implications

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Like other IT assets, enterprise planners, both public and private
sector, need to assess the potential of streaming media to improve their

Streaming in Education

As Precedence Research reminds us, “Educational organizations, including universities, schools, and colleges, now create interactive information and disseminate it through video presentations. They are effectively using technology to spread knowledge in this way. [Teachers are] now able to teach through video to virtual classes across the world and use a selection of movies in the classroom, [creating] a multimodal learning environment.”9

Streaming in Business

Propelled by COVID-19 and its operational impact, employees now expect to be able to collaborate online with their fellow workers, while virtual conferences have allowed widespread dissemination of information among entire industries. However, just as e-mail forced IT departments to expand their data storage and transmission capacity, streaming media will compel IT professionals to consider how media is produced, stored, and processed. A high-bandwidth broadband service provider is a must, as well as strong anti-virus software and firewalls to filter and block content with viruses.

Businesses may seek to maximize the use of streaming media for promotion,
content distribution, and collaboration. Trends include:

  • Using social networking, consumer-targeted Web sites, and other venues
    to introduce and promote products and gain market visibility.
  • Turning to the Internet as a marketing medium on a par with
  • Creating increasingly sophisticated high-content and high-bandwidth
    video streams for advertising and e-learning.
  • Increasing investments in Web-casting to mitigate corporate travel
  • Replacing high-volume media, such CDs and DVDs, with streamed
    education and entertainment content.

Businesses should create policies around Internet usage and determine if
streaming media for personal use is acceptable on enterprise computers and
enterprise-owned mobile devices. Importantly, a policy for the “Acceptable
Use of Streaming Media” should cover the judicious use of copyrighted
material to prevent intellectual property violations.

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