How to Handle Demand for More and More (and More) Video

Matthew George
How to Handle Demand for More and More (and More) Video

The term “appointment viewing” isn’t that old, but it is nearly obsolete, thanks to digital technology.

Appointment viewing was when a person set aside time to watch a particular TV program, usually based on when the network decided to show it. But now everyone with a smartphone has “video on demand” capabilities and, boy, do they use them. The disruption created for companies working to meet user expectations to watch whatever, whenever has been huge, and it’s ongoing.

Amid this revolutionary change, top content, media and entertainment companies are gathering in Amsterdam for this year’s International Broadcasting Convention (IBC). As they do, we at Equinix would like to remind them that Interconnection – private data exchange – is absolutely critical to helping them handle what they face today, whether it’s ensuring a passenger on a mountain train can stream a new show without glitches, or if it’s instantly transferring huge video files between globally dispersed production teams so they can create the show.

Interconnection is an important part of content creation, management and delivery because it enables the proximity to partners, employees and users that’s essential to high-performing, low-latency connectivity. Companies that implement an Interconnection-first strategy using an Interconnection Oriented Architecture™ (IOA™) framework will be best positioned to compete in an age when the appointment time for video viewing is always “right now.”

Unprecedented and accelerating demand for video

Growth in data traffic always seems to be accelerating, and video makes up the bulk of it. According to Cisco, IP video traffic will be 82% of all consumer internet traffic globally by 2021. Some more projections by Cisco illustrate the coming, massive consumption of video content:

  • By 2021, a million minutes of video content will cross global networks every second.
  • It would take more than 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month in 2021.
  • Consumer video-on-demand traffic will nearly double by 2021, to the equivalent to 7.2 billion DVDs per month.

The emergence of over-the-top (OTT) services, such as Netflix, that deliver TV content over the internet is a well-known contributor to the trend, and traditional broadcasting companies have had to change the way they do business to stay competitive and meet user expectations. A great example is Equinix customer Discovery Communications, parent company of the Discovery Channel, which now accelerates the streaming of its wide array of on-demand, online content via the cloud.

It’s also important to remember that the broadcast professionals aren’t the only ones contributing to this enormous increase in content. The video capabilities of smartphones and other devices make us all content creators and distributors.

So how can companies who traffic in all this content make sure they get the high-speed, low-latency connectivity they need to create and deliver it quickly everywhere at the high quality that users demand? We already gave away our answer, “Interconnection.” But we also have numbers that back the idea that the need for Interconnection is widespread, growing and linked to today’s video-on-demand expectations.

The Global Interconnection Index, a first-of-its-kind market study published by Equinix, projects striking overall global growth in Interconnection Bandwidth capacity, including rapid growth in the content and digital media industry.

The Index estimates that Interconnection Bandwidth will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45% to 2020, when it could reach 5,000 terabits per second (Tbps) of installed capacity. During that same period, the Content and Digital Media industry is projected to grow at a 36% CAGR and its Interconnection Bandwidth capacity could reach 420 Tbps by 2020, 6th-highest among all the industries analyzed in the Index. It all suggests a strong association between the growing demand for video content and Interconnection.

Solutions in the EMCEE

An Interconnection-first IOA strategy is built around bringing companies closer to partners and users on the digital edge, where commerce, population centers and digital ecosystems meet. It’s clear that being closer to users is a huge part of delivering streaming content at the fastest speed and highest quality: Decreasing distance equals lower latency and higher performance.

But proximity also plays a huge role in guaranteeing the most efficient content creation and management. It’s essential these days for companies to set up multicloud architectures that enable them to move massive video files instantly to different production, storage and distribution facilities.

The Equinix Media Cloud Ecosystem for Entertainment (EMCEE) brings critical parties in the media content supply chain together in one place, and offers direct and secure connections between each other and cloud providers via the Equinix Cloud Exchange. An IOA strategy, combined with access to the EMCEE and Equinix’s global Interconnection platform in 44 major markets, helps media companies ensure they capitalize on the opportunities created by the relentless on-demand consumption of anywhere, anytime, any device video streaming.

Read the IOA Playbook for details about implementing an IOA strategy.

And check out our white paper on the EMCEE.

Equinix will be exhibiting at IBC 2017 from Friday, Sept. 15 to Tuesday, Sept. 19. Find us at RAI Hall 3, Stand B25.


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