Streaming Video Devices Will Soon Outnumber Humans…and Therein Lies Opportunity

Credit: Slashgear.com

Credit: Slashgear.com

If anyone needs any further evidence that the world of entertainment has completely changed in the past ten years…nay, the last five…need only consider the following forecast:

In 2017 the number of Internet-connected video devices will pass 8 billion, exceeding the global population, according to new data from research firm IHS.

Counting tablets, mobile phones, connected TVs, Blu-ray players, set-top boxes and a host of other devices, humans have more ways to consume video wherever and whenever than EVER before. Taking a look a little closer to home, if we focus our attention to just the United States, Americans tend to have more connected devices in their homes than people who live there. Notes VentureBeat,

U.S. homes now have more than half a billion devices connected to the Internet, according to a study by the NPD Group. Furthermore, the overall number of connected devices per household is 5.7. This is more than twice the average number of people per household. The proliferation of connected devices is primarily fueled by tablet sales...

Credit: IERC

Credit: IERC

Nevertheless, there’s evidence that all of these choices, many of them mobile devices which unfetter viewers from the living room or even the home, still have the power to connect people.

The modern version of the family hearth, for decades acknowledged by most to be the television, has been replaced in the 21st century by the PC and tablet. This according to a Microsoft “Family Technology Survey,” which asked parents which technology devices they used most to connect with family members. The survey found that 43% said a computer or tablet drew family members together. Only 21% said they gather around the TV for quality family time, while the up-and-coming smartphone registered a third place finish, with 16%. The actual hearth garnered no votes.

The conclusion that we draw from these numbers is that connected devices can also be social. Instead of isolating people, connected devices bring them together. And that suggests some compelling business opportunities in the future for content owners. As disc sales have declined in the past five years, distributors have found a robust and growing revenue replacement in the rapidly-evolving digital ecosystem. Initially, the first options were tightly-controlled marketplaces like iTunes and living room-focused VOD portals like Netflix, but the proliferation of VOD services, as well as the development and implementation of mobile technologies and services provided by platforms like Roku or companies such as Unicorn Media are enabling any content owner to deliver content to viewers on these billions of devices, sustainably and profitably, serving up video when and where the consumers are. It is no surprise that studios like Giant must also to evolve to fit the marketplace and are actively working to using our expertise and experience in previous technologies to guide, inform and prompt our expansion into new areas. At our founding in 2005, our business was 100% DVD. We now find that discs comprise a smaller proportion of our business, while new services like digital prep and encoding (for over a dozen VOD platforms!) and related services such as mobile and platform-specific app development taking on greater and greater importance. We expect that this will continue. We see a bright future for those content providers willing to expand into new platforms and grab a share of those anticipated 8 billion screens. We’re developing tools, workflows and knowledge to help our clients leverage these opportunities. Technology changes how we live, work and live and we have the privilege of seeing it happen now. What an exciting time to be alive!   ,