Video 2.0: Delivering the Connected Experience
Sanjay Rohatgi, Senior VP (Service Provider) Cisco India and SAARC
Video has today almost completely re-shaped the Internet and created entirely new ways of viewing content. The popularity of internet video is growing fast and new capabilities in the IP network are delivering video experience to consumers in ways like never before.
By scaling existing internet streaming services and making new services available, operators and service providers are delivering video content that subscribers' demand -anywhere, anytime, and on any device. In keeping with the increased demand for video on the internet, Facebook for example, has teamed up with Skype to provide users with video chat facility. Google+ has followed suit and is offering community video chat to millions of its subscribers.
According to the Cisco Visual Index study, video will account for nearly 90 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2013, and 60 percent of all online video will be consumer video. In India, Internet video traffic will be 63% of all consumer Internet traffic in 2015, up from 20% in 2010. Internet-Video-to-TV traffic is expected to increase 85-fold between 2010 and 2015.
A report from ComScore indicates that online video viewing in India experienced a sharp increase during the Cricket World Cup in 2011. More than 37 million video streams were viewed on sports sites and nearly 32 million viewers watched online video from a home or work location, representing 75 percent of the entire online audience (these figures do not include viewing from Internet cafes or via mobile devices). The proliferation of 3G and the introduction of 4G are expected to spur the demand for video even further in the near future.
Today's video subscribers demand a "Connected Life," with services anywhere, anytime, and on any device. They want choices, personalization, community-based content sharing, and often instant gratification. No longer complacent to be viewers, they are now producers and distributors in their own right. This paradigm shift referred to as Video 2.0 is rooted in the evolution of the Internet to Web 2.0.
Video 2.0 is interactive, where broadcasts and downloads operate on a one-way and "one size fits all" model. Video 2.0 content is personalized and subscribers can pick, choose, download, upload, critique, and eliminate content at will because they are the ones who create, index and review the content. Along with new age mobility devices, Video 2.0 is driving time-shifted viewing-what you want when you want it-changing the way people watch video.
Video 2.0 is expected to promote a wide range of user-generated content, interactive communities, applications that incorporate both video and other media besides new ways to consume traditional video sources, even as YouTube is changing video distribution and viewing forever.
The onset of cable digitization meanwhile is enabling operators to offer more channels, video on demand services (without use of a telephone line), telephone services, high speed internet services, and interactive television services to consumers so as to enhance viewing experience, increase subscription revenue and strengthen competitive edge in the market. This is in turn helping to increase investments by broadcasters toward niche, targeted and HD content, leading to further diversification of revenue streams.
Although a large part of the Video 2.0 trend encompasses consumers, it is relevant to business users too. Video 2.0 experience offers business subscribers' ways to connect, communicate, and collaborate through telepresence, video-enabled chat, video conferencing and unified communications.
Overcoming challenges of delivery
With the evolution to Video 2.0, transfer and delivery of video is getting more complex, because many networks, formats and standards are required to work together to produce high quality visual data. Networks of today need to be able to support these complexities and provide consumers good quality video services across all platforms and devices.
Since traditional networks are not fully equipped to support the new needs, a migration to an all IP platform, which delivers video, voice and data through the same pipe has become inevitable and is critical to ensure delivery of a plethora of better quality interactive services to consumers.
Service providers need to look at infrastructures that are optimized for video delivery. By delivering video over IP services across a wide range of IP-connected devices, service providers can protect capital investment made in the network, increase the return on investment and ensure efficiency of delivery.
Architectures that scale video delivery, implement Web 2.0 technologies to boost services and use simplified deployment models are required to help extend subscriber reach. Comprehensive platforms that bring together digital TV and online content with social media and communications applications are required to provide new, truly immersive home and mobile video entertainment experiences to customers.
Solutions that utilize the cloud, the network and client devices (Cisco Videoscape for example) will help to deliver new video experiences over the Internet because consumers can access vast entertainment content sources like broadcast channels, pay TV and the Web by integrating the Internet, social media, communications and mobility. More choices for content on the go means consumers can take their TV experiences with them, viewing multiple forms of content over a wide range of mobile devices and smart phones.
Such architectures also help transform the market opportunity for service providers. New models that include capabilities such as application delivery, home Telepresence and in-video e-commerce will enable service providers to differentiate their video offerings from competition, extend opportunities for revenue generation and offer a branded, personalized experience to customers, regardless of their location or method of accessing content.
As consumers experience new forms of content delivery their expectations for video services will continue to evolve. Going forward, service providers who deliver the large content libraries and highly personalized services that subscribers demand will stand to cement their position in a dynamic market and develop longer-lasting, more profitable relationships with their customers.