Seeing is believing. Whether we see things with our own eyes or visualize with our minds, the sense of sight has been a key driver of our progress as a species. We use graphics to communicate and consume information, while for many our vision is an integral part of how we experience and perceive the world around us.
Thanks to continuous advancements in information technology, visual content consumption is on the rise. We are not only visually-oriented, we are also increasingly mobile. We expect to consume content and services whenever and wherever we want them. Today’s advanced Internet connectivity and a wide range of devices at our disposal have resulted in a completely new economy centered on ubiquitous visual content consumption.
The anytime, anywhere economy
Consumer demand for visual content is ever-increasing, which puts pressure on traditional broadcasting services and creates nearly endless opportunities for everyone willing to jump at them. Let’s use actual numbers to get some perspective on where we are headed. While Over-The-Top (OTT) services range from television and audio to messaging delivered over the internet, let’s focus on video:
- According to PwC: Smartphones will account for most of the data traffic in 2021. Starting in 2017, the global internet video market will surpass the physical home video market, with predicted growth rate of 11.6% CAGR by 2021.
- Cisco reports in its Visual Networking Index Forecast that by the year 2021 video will account for 82% of all yearly 3.3 (ZB) zettabytes of IP traffic, with 4.6 billion global internet users. Internet video to TV will grow 3.6 fold by 2021 and Video-on-Demand traffic will nearly double, reaching the equivalent of 7.2 billion DVDs of content per month.
- Deloitte states that Millennials spend more time streaming content than watching it on television. Similarly, Video on Demand (VoD) viewers just in the US are predicted to reach 209 million by 2021.
That’s why key OTT players like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and HBO are putting serious investments behind their platforms to develop more exclusive content and gain a competitive edge over their competition. Just last month, Disney announced that it is developing its own streaming service, while Apple announced a $1 billion investment in content creation.
Enter the cloud
Being aware of market shifts and maximizing the use of sudden opportunities are often what separate successful technology-enabled businesses from reactive peers. Broadcasting and media companies are completely dependent on both their own technology and the technology their clients use to consume content – which can vary widely.
Consumer demands and changing modes of video consumption have sparked OTT solutions, which would not be possible without cloud computing and Internet connectivity. The infrastructure behind these changes enables users to consume available content in any place they could possibly dream of. To service that demand and deal with all its unpredictability and at competitive price points we enter the world of cloud computing – the visual cloud.
The Visual Cloud
Responding to customer demand while keeping costs in check and utilizing finite business resources is what cloud enablement is all about. Companies require significant processing power and scalable compute infrastructure to deliver video content that can be consumed across massive numbers of diverse devices. By supporting the changing demands of MSPs, ISVs, OTT content providers, and broadcasters, phoenixNAP solutions are designed to provide global scalability and improved resources utilization. As an example, phoenixNAP’s global IaaS datacenters rely on the Intel® Xeon® Processor E3 v5 family with integrated Intel® Iris® Pro graphics to provide high quality streams at high channel density on a cost- and power-optimized platform.
With an on-demand usage model, OTT providers can consume their infrastructure the same way their customers are consuming their content – anytime, anywhere and with no large investments. Access to a global infrastructure with no CAPEX brings a new level of scalability and ability to respond to customer demands and market opportunities. Thanks to phoenixNAP’s global IaaS datacenters, executing and competing in this very demanding vertical just got easier.
On that note, International Broadcasters Conference will take place this September in Amsterdam where Intel and phoenixNAP will demonstrate the capabilities of the Intel® Xeon® Processor E3-1585L v5 with Integrated Intel® Iris Pro® Graphics P580 and the new Intel® Visual Compute Accelerator 2 (Intel® VCA2) add-in card with Beamr software support. If you can’t make to the show we also have an alternative method for you to test the waters with no commitment – check out our 30 day free trial.
About the Author:
Martin Wielomski is a Global Manager of Products and Evangelism at PhoenixNAP Global IT Services. He has years of experience in the Information Technology and Hosting industries and specializes in global strategy development and international business, product management and evangelism, and sales leadership. He can be reached via LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/martinwielomski or via Twitter: @MartinWielomski.