Entertainent On Demand is in Command
A year ago we had excess Internet bandwidth for our traditional campus of 1700 undergraduates. But since the beginning of fall semester we have seen this bandwidth rapidly be consumed. For a few years now we have been predicting that increased access to video would become a problem. And it has contributed, in the form of real-time “experience now” applications. This real–time entertainment traffic (streaming audio & video, peercasting, place-shifting, flash video) has jumped from 12.6 to 26.6 % of Internet traffic since last year (Sandvine). But it is not necessarily just the YouTube effect, which does account for 5% of all Internet traffic. And for our university it is not influenced by the predominate percentage of Internet pornography thanks to filtering. No, the problem for us is the improved access to Internet TV and the growth of online entertainment through gaming consoles.
We don’t have cable TV for our students, there was never a huge demand for it. But with this age of TV & movies on demand, our students are definitely investing more of their time for Internet entertainment. The Sandvine report identifies that mature broadband markets have embraced on-demand entertainment while emerging markets still rely on P2P. College students are mature broadband users who are taking advantage of the much improved on demand entertainment delivery systems being deployed by the TV networks, Netflix, Hulu and Boxee. Of course I’m sure they are also devouring the PBS and National Geographic videos.
What is surprising is how quickly the demand has been increasing and I think that is due to a new commitment from the entertainment providers. They have finally embraced the Internet model with more sophisticated buffered players that provide acceptable quality even on a congested Internet. The battle is definitely on with the TV networks. Check them out, I would give ABC and Fox the lead and I would guess that the Hulu concept will be happy with a secondary role. The advertisers are shifting to Internet entertainment as well. So good luck Cable, maybe it is finally time for a new model of cable channel on demand.
Sandvine Report: On-Demand Is In Demand
Internet traffic report identifies real-time applications as key driver in consumer data consumption