Quality now key in maintaining momentum in online video | Media Analysis | Business
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Video’s grip of the internet continues unabated for now, comprising almost 58% of the total downstream volume of online traffic says a Sandvine report but further rapid progress will only be contingent on ironing out quality issues.

netflix 7 oct 2018According to the Sandvine 1H 2018 Global Internet Phenomena Report, www.sandvine.com Netflix alone now accounts for 15% of total traffic and gaming is also becoming a significant force in traffic volume, stemming from gaming downloads, Twitch streaming and professional gaming going mainstream.

It also found that BitTorrent is almost 22% of total upstream volume of traffic, and over 31% in EMEA alone. Alphabet/Google applications meanwhile make up over 40% of the total internet connections in APAC.

And, more than 50% of internet traffic is encrypted, while TLS 1.3 adoption is growing;

The statistics come as data collected during Q3 2018 show clear differences in upstream data usage behaviour between commercial and residential broadband subscribers in the US. Recent analysis from OpenVault observed that average downstream commercial usage per subscriber is 35% to 50% lower than average downstream residential usage, largely due to consumer video consumption.

While video streaming is clearly a force to be reckoned with on the web, other research uncovered that quality remains an important gating factor for consumer video. In fact, more than a quarter of streaming service users won’t pay for live content due to poor quality, according to a study by Phenix.

The study also revealed that more than half (53%) would abandon a poor-quality stream in 90 seconds or less. That indicates that delays and buffering are key linchpins for the continued growth of video on the internet.

Meanwhile, yet other research, from Open Signal, shows that video quality is particularly an issue for mobile networks.

Open Signal’s State of Mobile Video Report examined wireless video quality in more than 69 countries, utilising 90 billion measurements across 8 million phones between May and August. It looked video load times, the volume of stuttering and buffering during video playback, and overall video resolution on wireless networks. It found that US carriers were ranked 34th in terms of average network speeds (16.5 Mbps) and 59th in terms of users’ “overall video experience.”

The main reason for this is carrier policies that use throttling as a network availability mechanism – often restricting video streaming to ensure bandwidth is available for other activities across a specific area. Most throttling is automatic and policy-driven.

“As our tests sample video at different resolutions, any downgrading of video quality—say from HD to SD—would have an impact on our scores,” OpenSignal wrote in the report. “The U.S. is a prime example of such policies at work.”