These days the only guarantee with online video is that what was true yesterday may not be true tomorrow. We are living in a period of rapid evolution where little remains the same for long.
A couple of articles caught my eye this week, because they reported facts which seemed to run counter to everything that we thought we knew until now.
First up was Jacqui Cheng writing in ars technica on the decline in P2P filesharing as online video streaming continues to grow. It seems like only yesterday when th No. 1 topic of geek conversation was the overwhelming percentage of internet traffic that was taken up by BitTorrent. According to the 2009 Global Broadband Report published by Sandvine "real-time entertainment traffic (video and audio streaming, Flash media, peercasting, placeshifting) accounts for 26.6 per cent of total traffic in 2009, up from 12.6 per cent in 2008." In the same period filesharing has declined by 25 per cent as people move towards wanting their content "on demand".
The second article backing this trend up comes from the ever-reliable Media section of the Guardian Online with a report by Mark Sweney on the viewing habits of Virgin Media's VoD customers. The article quotes Virgin Media boss, Neil Berkett, when he says that his customers spend more time watching VoD than they do with mainstream terrestrial UK channels Channel 4 and Channel Five. Again this runs contrary to previous thinking that VoD was a niche service that would not find the support from advertisers necessary to make it stick.
Streaming video is more popular and mainstream than ever as people are more selective about what they want and when they want it. Watch this space.