• Comcast Stream: Going with the current?

    Yesterday, Comcast announced their entrance to the video streaming industry with the bluntly named, Comcast Stream. This latest entrant to the video streaming space confirms what most already know: streaming content is the successor to traditional cable service. This shift towards streaming content has major implications for media giants, as well as everyday consumers.

    With Comcast entering the streaming world, they are unofficially admitting that cable isn’t the future and that they have to catch up in the video streaming world. While cable companies do have a stranglehold on a lot content shown on television, the grasp is weakening. We are starting to see channels like NBC test the online waters by simulcasting some live television to an online format. Also, Yahoo will stream an NFL game, which is a huge move for an organization that is built on television deals.

    The most noticeable effect it will have on consumers is cost. While streaming isn’t purely à la carte, it is a lot closer than cable has ever been. Who imagined HBO having a standalone streaming option just a few years ago? Match that with the growing quality and support of free content from channels like Youtube and there's a lot of content out there for a lot less than a cable package. And with free streaming services like Youtube as well as Facebook and others, consumers have the opportunity to become content creators themselves. All it takes is a camera and an idea. Just look at Youtubers like Marques Brownlee, Pewdiepie, and Bad Lip Reading. All of them have found large followings on Youtube that allow them to live comfortably while producing content for a living.

    With the success of video streaming, content is put on a more equal playing field. Breaking news in the form of a tweet. Entertainment and global politics from Youtube. Sporting events streaming live on NBC or Yahoo. It can all be viewed from our phone, tv, or computer. It gives people who want to create content a fair crack at the same set of eyes as nationwide media companies.

  • Meerkat and Periscope: Battle for video live streaming

    Periscope and Meerkat.

    Not too long ago these words invoked their traditional meanings, now they are two rival video live-streaming apps. Meerkat is the older of the two, but only by a few weeks. Both of these apps are still in their infancy and video live streaming has been around for a while. So, what makes these two companies different from other competitors in the live-streaming space?

    A good place to start is the history of live streaming video providers. Currently Twitch.tv is the largest video live streaming site. Twitch.tv was born out of another site called Justin.tv. Twitch.tv focused on live video streaming of video games. Its popularity quickly grew and they were eventually bought by Amazon. Amazon’s purchase solidified that there was a demand for video live streaming, particularly in the gaming community. Who hasn't hung out with friends and watched them grind levels?

    So how do Meerkat and Periscope fit into this?

    Well, honestly no one is really sure yet. Video live streaming isn’t extremely popular yet for content other than video games, but it has been picking up steam. What people do with video live streaming right now will determine the direction of the platform. Being able to drop into someone’s world and experience something completely unscripted is fascinating because it has not been done much by everyday folks (#WhatsInYourFridge?). There are a lot of different directions that the future of video live streaming could go. Bands and performers could use it to give behind the scenes access to fans that want to see them in the studio or rehearsing in preparation to go on tour. Everyday folks could show off an interesting aspect of their job or some local place of interest. What it's really about is sharing experiences in an unedited manor. That is what will set live streaming video apart from Youtube and other video services.

    If live streaming video keeps picking up traction it can be expected that we will see some even bigger changes in regards to how mobile data is handled. Because video live streaming consumes a lot of data, you may see more companies offering more data for less. Hopefully data charges goes the way of text charges of the past and becomes unlimited for all. Also, this will definitely force more projects like Project Loon to expand our mobile data coverage.