In the recently published Ericsson Mobility Report for November 2016 it was good to see reference to live streaming – though if you are close to what is happening in the area of live video there is little in terms of new insights. There also does not seem to be any reference to live video streaming specifically in Europe with the report focusing specific geographic comparisons to the US and Korea. Let’s hope the report in the future from Erisccon dives deeper into data for Europe.
The report comments that live video streaming has changed the way people interact with one another and experience live events, such as football games and concerts. A survey of 800 smartphone users attending the 2016 summer games in Rio de Janeiro found that one third engaged in broadcasting live video at least once, before, during, or right after an event.
Live streaming apps are also transforming citizen journalism by making it accessible to anyone with a smartphone – a topic we have covered almost every week in the Live Stream Insiders show.Live streaming apps are transforming citizen journalism by making it accessible to anyone with a smartphoneClick To Tweet
The report references that there has been a recent surge in popularity for live video apps in markets such as the US Streaming apps focusing on user generated content (UGC), including Periscope which will probably drive overall video data traffic growth (both cellular and Wi-Fi) as consumers move beyond on-demand video to live streaming viewing.
The inclusion of live streaming capabilities in social apps, such as Facebook and Twitter (and as I have reported previously with Instagram about to launch live video) this makes it easy for consumers to watch both user-generated and professionally made live video content.
This growth in live streaming will require more of networks to ensure that users have a positive live video experience on mobile devices.
YouTube still dominates video traffic in most mobile networks, accounting for between 40-70 percent of total video traffic for almost all measured networks. Video traffic is likely to further increase as new apps with embedded live streaming emerge.
For smartphones, social networking is the second largest traffic volume contributor, with an average share of 15 percent in measured networks.
The report highlights South Korea has a strong leader in live streaming – South Koreans watched more than 13 hours of live video broadcast over AfreecaTV in August 2016 – averaging 115 app sessions a month. In comparison, US smartphone users spent an average of around 1.5 hours using Periscope via Android smartphones over the same period.
In the US, 1 in 5 millennial smartphone users (age 20–34) has watched live user generated content using apps, while only 1 in 10 teens (age 15–19) has done so. I personally suspect that is because 15-19 year olds will maily spend their time using Snapchat and Instagram which do not yet have live video and are following YouTubers who usually publish recorded video. The report comments that in the US teens spend, on average, around one hour a week watching live eSports content on apps like Twitch. The 20-34 year old users are possible watching more live video in the areas of news, sports especially given the increase in number of publishers using live video on Facebook.
In South Korea, user generated live video streaming is well established with both teens and older generations of smartphones users with 33 percent of teens and 28 percent of those aged over 45 have used live video streaming apps.
The Ericsson Mobility Report for November 2016 segments user groups based on the types of apps and services they use on their phones and how often they use them.
In the US, 7 percent of all smartphone users are power users, while browser-centric and social media-centric users constitute 22 and 25 percent respectively.
Today, 65 percent of all power users in the US have used live streaming apps such as Periscope, while only 10 percent of social media-centric and browser-centric users claim they use such apps.The increase in adoption of live video has implications for network providersClick To Tweet
Compare this to South Korea, where the usage of live streaming apps has moved beyond power users, with 26 percent of social media-centric and an equal share of browser-centric users engaged in live streaming.
One third of Facebook users on smartphones across 14 markets claim that they have watched a live video of a celebrity, politician or other influencer over the Facebook app before Facebook Live was launched to all users globally in April 2016.
The Ericsson Mobility Report of November 2016 states that based on inclusion of live video streaming capabilities in social apps, the proportion of social media-centric and browser-centric users using live streaming apps is likely to double, and the proportion of smartphone users accessing live video apps is likely to triple in the US, driving growth in wireless data traffic that is both cellular and Wi-Fi.
Consumers expect consistent high-quality network performance to stream videos. Research across 14 markets revealed that video streaming issues are common, including delays in loading and re-buffering with one in every 5 smartphone users surveyed across the 14 markets globally faces video streaming issues on a daily basis.
22 percent of smartphone users across the 14 markets face video streaming issues while outdoors – irrespective of whether these are on-demand video streaming apps or live streaming apps and 34 percent face the same issues using these apps over mobile broadband while at home.
I look forward to the report in future editions providing us with richer data on the adoption of live streaming especially in Europe.