Image via Wikipedia Three different stories showing that streaming is upping the ante for video.
Martin points out that streaming is killing p2p. PlusNet’s data shows 170% YoY while P2P downloads are down 8% YOY.
Nic points out that Amazon is extending its streaming service to Macs and TV albeit with a hideous price point.
Finally, Marketing Charts points out online TV viewing has doubled in two years. The data shows streaming is used by 68% of viewers versus streaming (used by 38%)
Fundamentally, streaming is the most expensive of all of these but how much more than p2p isn’t clear. ISPs talk about the BBC Iplayer because it is manifestly popular–if Joost was popular they might complain about Joost. That fact they don’t has less to do with the differences in network architecture (p2p was a bit of pink elephant) and more to do with the success of the iPlayer.
Streaming is much less expensive if you can use a protocol like Multicast, which Inuk Networks (one of my companies) does very successfully–and is able to deliver much higher picture qualities and far less jitter than some of the p2p based internet TV broadcasting services. And anyone using iPlayer on Virgin or Be will be used to the 90s style buffering icons that interrupt every one of Duncan Bannatyne’s quips.
Perhaps the biggest lesson is less about the technology but more about the consumer experience. The BBC iPlayer works because it is a beautiful application with a great set of content. It took off not with the weird Kontiki-powered thing (which they may not even use anymore) but when Flash-video made the user-interface friction free.