We have been hearing several predictions about the impact of video for years and a recent report from Cisco titled, “Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2016–2021,” is the latest to speculate about people’s internet consumption and the explosion of video content.
According to the new study, video is predicted to account for an unprecedented 82% of all Internet Traffic by 2020. In 2015 that number was 70%, an increase of 12% over the video’s current slice of the online pie, which is over 4.5 trillion YouTube clips. Cisco estimates that video traffic will equal 37 exabytes (EB) per month, that’s total traffic which includes sites like YouTube and BuzzFeed Video, alongside VoD services such as Netflix and Hulu. Although the figures pertain to the US, global video consumption is expected to follow the same.
Cisco Predictions for the Future of Online Video Traffic
- Globally, IP video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021, up from 73 percent in 2016.
- In 2021, it would take an individual more than 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month.
- Live Internet video will account for 13 percent of Internet video traffic by 2021. Live video will grow 15-fold from 2016 to 2021.
- The amount of VoD traffic in 2021 will be equivalent to 7.2 billion DVDs per month.
- Virtual reality and augmented reality traffic will increase 20-fold between 2016 and 2021, at a CAGR of 82 percent.
- Globally, 3.4 percent of all Internet video traffic will be due to video surveillance in 2021, up from 1.8 percent in 2016.
- Every second, a million minutes of video content will cross the network by 2021.
Although the predictions appear to be quite impressive, Cisco clarified that it isn’t the amount of video content that viewers are watching but the type of video. We are consuming more and more data-intensive ultra-HD videos on our Smart TVs. Cisco estimates about 20% of TVs by the end of 2018 will be able to support 4K video. Robert Pepper, Cisco’s Vice President of Global Technology policy said the following about the global capacity for video:
“In the future, at some point, every month is going to look like the World Cup month because the consumption just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
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