Entertainment and Streaming Media – The Recent Past and the Future
Last year the world of streaming media finally realized what users want. The long list includes ability to stream premium first run movies round the clock, access to subscription content on tablets and mobile devices apart from TV, online access to TV shows soon after they are aired, applications for convenient access to pay TV content and more.
The entertainment and media industry made some major strides last year and is all set for total ubiquity this year. Users are increasingly becoming comfortable with media streaming through connected homes as well as smartphones. Although big studios continue to cannibalize the DVD market, they are offering more and more titles at nominal prices to evade the fate of the music industry. Growth is seen in the original internet entertainment sector as well.
One of the biggest stumbles last year was the implementation of badly planned changes by Netflix. While the streaming media sector continues to grow strongly, cell carrier imposed bandwidth caps threaten to stunt it.
Rise of the connected living room
The rise of the connected home was among one of the biggest trends last year and it is expected to continue this year. Earlier major jump in the 3D television sector was expected in 2012, but users still seem to be waiting for glass free alternatives. More and more consumers are opting for set top boxes and smart TVs that offer easy access to affordable premium services and internet content.
Some of the major hits of 2011 include the Roku 2 family, Roku Streaming Stick, Boxee iPad app and Western Digital TV Live. While set top boxes are currently on the rise, some experts opine that the trend is unlikely to last for more than 5 years as connected TVs offering minimal clutter and more convenience come up. According to rumors, Apple will finally launch integrated television set in 2012.
Anyplace, anytime entertainment services
Pay TV service providers have been unsuccessfully trying to curb the emergence of anyplace anytime television services. The HBO Go app for iPad released last year was warmly welcomed by users. The free and portable application was downloaded over million times within a week. It was followed by Max GO app in August.
Hulu Plus, Comcast and Netflix made use of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game consoles to provide anytime content streaming services. As far as studios are concerned, the connected world remains a minefield. Providing access to excessive content will endanger profitable relationships, while unfair high pricing will encourage piracy.
Google TV and Spotify
The beta version of Google TV received a cool response from consumers initially with many feeling it did not deliver on its promise. However, we here at Home System Integration feel that the search giant is wise to not give up on GoogleTV and in fact it made a strong come back at this year’s Consumer Electronic Show. According to Sony, a company that has backed the product even during tough times, Google TV is one of their best selling televisions.
Streaming audio also witnessed strong growth last year and the trend is likely to continue. Americans were offered access to Spotify in July and received it warmly. As the 6 month long unlimited free offer comes to an end, it remains to be seen if users are ready to pay for the service.
Stay tuned as more and more products and services come out to feel our media streaming desires!