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Multiscreen Video Delivery: Tangled Solutions, Smoothed by the Cloud

bill-Gerhardt11By Bill Gerhardt, Director, IBSG Service Provider

Online video is growing at a rapid — if not explosive — pace, with innovation and disruption spreading across all areas of the value chain. Some of the greatest innovation is currently occurring around multiscreen delivery and related services.

To better understand the climate for video consumption, in March, 2012 the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) surveyed 1,152 U.S. broadband consumers between the ages of 13 and 75+ to gain a better understanding of how they watch video: their habits, preferences, and the devices they use.

The study found that consumers spend more time watching Internet video today than watching DVDs/Blu-ray Discs, video on demand (VoD), or live premium cable channels — and they want to watch streaming video across a variety of screens. In the future, multiscreen delivery will take on greater importance as laptops, tablets, and smartphones advance and become even better video devices.

Service providers must address these Read More »

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The Explosive Evolution of Online Media

If any doubts remained about the soaring demand for online media, the London Olympics probably dispelled them.

With 217 million viewers in the United States alone, it was the most-watched television event in history. But it also illuminated the evolving habits of online consumers. For starters, two events—the women’s soccer final and women’s gymnastics final—accounted for more online viewership than all events combined during the 2008 Olympics. Tablet computers, particularly the iPad, are driving this trend.

These kinds of striking transitions in online media consumption were top of mind during two gatherings that I attended last week. The first was a roundtable discussion of media executives in Hollywood, which I moderated; the other was a World Economic Forum Industry Partnership Strategy Meeting in New York, focused on media entertainment and mobility.

It was a privilege to be around such industry brain trusts and to share research from Cisco IBSG. Here are four core topics of conversation that emerged: Read More »

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Making Money in Internet Video

If you are a service provider, the title of this blog probably has you shaking your head. SPs know only too well that Internet video is costing them money because of the expense of maintaining an infrastructure capable of delivering high-quality online video. The good news is that there is a way to monetize that demanding video traffic.

In 10 to 15 years, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) estimates that consumers will be watching Internet video as much as 50 percent of their video-watching time. Rather than panicking at the thought of supporting that magnitude of video traffic, SPs should be thinking about how to turn it into profits.

SPs have a strategic advantage over current content delivery network (CDN) providers; traditional CDN services allow content providers to bypass Internet congestion points, but do not allow them to bypass potential congestion points within the SP network that provides Internet access to consumers. CDN services delivered via the SP’s network are delivered by CDN caches placed much closer to the final viewer, reducing the probability of having congestion issues over the delivery path.

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