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IP Traffic Will Need a Fast Lane for Video in 2018

Over the past two decades, Internet Protocol (IP) traffic has been on the rise and is anticipated to continue along a similar trajectory over the next five years. The increasing number of fixed and wireless devices and M2M nodes that are connecting to global IP networks is one of the primary contributors to global IP traffic growth. According to the Cisco’s Visual Networking Index™ Global Forecast and Service Adoption for 2013 to 2018, global IP traffic will increase nearly three-fold over the next five years. The growing number of Internet users and faster broadband speeds are also contributing to this traffic growth. However, another trend likely to increase global IP traffic is the increased use of video applications — online video streaming, live video feeds and video on demand (VoD), as well as various forms of video communications.

The Growth of IP Video

The world will reach 2.5 trillion Internet video minutes per month by 2018. That is nearly Read More »

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Addressable ads – getting them right the first (and second) time

A generation ago, part of the TV viewing experience was an unstated compact that in exchange for content, viewers would be subject to a certain amount of advertising. These ads may or may not have been relevant, but viewers nonetheless sat through them – what choice did they have? These days, service providers have moved far beyond merely hoping an ad lobbed at a specific demographic hits its target. Now we have all sorts of info about viewers to make sure they’re seeing the ads we want them to see. But just as we worked that out, the way we watched TV started to change. Yes, now TV is on many devices, but that’s not the only change. Binge-watching of entire seasons long after the show’s original airing, has changed how ads can be integrated into non-linear content. The second-screen phenomenon and the shrinking attention span of the TV viewer have created an environment where a message must hit its mark immediately, with no margin for error. To keep ads fresh, to keep wandering eyes watching ads and to keep content monetized, service providers and advertisers need to find their footing in this new world.

The beauty of the Advertising Management solution is that it Read More »

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Milestones in Cisco Content Delivery Networks (CDN) Deployments

The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) confirms much of what we already know: Service providers will need to carry more video traffic to more devices delivered as unique on-demand streams. All at the time and place of the end-user’s choosing.

But the sheer scale of this demand makes interesting reading. The Cisco VNI projects that by 2017, the global Internet will reach nearly half (48%) the world’s population, each with roughly five devices and machine-to-machine connections. Together, they will drive a total of 93 exabytes of internet traffic per month. Significantly, Internet video will make up two thirds of this Internet traffic, 65% of which will be carried over content delivery networks (CDN).

And it’s not only Internet video.

Cisco VNI also projects that by 2017, video on-demand (VOD) traffic will nearly triple as it reaches 400 million global subscribers.

The bottom line is that service providers need to deal with unprecedented scale requirements with ever greater capabilities to manage and monitor their CDNs.

The question, of course, is Read More »

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Behind the Scenes of Cloud DVR

In the three months that passed between this year’s Cable Show, in Washington, D.C., and this week’s IBC conference, in Amsterdam, one thing is certain: Cloud DVR. It’s on.

Comcast started the buzz, with its X2 platform. Ever since, we’ve seen a surge of interest in cloud DVR from service providers around the globe.  Directionally, it’s gone from “that sounds interesting, let’s keep an eye on it,” to “we need to do this — let’s get a proof of concept going.”

That’s all good news for us, of course, and seems a good reason to share a few observations we’ve made along the way, as cloud DVR services go to market.

One: Linear parity matters, especially for advertising. If ever you want to create an instant imbroglio, tell the people in the ad sales department that the new service – cloud DVR, in this case – doesn’t provide linear parity. Put another way: Support for basic ad zones is a table stake, when it comes to cloud DVR.

So: Putting DVR services in Read More »

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Streaming Is Going Mainstream: The Upward Arc of Online Video, Driven By Consumers

Only a short time ago, consumers had limited choices for accessing professional video content.

Today, a smorgasbord of options continues to multiply—from premium cable and DVDs, to online choices such as Apple, Netflix, and Hulu. Hardware options are equally dizzying, as traditional TV gives way to PCs, smartphones, and tablets. As portable devices meet the cloud, more consumers expect to view their favorite content anywhere, anytime.

The London Olympics this year were a case in point. NBC statistics reveal that more than 57 million U.S. viewers streamed Olympic events online. And over 7 million unique visitors per day accessed the BBC’s online Olympic sites, with nearly half of them watching on mobile devices.

Clearly, media consumption has evolved. Given the complexity of choices, it is essential for all players in the video value chain to understand what consumers need and want. To gain greater insight, the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) studied the trends and behaviors of 1,152 video consumers in the United States in 2012.

Chief among our findings? Streaming is going mainstream—and if the quality, variety, and delivery of streaming video are held to a high standard, consumers will be willing to pay
for it.

Streaming Is Going Mainstream

Seventy percent of U.S. broadband users are watching professionally produced Internet video every week, with an average viewing time of more than 100 minutes per week. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, viewership rises to 94 percent. Overall, streaming video is ahead of downloading and about even with DVDs and Blu-ray Discs (see Figure 1). Read More »

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