Massive growth in live IP video traffic in the broadcast market reflects the transition away from traditional satellite transmission towards cellular, according to a new report from live video solutions company LiveU. Based on data from LiveU’s global customer base of over 2,000 customers from 100 countries, the findings reveal important insights into the full extent of exploding demand for live content, regional differences in video consumption, and the move to HD.
According to LiveU’s internal report, data traffic for live video over IP has doubled over the last two years, with around 1.5 million live broadcasting hours delivered by LiveU in 2017. The average live stream per customer is 2.7 hours per day. With the advances in HD video quality, HD 720/1080 video traffic now accounts for almost 80% of all traffic delivered this year and there has been an increase of over 120% in live HD sessions compared to 2016.
The length of video sessions has also increased with geographical differences around the world. While the average broadcaster/content creator live session is 38 minutes, Western Europe and Africa show the longest average sessions at 46 minutes. In general, Africa has seen a move away from satellite to cellular bonding, with cellular often replacing satellite in some countries such as Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. This can be explained by the strength of the region’s 4G networks and the lower costs offered by cellular. Some broadcasters are also creating multi-camera productions using cellular transmission units.
LiveU’s data shows the reliability of bonded cellular with 79% of all bonded video now delivered over cellular networks only (wired internet connection, WiFi and satellite accounting for the remaining share).
The worldwide average uplink speed for video acquisition has reached 4.5Mbps, with developed areas experiencing approximately 9Mbps on average.
Samuel Wasserman, LiveU’s CEO and co-founder, said, “What stands out in these findings is the transition away from traditional transmission methods to cellular bonding. This trend is gaining even greater traction with our LU600 4K HEVC solution offering broadcasters and other content creators unmatched quality and reliability.” Wasserman concluded, “We believe growth in 2018 will come from this transition, broadcast cloud services and HEVC. Bringing higher quality with even greater reliability to the market, HEVC enhances our technology’s use across multiple genres. We’re already seeing its use increase beyond news, with our global customers looking to deploy the LU600 HEVC solution for live sports and other vertical segments.”