The popularity of live video streaming as a communication channel is growing at a rapid pace. In fact, live-streaming is projected to be 15 times higher by 2020 than it was just two years ago, while pre-recorded video is expected to be only four times higher. Why the dramatic difference? Because human beings are naturally more attracted to and engaged by events that are happening in the moment. It creates an authentic connection between the viewer and the brand.
While live-streaming is an effective way to connect with an audience, it isn’t without issues. The main problem with most live-streaming technology is latency or the delay between the camera that is capturing the event and the presentation of that event to the viewer. Current latency levels are quite high, with some video platforms like Facebook and Youtube experiencing latency of 15-30 seconds. The longer the latency, the poorer the quality of the live-stream.
What is ultra-low latency live-streaming?
As live-streaming expands into new markets and businesses, there is a strong focus on minimizing latency to enhance the quality of live-streamed video. This is where ultra-low latency comes in. An ultra-low latency video streaming platform is optimized to process a high volume of data very quickly, and with a very small delay. There are many emerging use cases that ultra-low latency live-streaming can support for a better user experience.
An increasing number of social platforms are offering live streaming to their users, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. LinkedIn has also started rolling out a new live-streaming function (by invitation only) to North American users. Considering that the average adult watches five hours of video per day, it’s no wonder that more social platforms are enabling live-streaming functionality. It benefits social media platforms through ad revenue and users by removing the perceived barrier that all video must be perfectly-produced and edited to be worthy of publishing. Live-streaming is popular for its authenticity and rawness, helping even the most inexperienced streamers connect with their audience and build their brand.
Since the rise of digital media platforms like Youtube and Netflix over a decade ago, many new streaming platforms have emerged and continue to gain popularity. Twitch, for example, is an eSport streaming platform that has grown to over two million unique streamers every month since its launch in 2011. It also offers users the opportunity to earn money through ad placement and paid subscriptions-upping the stakes for high-quality live-streaming as a potential revenue stream.
Online classrooms and tutoring are becoming increasingly popular. The online tutoring market is expected to grow at a CAGR of almost 14% between now the year 2021. The online education industry depends on streaming quality to ensure an optimal learning experience for students. Latency deteriorates the ability of students and teachers to communicate effectively, no matter if they are sitting one room apart, or halfway across the world from one another.
As the eCommerce space becomes even more crowded and competitive, consumers are demanding “product proof” through a live stream before they make a purchase. This visual experience allows them to experience the product and has the potential to greatly influence a purchasing decision. eCommerce giants like Alibaba in China have already seen great success with live-streaming marketplaces that enable merchants to demonstration and describe merchandise using a video streaming SaaS platform.
Uiza is leading the way for ultra-low latency live streaming
With so many emerging markets and use cases for live-streamed video, how do streamers deal with the issue of latency? Uiza is fixing the problem through their unique streaming operating system that addresses the causes of latency at their root source by:
● Minimizing the video chunk duration so that video loads much faster.
● Incorporating multiple layers of infrastructure to transmit content quickly from the nearest node to its intended location.
● Applying on-the-fly transcode for faster encoding.
● Employing Adaptive Bitrate to minimize file size while preserving video quality.
● Implementing WebRTC for ultra-low latency reducing latency to around three seconds.
Projections show that live-streaming will reach an astonishing $70 billion by the year 2021. Companies like Uiza are changing the future of live-streaming by developing video streaming platforms that are scalable, elastic, and easily integrated through video API and SDK. Building video platforms to accommodate the increasing demand for reduced latency will ensure a better live-streaming experience for generations to come.
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