Media consumption has changed rapidly, especially in recent decades. Who would have thought that one day we would own devices to watch all the movies we want to watch or listen to the music we like most while running or flying without downloading it?
This evolution transformed behaviors, communication, and the media and entertainment production industry. And behind this evolution, it is necessary to have increasingly powerful technological support.
If in the past everyone gathered in front of a TV or radio set to spend a moment of entertainment or catch up on world news, today anyone can use their smartphone or other devices to watch movies, listen to music or podcasts, play live online casino games, read books, or play video games.
What is streaming?
Streaming is the name given to the technology that transmits file data, such as music, text, and video, over the Internet, in “real-time” without downloading the content to a device.
Today’s most famous examples of streaming are Netflix, Spotify, TikTok, Amazon Prime, and YouTube, also known as OTT (Over The Top).
A 100-year history
Hardly anyone remembers it, but the radio was the first streaming medium created towards the end of the 19th century, mainly for military purposes. The technology evolved into a user-oriented interface that reigned in homes for decades.
Around 1920, U.S. Major General George Owen Squier patented a system for transmitting and distributing signals over power lines to provide music to listeners without using a radio, allowing control over who would consume the service.
Then came television, which established itself in the 1950s as one of the most significant technological and cultural advances of the 20th century. But its story, undoubtedly, can only be told because there was streaming, the last evolution of our times.
It became dependent on a connection to play multimedia titles and live broadcasts. As a result, services accelerated worldwide, and the pandemic added more speed to this trajectory.
The thought of CDs and DVDs seems like a thing of the distant past; so great is the power of change in entertainment consumption habits!
The connection between streaming and entertainment
Online streaming has revolutionized the entertainment industry, radically changing how we consume movies, TV series, music, live shows, and podcasts. Below we will explore the application of streaming in different aspects of entertainment.
Movies and TV series
Streaming video on demand (SVOD) platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu have changed how we watch movies and TV series. These services offer a vast catalog of content, ranging from movie classics to the latest TV series, allowing users to choose what to watch and when.
Streaming has also transformed the way we listen to music. Services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal offer access to millions of music tracks, allowing users to listen to their favorite songs, create personalized playlists, and discover new artists.
These platforms have also introduced new business models for the music industry based on monthly subscriptions or advertising, which have helped to counter the decline in CD sales and digital downloads.
Live performances and events
Online streaming has expanded opportunities for viewers to attend live performances and special events.
For example, concerts, plays, music festivals, and conferences stream live on YouTube, Facebook Live, and Twitch platforms, allowing a global audience to participate virtually in events that would otherwise be accessible only to those physically present.
In addition, the pandemic of COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of virtual entertainment formats, with many artists and event organizers turning to streaming to continue entertaining audiences remotely.
Podcasts are another entertainment format that has benefited from online streaming. Thanks to platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, users can easily access a wide variety of audio content, ranging from news and fiction stories to interviews and in-depth programs.
In addition, streaming has enabled a new generation of content producers to emerge and helped spread the culture of podcasting worldwide.
Online streaming has also significantly impacted the world of sports, offering fans new ways to follow their favorite teams and competitions, including live match broadcasts, on-demand event coverage, in-depth programs, and sports documentaries.
In addition, through streaming, sports fans can easily access a wide variety of events worldwide, including national championships, international tournaments, and minor competitions that would otherwise be difficult to find on TV.
Live Commerce as an alternative streaming market
Alternative streaming markets are entering this growth trend. One of them is live commerce – the intersection between sales and entertainment. This format has been gaining popularity in China, with major retail players organizing online lives to promote an actual discount festival.
Another example is cloud gaming. The gaming industry is already primarily integrated with video streaming, including a community of 7.5 million gamers who watch and stream games via Twitch.
Now, the trend is for technology to be present in gaming thanks to the marriage of 5G and Artificial Intelligence technologies.
James is the head of marketing at Tamoco