As streaming video consumption continues to reach new highs and emerging tech-driven experiences transform the way consumers play, watch and interact with video in particular, the parallel demand for bandwidth continues to rise exponentially as well. This compound shift has far-reaching implications not only for the users, but more notably, for the operators that provide the broadband network and bandwidth power as well as the entire broadband ecosystem.
As OpenVault observed in its 2018 year-end data report, both average and median data usage increased significantly when compared with year-end 2017 statistics. Importantly, the rate of growth for median usage continued to far exceed the growth rate for average usage, indicating that consumption is growing across service providers’ entire subscriber bases, rather than only among heavy users. Furthermore, OpenVault’s analysis from the first quarter of 2019 (1Q19), reveals the changing nature and definition of a “power user.” In fact, these broadband subscribers consume much higher amounts of bandwidth per month than the average subscriber with observations that power users of today consume close to 400% more bandwidth than did power users from just several years ago.
In order to keep up with the increase in demand of these users’ connected devices, streaming services and broadband speeds, service providers need an alternative to infrastructure upgrades, including revisiting their acceptable use policies. For instance, Usage-Based Billing (UBB) is among one of the most effective tools the industry has in managing consumption and reducing the need for massive capital expenditures. However, UBB is often misconstrued as having a negative impact on subscribers, rather than as a tool to help right-size them to appropriate tiers. Alternatively, traffic exclusion is a viable model that operators are beginning to explore in order to soften the effects of UBB and to provide subscribers with access to content that will not further impact their wallets.
Building on the proven success of unlimited streaming packages of services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to wireless customers, traffic exclusion enables service and content providers to create and deliver similar unlimited packages. By creating alliances in which streaming services are not counted against service provider bandwidth consumption enables a variety of benefits for the streaming industry, most notably:
Access to the vast service footprints of cable and telecom providers;
Potential gains in viewership; and
The ability to drive viewership through co-marketing opportunities.
OpenVault customers have successfully deployed traffic exclusion and have realized great success. In fact, Tom Williams, vice president, engineering and technology for Schurz Communications, will join OpenVault CEO Mark Trudeau to discuss how traffic exclusion partnerships between broadband operators and content providers can drive viewing and revenue at Streaming Media East in New York City on May 8, 2019.