Your digital footprint may not be quite as virtual as you think – and the environmental impact of the companies that enable your internet access isn’t limited to the metaverse. But for many, streaming hasn’t been a top-of-mind concern.
That thought process is starting to shift, as companies, consumers and standards organizations have begun to consider sustainability practices that may enable both a greener future and an innovative Web3.
The complexity of information exchange in the internet age is an easy explanation for how we separate our digital energy expenditure from other choices that affect the health and future of the planet. After all, your ISP bill doesn’t fluctuate based on usage, like your monthly heating and cooling (energy!) costs probably do.
But the fact remains that fossil fuels power the internet and the majority of devices humans use to access the World Wide Web. Unfortunately, our current understanding of the internet’s energy consumption is crude at best (and woefully inaccurate at worst).
Studying Streaming Sustainability
“[W]e need to gain a better understanding of what the internet consumes from a power perspective versus making calculated assumptions, ” Akamai Director of Corporate Sustainability and ESG Officer Mike Mattera writes for the company’s blog.
The timing is ripe for these efforts.
Mattera notes that “[t]he industry is becoming more consumed with data purity and measurement, as is happening in parallel within the sustainability and environmental sectors.
“As a result, the purveyors of the internet need to consider how to best measure consumption, what changes can be made across the internet spectrum, and what that equates to so that sustainable change can flow across the internet — while not sacrificing the performance that we have all come to expect.”
READ MORE: The Internet Architecture Board Takes on Sustainability (Akamai)
In light of these concerns, the Internet Architecture Board has planned a workshop to “specifically review the environmental impact of internet applications and systems to look at opportunities for improvement.”
The IAB explains that “[t]echnical, standards, and research communities can help ensure that we have a sufficient understanding of the environmental impact of the Internet and its applications. They can also help to design the right tools to continue to build and improve all aspects of the Internet, such as addressing new functional needs, easing of operations, improving performance and/or efficiency, or reducing environmental impacts in other ways.”
The workshop aims to: discuss direct and indirect environmental impacts of the Internet; consider measurement metrics and data; assess current functionality and potential improvements; identify relevant regulatory, business and societal structures; identify and plan for useful technical work to facilitate future sustainability efforts.
Interested in participating in the workshop? IAB encourages position paper submissions; email position paper submissions to email@example.com no later than Oct. 31. The committee will contact participants by Nov. 7.
Project GAIA is co-funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and will help enable more climate-friendly video streaming solutions by providing better energy awareness and efficiency through the end-to-end video workflow.
Project GAIA will raise awareness of (and, therefore, accountability for) the energy consumption and GHG emissions and also create efficient strategies to minimize average energy consumption from encoding and streaming to playback and analytics.
Initially, the group will focus on energy consumption data and benchmarking systems with the goal of creating publicly available datasets. These findings will then translate to efforts to “optimize encoding, streaming and playback concerning energy consumption” via iterative testing.
Bitmovin co-founder and University of Klagenfurt Institute of Information Technology (ITEC) Associate Professor Christian Timmerer notes that “[e]ach new generation of video codec reduces the amount of storage by approximately 50%, which contributes to sustainability goals.”
Additionally, Dr. Timmerer says that the prior decade of video streaming efforts, “much was solved using massive over-provisioning.” However, he believes “this is no longer the case, and people are starting to think about environmental and climate-friendly video streaming solutions in the industry.”
READ MORE: The GAIA Research Project: Creating a Climate-Friendly Video Streaming Platform (Bitmovin)
Global Video Streaming Market to Reach Three-Quarters of a Trillion Dollars by 2031
By Adrian Pennington
READ MORE: Video Streaming Market Value to Grow by Almost US$ 750 Billion in 2031 | Future Market Insights, Inc. (Digital Journal)
The global video streaming market could exceed $750 billion by 2031, according to a new report created by Future Market Insights. Demand will rise at a 25% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next eight years from a mere $61 billion in 2020.
The “Video Streaming Market” report shares that the market was worth more than $73 billion by the end of 2021, with increasing demand for mobile devices driving much of the growth.
“The rise in consumption of digital content across smart devices, cheaper mobile data plans, and proliferation in OTT services across the world will boost the demand for video streaming services exponentially in the next five to 10 years,” FMI said. “Improving access to advanced telecommunication technologies such as 3G, 4G LTE, and 5G will fuel the demand in the video streaming market across the globe.”
Live video streaming is anticipated to account for the leading share of the market during the forecast period, estimated to grow at 27% through 2031.
FMI explains: “As a result of COVID-19, the demand in the live video streaming market grew exponentially owing to factors such as increasing adoption of smartphones, high internet penetration across the globe, increasing use of AI in video streaming, and increasing viewership as consumers stayed indoors amid lockdown restrictions.”
While North America, followed by Europe, will remain the largest single market, South Asia and the Pacific will emerge as the fastest growing region over the next decade.
Indonesia is likely to surge by more than 32% CAGR by 2031, and India will top that with a 34% growth rate. Currently, the UK market accounts for the largest consumption of video streaming in Europe, and FMI says the market size is expected grow four-fold by 2031.
Streamers with a subscription-based revenue model are expected to hold almost 75% of total share in the video streaming market by 2031.
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