Friday Factday: Video Streaming Services
Friday Factday

Friday Factday: Video Streaming Services

Ben Thornton
Ben Thornton

Hello, hello, and welcome, dear readers, to the latest installment of Friday Factday! For anyone just joining us, this is our weekly segment where we take a single topic and give you a few bitesize facts – or at least curiosities – on it.

This week, we're going to take a look at something that has become a staple of modern life for people in many countries around the world – video streaming.

Go, Mariners!

As I like to do, let's begin with the first-ever live internet streaming event, which happened all the way back in 1995 and was for a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees – in case the title doesn't make it obvious, the Mariners won, 6-5.

This was the first worldwide stream of its kind, though it was “only” a radio streaming using a system called “RealAudio.” It was a big success and marked a big step forward in the adaptation of digital media as the way forward.

Everybody Likes a Good Binge

According to statistics from Forbes, Americans spend, on average, a whopping 3 hours and 9 minutes every day streaming digital media. That's 1/8th of every day, and 1/5th of the average waking hours. As Forbes points out, that's over 21 hours a week and is the equivalent of a part-time job.

Whether you think this merely highlights the central importance of media streaming in our daily lives or highlights a potential cultural problem that will inevitably lead us to a future akin to WALL-E is up to you.

More Money, More Problems

To absolutely no one's surprise, the video streaming industry is worth billions - $544 billion, to be exact. Projections have it hitting a staggering $1902 billion by 2030. That's a lotta dough.

But this growth is not without its pitfalls. As the industry continues to grow, as more and more services continue to pop up, we are seeing a negative impact on users – namely, the combined cost of multiple subscriptions (Americans pay an average of $46 per month) is seeing almost half of users canceling one or more subscriptions to save money.

Netflix Can't Afford to Chill

Netflix is easily the most iconic streaming service in the world and is as close to synonymous with video streaming as possible. The numbers still keep them firmly ahead of the competition; not only do they have the most subscribers at a quarter of a billion (around 50 million more than Amazon, the next biggest), but they're also winning the user satisfaction and enjoyment race, with 36% of users reporting Netflix as their favorite service (nearly 3x the next closest).

Still, the gap continues to close year after year, and, as more and more services are released and billions of dollars are pumped into the industry, Netflix can't afford to rest on its laurels, and will need to continue to innovate and give users what they want.

Windscribe Keeps Things Open and Safe

Windscribe is an independent VPN committed to open internet access and the Right to Privacy the world over. By using us, you're taking a big step towards keeping your online life private and secure, which is something we would always recommend (even if you don't choose us!).

When it comes to streaming services, in particular, though, a little birdie told me that using a VPN could allow you to access different Netflix regions without ever leaving your house. I can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of such a statement, but perhaps you'd like to test it?

Ben Thornton
Ben Thornton