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December 12, 2013

Streaming Impact: The Good, the Bad and the Better of Streaming Services

Streaming has come to the forefront of all media. Whether it’s incorporated into your gaming system, is the focal point of your television or is used via YouTube, it has become the go-to method for sharing, with the constant accessibility only rivaled in value by the immense library of content unlocked by the nominal monthly fee — if not outright free — offered by most streaming services.

The unbridled potential of such an industry marks a business method that will progress well into the future. Hulu, the streaming service originally based on bringing television to the Web, has developed into a full-fledged network capable of developing and maintaining legitimately profitable entertainment – and denoting a previously unneeded delineation for show not featured on television. Netflix has survived due to its streaming nature, even utilizing it to stay afloat amongst a botched attempt to split its original method of physically mailing movies into a separate entity once known as Qwikster. Grooveshark remains a massively popular free-streaming service in the face of billion dollar lawsuits on behalf of the major music labels that have been outstanding for years.

With the introduction of the PS4 and Xbox One gaming consoles, how will streaming play a part in Sony and Microsoft’s business strategy?

Sony and Microsoft are simply tailoring a part of their latest products to the massive streaming reality. It’s a step many other firms have taken to lesser extents. Roku developed out of taking the Internet streaming as seen with Hulu and regurgitating it back to the living room centerpiece, the television. Entire product lines have been developed out of the ability to just coordinate Wi-Fi access to televisions in the interest of enabling streaming. Apple TV and Roku dominate a market cohabitated by Samsung, Google, D-Link, Vizio, Netgear and about any electronics company whose name you know. Sony and Microsoft’s simple enabling of the access to such streaming services will entice more buyers and preclude interest in standalone products sold by competitors. However, Sony’s simple including of the software, and even Microsoft’s relatively amplified utilization, are not improving upon the services and will make it hard for consumers to justify $400+ to stream movies and television.

The companies profiting off of the new sharing method owe a great deal to YouTube. The website’s curiosity about user-uploading and sharing completely opened the doors on the entire nature of streaming as known today. What the future holds for streaming is limitless. The exponentially growing natural inclination to create has leaked into and is starting to mold other industries. When looking for a career with particular companies, job applications now ask for your personal YouTube username.

How does mobile and tablet tech factor into streaming, and what has that tech done to popularize steaming?

Mobile streaming has encountered a very primitive yet slightly-crippling hurdle: the necessitation of a Wi-Fi network and/or more hard space to store more data. Without access to a wireless network, streaming is simply not an option anymore. Therefore, the actual storing of ‘purchased’ or ‘cached’ data becomes a need for those who want access to the capabilities of their streaming services.

How has Spotify, Rdio, iTunes Radio and Pandora changed the way music is released?

In actual practice, the way music is actually released is constantly evolving.  Albums are now released digitally prior to actual physical release. iTunes drums up interest in an album — and its services — by releasing music a full week ahead of the album’s general release. This practice meets the “instant gratification” that streaming provides and users demand. Of course, the services allow for album-less releases as well. A hot single can generate more profits for streaming providers than a reliable release by an icon: see the sales of Miley Cyrus’ latest single and compare it to the units of several other releases.

Streaming Today, Streaming Tomorrow?

The entire crux of these services is an Internet connection. Despite the already denoted limitations, streaming continues to be a viable, preferred method of re-living crucial moments, exploring new entertainment and even just accompanying the user through a mundane workday. Its reliance on Internet connectivity a current hindrance, its mere existence is a key generating factor behind the current need to implement Wi-Fi connectivity and some iteration of an Internet network everywhere. However, by referring to guides and reviews on a site like Broadband Expert (site no longer exists), users can find the best possible services available to them and ensure something like a Wi-Fi connection is as strong as it possibly can be. Essentially, the only hurdle to streaming’s continued dominance is the rapidity at which it translates to future ideas and capabilities — its already dominated our current landscape, just ask Michael Kelly and any former employee of Blockbuster to discuss the finer points of how streaming can rapidly upend an entrenched entity.


Camille McClane is a writer, researcher and editor, who frequently blogs about about Web hosting and social media. Her favorite subject to focus on is emerging technology trends and its overall effect within business expansion and health relations. She often contributes writing to the eCommerce University, a guide for beginner marketers to make a content strategic plan! She hopes the readers of enjoy this article as much as she enjoyed writing it.