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The State of Live IP Video

Analyzing Demand, Delivery and Data Traffic

Based on an analysis of its customers—more than 2,000 users in more than 100 countries—LiveU(@LiveU) offers insights into the substantial growth in live IP video traffic in the broadcast market, reflecting the transition away from traditional satellite transmission toward cellular. The findings reveal the extent of the surge in demand for live content, geographical variations in video acquisition behavior, the move to HD and more.

According to LiveU’s internal report, data traffic for live video over IP has doubled over the last two years, with around 1.5 million live broadcasting hours delivered by LiveU in 2017. The average live stream per customer is 2.7 hours per day.

With the advances in HD video quality, HD 720/1080 video traffic now accounts for nearly 80 percent of all traffic delivered this year. There has been an increase of more than 120 percent in live HD sessions compared to 2016.

The length of video sessions has also increased, with geographical differentiations worldwide. While the average broadcaster/content creator live session is 38 minutes, Western Europe and Africa show the longest average sessions at 46 minutes. In general, Africa has seen a move away from satellite to cellular bonding, with cellular often replacing satellite in countries such as Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. This finding can be explained by the strength of the region’s 4G networks and the lower cost requirements of cellular transmission. Some broadcasters are creating multicamera productions using cellular transmission units.

LiveU’s data shows the reliability of bonded cellular, with 79 percent of all bonded video now delivered over cellular networks. Wired internet connection, Wi-Fi and satellite account for the remaining share.

The worldwide average uplink speed for video acquisition has reached 4.5 Mb/s, with developed areas attaining approximately 9 Mb/s on average.

“What stands out in these findings is the transition away from traditional transmission methods to cellular bonding,” says Samuel Wasserman, LiveU’s CEO and co-founder. “This trend is gaining even greater traction with our LU600 4K HEVC solution offering broadcasters and other content creators unmatched quality and reliability.

“We believe growth in 2018 will come from this transition, broadcast cloud services and HEVC,” Wasserman adds. “Bringing higher quality with even greater reliability to the market, HEVC enhances our technology’s use across multiple genres. We’re already seeing its use increase beyond news, with our global customers looking to deploy the LU600 HEVC solution for live sports and other vertical segments.”  

Download the January 2018 issue of Digital Video magazine