Don’t you just love the idea of ‘Netflix and Chill? Because now you can enjoy the latest movie, documentary or TV show without denting your pocket. You get all that fun by using video streaming apps that are very user-friendly and affordable to subscribe to. A whole lot of our entertainment experiences are now delivered via the internet through video streaming apps.
Gone are the days when you need to buy an expensive video CD or cassette (or perhaps rent one with hefty money). And merely to watch just one movie. Additionally, there was the headache of enduring poor quality video content – you just could not predict the quality of your video CD. Even worse, the entire space in your living room could have been cluttered with dusty video CDs and cassettes back then. All of them were probably rendered quite useless in a short while because of ‘cracking’.
Modern video streaming apps came naturally to the rescue some time beginning in the 1990s. And there has simply been no looking back since then. It has been so convenient to use these apps, since you don’t need a video or CD player. Your smartphone is as good as your smart TV, tablet or computer any day – you only need a steady supply of internet data. Plus, you can watch exciting content on the go, absolutely anywhere.
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How Does Video Streaming Work?
The Verizon website describes video streaming as:
“any media content – live or recorded – delivered to computers and mobile devices via the internet and played back in real time”.
By video streaming, you are watching the recorded or live video without necessarily downloading it to your computer. Though it would require steady internet signal and data to do video streaming. But it does not take up any physical space on your device.
A typical downloaded video file requires that the entire file be downloaded and saved to your device (computer, phone or tablet). Only afterwards can you play it, and it will then run smoothly. A streamed video on the other hand, loads a little at a time from the source, and can be played immediately. And again no, it is not saved on your device.
Streaming Apps Market: Worldwide Statistics
Streaming in itself can be explained as the continuous delivery of multimedia content to the end-user by a provider in real time (Instreamly 2021). The end-user stores little or no significant streaming data on his/her device. Users are simply connecting to the source to receive content. At its onset, it was called “broadcasting” and hence, radio and TV were the major streaming devices.
Back then, streaming involved delivering audio and video on demand to users. Soon enough, IP networks were eventually used for live video and audio transmission over the internet. Today, streaming has progressed into video gaming, music, sports, movies, education, the corporate and the business world.
One of the largest markets in the streaming apps industry is dedicated to video games. Video game streaming is so popular that by 2026, it is projected to hit a potential value of 149.34 billion US Dollars worldwide. Music streaming is also equally a huge market – in fact a far bigger and older market than video streaming. As at 2023, the music streaming app Spotify alone records having:
– 489 million monthly active users,
– 205 million paying users, and
– 295 million ad-supported users.
The total statistics and earnings of the streaming industry worldwide is staggering, if we were to dwell on it.
The Origins of Video Streaming
The concept of streaming actually began in 1881. A telephone distribution company named Theatrophone started out by providing a streaming service over telephone lines. The customers paid to listen to opera and theater performances by telephone. Down the history lane, the onset of the internet eventually led to faster audio and video streaming capabilities over the internet around the early 2000s.
Then came the likes of Windows Media Player and DivX apps. And by 2005, Youtube broke into the video streaming industry, and still retains a very large share of the market till date.
Quick Review: The Best 5 Video Streaming Apps of 2023
We present to you the five most popular video streaming apps of 2023, guaranteed to give you value for your money. These video streaming apps are known to have huge followership and user subscription that does not seem to be dwindling. They are presented in no particular order.
The Netflix brand was set up in California, USA (1997) by Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings. It is a subscription-based video on-demand service. The company operates as a film and television production and distribution platform. It provides original content in the form of television series and original films either commissioned or bought over by the company. In addition, it also offers third-party licensed content from other sources, as well as mobile games. It has over 230 million subscribers worldwide as at 2023.
Hulu is another subscription-based video streaming service birthed out of a joint venture in 2007. Walt Disney Company, and NBC Universal formed a partnership, with Walt Disney Company having the larger share. And with roughly 48 million US subscribers per month, Hulu deserves mention. The video streaming app and service offers television series and films from famous studios such as 20th Century Fox, ABC and Freeform. It also offers its own Hulu original programming.
Disney+ was set up by the Walt Disney Company in California USA (2019) as a subscription-based video on-demand streaming service. As at January 2023, it had hit over 160 million subscribers. It originally produced and distributed its own films and television series under the Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television Service. It has since added original films and television series from other sources to its platform. Marvel, Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, and National Geographic are some of its well-promoted brands.
Set up in New York (2O20), HBO Max is a video streaming app and service owned by Warner Media Direct LLC. HBO Max showcases first-run programming on its own pay television service. The service also has an extensive library of content from third-party studios and co-production agreements, such as Sesame workshop and BBC studios. As at February 2023, it had about 96 million users.
Apple TV is a paid video streaming app running inside a digital media player and microconsole, and marketed by Apple Incorporated. It is available to use on Apple TV and other Apple devices. It gives access to shows, movies and series, games, music and fitness content from its own Apple Original series. Apple TV also brings entertainment from other top-grade broadcasting networks (e g. CNN, Hulu, YouTube TV and ESPN) to end-users. In 2022 alone, Apple subscribers were estimated to have reached over 900 million.
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