ManagementVideo Compression

Biggest video disruptor in 2018

By Christopher Mueller

Containerisation is my pick for the biggest disruptor in the video industry for 2018. Last year, we saw steady growth in the adoption of containerised computing across many industries.
In 2018, I predict that this trend will gain momentum as video development teams start to exploit the potential cost savings and performance improvements that are available with software-based containerised encoding stacks.

Another area of focus in 2018 is optimising bandwidth usage to improve quality and reduce content delivery network (CDN) costs. This is an important topic for every content provider, but especially relevant since the repeal of the net neutrality protections in the US.

Optimising video delivery is already top of mind for many software architects in the industry. Improving video quality for the end-consumer is an important driver here, but data use and CDN costs continue to play a major role.

AV1 is a hot topic. Early 2018 will see the AV1 code freeze and from there, companies will start incorporating AV1 into their products. YouTube and Netflix will likely be the first to start using the new standard as part of their delivery, and I expect to see usage broaden rapidly as browser support improves.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) will continue to grow as more and more companies realise that maintaining software in-house and relying on open source is not only high risk, but also ties up valuable resources that could otherwise be used to move the business forward.

As video delivery continues to become more complex, we see more and more companies move to SaaS products for all or parts of the workflow, and this trend will continue.

Virtual and augmented reality devices have seen steady but not explosive growth in 2017 and we expect this trend to continue in 2018. I think the strongest areas of growth will be in the low price point “all-in-one” headset devices such as the Oculus Go, Pico Goblin and Vive Focus. These devices offer only three degrees of freedom — rotation while seated but no freedom of movement to walk around a room. This will likely drive increased demand for high-quality 180º and 360º video content, which is especially suited for devices with these limited capabilities.

Finally, we see the potential for some exciting blockchain applications for online video on the horizon, but we don’t expect them to be ready for market this year.

Blockchain applications relevant to video worth watching include distributed storage with Filecoin, distributed delivery via IPFS, distributed processing coin Golem, and even analytics with the newly proposed Basic Attention Coin.

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