Let’s wrap up the week with a look at a couple headlines from the streaming media industry.
1. Charter acquires Time Warner Cable
After the FCC thwarted Comcast’s bid for Time Warner, Charter Communications announced this week that it would be finalizing a $55-billion deal with the telecommunications company. This will make Charter the US’s second largest internet and cable provider after Comcast. The companies are reportedly considering launch of an online video service as part of the business combination. Charter has been orchestrating a shift to cloud-based video solutions in recently years, and a foray into OTT is a logical and potentially lucrative step (you can read all about that in our post on the future of TV).
2. Youtube announces new features in live HTML5 video
Youtube announced that it now supports 60fps streaming in 1080p and 720p. As it is defaulting to HTLM5, it will also be offering variable speed playback, allowing users to “rewind” their live streams and fast forward to catch back up. The news ignited speculation as to the effect on the competing e-gaming site Twitch, which offers the same frame rates and resolution but relies on older Flash technology.
3. Sandvine confirms Netflix’s dominance
This week, Scandive reported that Netflix now represents 36.5% of US downstream traffic during peak hours – far outstripping its closest rival, Youtube, which accounted for 15.6%. Netflix therefore represents over a third of peak internet traffic in the US, and this percentage is continuing to grow. HBO’s two streaming services together clocked in at under 2%, although its share of traffic rose to over 4% during the season five premiere of Game of Thrones. The report provides a broad overview of broadband and mobile internet use in North and South America.