Bitmovin, a specialist in online video technology, has released its annual Video Developer Report, revealing a snapshot of the key trends and issues in video technology. The study is based on the views of 456 video developers at broadcasters, publishers, OTT streaming services, online video platforms and social media platforms in 67 countries.
“The online video industry is booming, with new services launching every day. The Video Developer Report reveals how developers are building services, their plans for the future and the major problems they’re facing. As it’s the second edition of the report, we can see how these trends are evolving. We find the insights extremely valuable and are pleased to be able to share them with video developers worldwide,” said Stefan Lederer, CEO at Bitmovin.
Latency and device playback top technology concerns
Latency is the biggest problem being experienced with video technology today, according to over half of global respondents (55 per cent) and almost three quarters based in LATAM (74 per cent). Delivery delays can be a particular pain point for online streaming compared to traditional broadcasters, especially for live sports events.
The next most prevalent issue is ensuring playback on all devices, pinpointed as a headache by half (50 per cent) of global respondents, almost exactly the same per centage (49 per cent) as in last year’s Bitmovin survey.
A multi-codec future and the rapid rise of AV1
H.264/AVC dominates current video codec usage, used by 92 per cent of survey respondents. Uptake of H.265/HEVC has expanded rapidly, to almost half of respondents (42 per cent), compared to under a third (28 per cent) in 2017.
Over a third of respondents (36 per cent) plan to deploy H.265/HEVC in the next twelve months. This represents a decrease from 40 per cent seen in the 2017 survey, reflecting a trend toward using a wider array of next generation codecs in the future.
AV1 has gained significant momentum, with nearly a third (29 per cent) of respondents planning on using the codec in the next year. This is over double the rate of planned usage (14 per cent) that was seen in the 2017 Bitmovin Video Developer Report. 15 per cent are planning on using VP9, down on 18 per cent from 2017.
Ongoing fragmentation in streaming formats
HLS and MPEG-DASH remain the most popular choices in streaming, used by 82 per cent and 61 per cent respectively. However, there’s also considerable fragmentation, with RTMP used by a third (33 per cent) and Smooth Streaming (27 per cent) and Progressive Streaming (23 per cent) each used by around a quarter. Usage of MPEG-CMAF has nearly doubled since last year (from 6 to 10 per cent) and nearly a quarter (23 per cent) plan to implement the format within the next 12 months.
Apple narrowly leads a multi-device world
HTML5 via browser is by far the most widely used format for video and audio delivery, with 87 per cent of those responding to the survey using it today. Currently, Apple iOS is the most widely supported native platform at 62 per cent vs 60 per cent for Android globally. The trend is consistent in most regions of the world at 65 per cent (vs 63 per cent) respectively in APAC, 64 per cent (vs 59 per cent) in North America, 63 per cent (vs 59 per cent) in EMEA, and 63 per cent (vs 63 per cent) in LATAM.
Looking at support for consumer TV devices, Chromecast is the current leader, supported by 42 per cent of survey respondents compared to 36 per cent for Apple TV, 34 per cent for Android TV and 23 per cent for Roku. Android TV is likely to see most momentum in the next 12 months, with 17 per cent of developers planning to move to add support, compared to 16 per cent for Apple TV, 11 per cent for Chromecast and 10 per cent for Roku.
Usage of DRM is increasing rapidly
Over one in three (36 per cent) respondents said that they are not using any DRM/ content protection system at all, peaking at 40 per cent of respondents in EMEA.
This represents rapid uptake since Bitmovin’s 2017 survey, in which two thirds of global respondents (65 per cent) said they weren’t using DRM at all. This could reflect a shift of premium content from traditional cable and satellite services to OTT/ online delivery.