We've been hearing big predictions about the impact of online video for years, and a new report from Cisco, "2014 Complete VNI Global IP Traffic Forecast for 2013-2018," is the latest to speculate about our internet consumption and explosion of video content. According to the new study, video is predicted to account for an unprecedented 84% of all Internet traffic by 2018, an increase of 6% over the video's current slice of the online pie – the equivalent of 4.5 trillion YouTube clips. Cisco estimates that video traffic will equal 37 exabytes (EB) per month – that's total traffic which includes sites like YouTube, and Buzzfeed Video, alongside VoD services such as Netflix, and Hulu. Although the figures pertain to the U.S., global video consumption is expected to follow the same.
The Future of Online Video Traffic – Cisco Predictions:
- By 2018, there will be nearly 4 Billion global Internet users (more than 51% of the world's population)
- By 2018, IP video will represent 79% percent of all global traffic by 2018, up from 66% in 2013
- By 2018, there will be 21 Billion networked devices and connections globally
- In 4 years time, the average fixed broadband connection speed will increase 2.6-fold, from 16 Mbps in 2013 to 42 Mbps by 2018
- 75% of Internet traffic will be accessed via WiFi by 2018
- 4K video, and the 'Internet of Things' will be important traffic drivers
- Ultra HD video will account for 11% of IP video traffic by 2018
20% of TVs Will Support 4K by 2018
Although the predictions are impressive, Cisco clarify that it isn't the amount of video content that viewers are watching, but the type of video. We are consuming more and more data-intensive ultra HD videos on our Smart-TVs. Cisco estimates about 20% of TVs by 2018 will be able to support 4K video. Robert Pepper, Cisco's vice president of global technology policy said of the global capacity for video:
In the future at some point every month is going to look like the World Cup month because the consumption just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
The full report can be accessed via the Cisco site.