11 Trends in Video Streaming Technology to Look Out for in 2024

Digital streaming technology is advancing at a breakneck speed, and not showing any signs of slowing down. So, as 2024 approaches, video streaming marches on with newly emerging protocols, a reworking of advertisement and subscription plans, and a retro revival.

It can be overwhelming to keep up with, but let’s take a closer look at the trends that will affect video streaming technology in 2024. Popcorn (or any other snack) is optional.

1. Optimized Video Delivery

Video streaming can serve many purposes. Entertainment is an obvious one, but it can also provide public safety information, ensure business continuity, and facilitate day-to-day activities for different business and social situations. This means that reducing lag is the prime concern for streaming technologies.

In the coming years, content distributors state that they strive to achieve sub-second latency for hybrid environments and interactivity. That said, the speed of your connection is ultimately dependent on the streaming protocol as well as the network used to broadcast your live stream.

Real-time streaming is difficult to execute as the interactive environment can be prone to lagging, errors, and pauses. For a seamless delivery of video streams with ultra-low latency capabilities, the provider needs a strong digital infrastructure. Google’s WebRTC technology is one such solution that has been emerging in many video conferencing applications for smoother streaming.

2. Capitalizing on Nostalgia

As millennials settle into adulthood, many businesses are tapping into their nostalgia for the ’80s and ’90s. For instance, streaming services like YouTube Red, Hulu, and Netflix have found success with reboots of fan favorites. “Cobra Kai” (a “Karate Kid” revival) was at first a YouTube Red exclusive, while “Veronica Mars” has been a hit on Hulu.

Netflix seems to be leading the pack by reviving iconic series like “The Baby-Sitters Club,” “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” and “Carmen Sandiego” to target younger generations, as well as sequels to once-popular shows such as “Fuller House,” “One Day at a Time,” and “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.” “Stranger Things” is set in the ‘80s and frequently references pop culture from that era.

Looking at 2024 and beyond, it’s safe to assume that this trend will continue and likely accelerate. As the early 2000s become increasingly distant, the nostalgia for this decade will reflect that, and the 2020s are the perfect time for the revival of the 2000s media.

3. Ad-Supported Tiers

Recently, both Disney+ and Netflix have introduced lower-priced tiers with ads included. Amazon is also now including advertisements with Thursday Night Football.

Depending on how people react to this, other platforms may follow suit. Although some criticism has been leveled at Netflix for adding advertisements, CFRA increased its stock price target this week because of the prospects of its ad-supported platform.

Having multiple monthly subscriptions for various streaming services has been one of the major drawbacks of the format. As more providers are experimenting with streaming platforms while users simultaneously become more discerning about what services they subscribe to, varying ad-supported tiers may be the solution.

4. International Content

More and more streaming services are opening their doors far beyond Hollywood. Dubbed shows from all over the world are reaching broader audiences with fewer regional restrictions.

International hits such as “La Casa Del Papel” and “Parasite” have proven that content in other languages, watched with subtitles, is a viable new way to engage in entertainment. The rise of South Korean dramas is another example of this trend.

Over the years, standard Hollywood fare has lost some charm as audiences demand more diversity in content and streaming services become available in more regions. This means it’s safe to expect to see even more local language series in 2024 being brought into the international spotlight.

5. Rethinking Advertisement

The way TV and video ads are presented to viewers is changing. Growing evidence shows that traditional advertisements aren’t particularly effective because they rely on tropes and cannot provide niche experiences to diverse users.

Therefore, companies want to know more about their users – like their shopping habits, interests, and where they live – to show ads that are more likely to interest individual users. This is supposed to be better for the company and the customer because it means you’re only seeing ads that might genuinely benefit you.

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But whether or not people will feel comfortable sharing their personal data is still up in the air. Some new rules are coming down the pipeline that may change how things work in the media industry, especially online and on mobile devices. These changes could mean less regulation for everyone involved, including traditional media companies. However, network neutrality is still important.

6. Ultra-High Definition Streaming

As video quality and available bandwidth increase, streaming services are looking into means to tap into the potential. Ultra-high definition (UHD, or 4K as it’s often known) is the assumed future because it offers a resolution four times higher than 1080p.

With WebRTC and SRT enabling fast streaming without losing any bit of detail from UHD content, it’s safe to expect this new technology to become even more prominent in 2024. This means exceptional clarity even on large displays, such as living room televisions.

Whether diminishing returns in video quality are fast approaching is up to each user and their setup and preferences. However, with the popularity of larger TV screens, higher resolutions are a given. Plus, more choices regarding streaming quality give more freedom to streaming services to customize their subscription tiers.

7. Personalization and AI

The streaming landscape has drastically changed over the past 10 years, offering viewers a myriad of entertainment and educational content. Unfortunately, navigating the abundance of content can feel like an overwhelming chore in some instances. Additionally, streaming can be expensive and oftentimes doesn’t feel very personal.

Personalization is the future of streaming. And as 2023, in particular, has seen an explosion of interest in artificial intelligence (AI), it’s easy to assume that streaming services will tap into the potential of AI and machine learning. This way, platforms could tailor recommendations to individual viewers more efficiently and provide more options to make finding content easier. As the industry matures, quantity will take a back seat to quality as personalized experiences become more commonplace.

8. The Proliferation of 5G

The arrival of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) technology has offered a possible boost to digital infrastructure. While 4G was a major step up from 3G in speed and support, 5G carries over the legacy and improves upon it. It has the potential to be considerably faster, with virtually no latency for video streaming.

That means that whatever you’re streaming, whether it’s a movie or a video game, will have minimal or no lag or stuttering. Additionally, video streaming on mobile devices will get a noticeable boost.

9. Streaming in New Industries – Fitness

The fitness industry is huge – more than $96 billion worldwide. And the digital fitness market is a considerable subset of that. It’s not hard to see why: when lockdowns happened, gyms had to adapt and figure out how to stay connected with their customers. Video streaming allowed this connection to remain strong and for people to work out from home.

As a result, a blended model emerged: on-demand and live-streamed workouts paired with in-person services. This made it possible to have the experience of being at the gym without having to leave your house. While gyms are open again around the world, these trends will remain and grow, likely extending into other activities. In fact, Global Market Insights estimates that livestream fitness will jump 35% by 2026.

10. Compression Technology

Compression technology is the backbone of streaming. It compresses and packages data, making it quicker and easier to transport over any connection type and to any capable device. As the industry grows, expect to see new compression methods that will make accessing video and audio from all around the world faster and more efficient. This possible trend calls back to the aforementioned increasing demand for higher-definition video streaming.

11. Cloud-Based OTT Video Software

Cloud technology is emerging as a cornerstone for delivering content, with the streaming industry becoming more ubiquitous. The cloud’s inherent scalability and flexibility make it an ideal backbone for OTT (over-the-top) platforms, allowing it to adapt to fluctuating viewer demands.

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But the cloud’s role isn’t just about storage and scalability; it’s expected to offer more sophisticated features. By 2024, we can anticipate a surge in cloud-enabled capabilities, such as real-time analytics that provide insights into viewer behavior, AI-powered algorithms for personalized content recommendations, and robust security measures to protect against seemingly surging data breaches.

These advancements can enhance the user experience and provide streaming services with valuable data to fine-tune their offerings and analyze user engagement.

Stream Into the Future

You can expect some amazing things from the video streaming industry in 2024. Plenty of interesting and curious developments are taking place, with new technologies being unveiled and fresh ideas entering the scene. The ultimate destination of the video streaming course may not be perfectly clear, but its power over how users consume media is unquestionable.