Could new Sky Player cause another surge in streaming video?
The final launch of the BBC iPlayer in particular its ability to stream TV shows led to a rapid growth in the use of broadband for TV viewing. Sky has had its Sky Anytime software running for some time, but a redesign that will see it offering live streams of several Sky channels may boost its popularity. The updated service will be known as Sky Player.
The fact that streams from the BBC iPlayer are eight times more popular than downloads may be partially behind the changes in the Sky Player, but another factor may be that the Go!View service for the Sony PSP is due to launch soon.
PlusNet is suggesting that streaming video usage is leveling off according to their latest blog entry.One key thing with video streaming is that it is a live event and thus open to spikes in usage. In years gone by if a TV transmitter went off air a whole region would miss a TV show. Now they can simply log on to many broadcasters websites and catch the show there. The end result would be a surge in traffic that might lead to people getting lower quality streams, or in some cases, not being able to view the content at all.
If the leveling of usage does level out and simply continue to grow as more people get broadband it would suggest that services like the BBC iPlayer are now being used by most of the people who want to use them, and the predicted collapse of the internet in the UK may be on hold for a bit longer.