New Cisco Study Forecasts Upsurge in Online Video Usage

Cisco’s annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) report has just been released, and among its forecasts is the near doubling of online video users from 792 million in 2011 to 1.5 billion in 2016. Cisco Systems is a San Jose-headquartered corporation that produces and sells networking equipment, and their VNI studies are part of their ongoing effort to track and predict the use of visual networking applications.

According to the report, 51% of all consumer internet traffic was video traffic in 2011, with that percentage increasing to 54% in 2016; however, when including TV streamed on the Internet, video on demand, and P2P, video will account for 86% of all traffic by 2016. The forecasted surge in video consumption is due to the increase in global internet connections – from 10.3 billion in 2011 to 18.9 billion by 2016 because of the proliferation of web-connected devices like smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, TV sets, and handheld devices. Focus on smartphones as the biggest reason for the increase, with average smartphone data transmissions predicted to jump to over 1.7 gigabytes a month in 2016 from 110 megabytes a month now.

Additionally, it would take over 6 million years to watch just a month’s worth of the online video that will cross global IP networks in 2016. Broken down, every second of 2016 will see 1.2 million minutes of video content cross the network. Faster broadband speeds, from 9 megabits per second in 2011 to 34 megabits per second in 2016, will also mean high-definition Internet video comprising 79% of video on demand in 2016.

In summary: because of more web-connected devices, more internet users, more videos, and faster broadband speeds, expect video consumption to only rise in the future, especially on smartphones.