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Low Latency Streaming Trends: Live User-Generated Content & Beyond (Video Series: Part 4)

June 28, 2018 by Chris Michaels

Low Latency Streaming Trends: Live user generated content and beyond

 

Low-latency video delivery is becoming increasingly important for a variety of applications. From trivia games to live-streaming sports, trading platforms to LiveUGC applications—more video services are concerned with increasing engagement through real-time interactivity.

In part one of our four-part video series on low-latency streaming, we covered what low latency means, and which streaming use cases require it. In part two, we talked about the options for replacing RTMP delivery. In part three, we discuss the tools and technologies Wowza supports for low-latency streaming delivery, and take a look at what the future holds. In part four—our final installment—we examine the real development and application trends that are spurring innovation. Watch it here:

 

Mobile Video Is Exploding—and It Ain’t Stopping

Mobile phones are everywhere, and they’re the most valuable and personal piece of technology real estate because they’re literally in the hands of users. Being able to reach a mobile viewer is more important than ever, as the market sees growing numbers of cord-cutters and mobile-first viewers who want to stay connected wherever they are.

In a lot of customer use cases, we find broadcasters and developers changing their focus from delivering browser-first streaming experiences to mobile-first, or even mobile-only, delivery. Thanks to the proliferation of streaming apps that include live user-generated content (LiveUGC), people can now consume, curate and even create content on the fly, which makes the smartphone a rich hub for video engagement.

 

Your Video App Needs Interactive Streaming

Video, by itself, isn’t enough. If you look at some of the most popular apps today, such as HQ Trivia and Mercari, a common trend is that they combine rich interactive features with live-streaming video. The video applications themselves may be very simple, but by adding an engagement layer for the audience to answer a question; bid on an item; place an order; or complete some desired action, the engagement and viewership time skyrockets.

This is incredibly valuable for broadcasters who are looking for new types of content that can keep viewers engaged, and increase potential advertising or sales revenues. But to do it, apps need two-way data transfer, so metadata and other information syncs with the video, allowing users to interact in real-time.

 

Live Streaming Video Quality Matters

Streaming in 4K makes sense in some use cases—but not all. Even though it’s on the rise for professional broadcasts, it’s not necessary for a mobile audience; after all, you can’t even play back 4K content on a smartphone. Picture quality does matter to the user experience, especially when navigating across 3G, 4G, WiFi or converged wireless networks. But what matters more is ensuring your audience doesn’t miss a moment: meaning no buffering, no lag and no skips.

In use cases such as virtual reality (VR), 4K makes sense—and it requires some heavy bandwidth and computing requirements to deliver. In fact, for truly immersive VR experiences, some applications require 4K per eye for clear playback. But it’s going to be difficult to deliver these types of engagements through traditional delivery means.

Today’s streaming apps need to be able to consistently deliver higher-quality experiences faster, and most content delivery networks (CDNs) and streaming services force you to make a trade-off between high quality or low latency. To mitigate that, many developers have had to invest heavily into private infrustructures, complex workflows and custom players—essentially, forcing them to take time away from the actual work of app development and dedicate it to becoming streaming experts.

Fortunately, through the Wowza Streaming Cloud™ service with Ultra Low Latency, we’re eliminating the trade-off, delivering lightning-fast video with broadcast-quality and scale to reach millions of viewers. As a managed service that’s accessible by API, we’ve made it easy for developers and broadcasters to create and deliver ultra low latency video applications—quickly, easily and without sacrificing quality or speed.

Got a comment? Drop us a line on Twitter @wowzamedia
Chris Michaels

Chris Michaels, streaming industry evangelist and director of communications at Wowza Media Systems, serves as the company’s spokesperson for industry organizations, technology alliances and external relations.