Spiking consumer demand for online video and a transition from viewing video primarily on desktop computers to mobile devices is straining the online video ecosystem, a venture capital firm director said Friday. But the problem created by OTT's popularity presents an opportunity for both wireless infrastructure and security providers.
"We're hitting levels that [have] never been reached before, sometimes not even contemplated," said Rick Heitzmann, co-founder and managing director of Firstmark Capital, in a Bloomberg Television interview.
Infrastructure and security stand to benefit from this demand--particularly wireless infrastructure providers "that are providing the wireless and next generation of 4G and beyond... because the data is also switching from desktops and websites to mobile and mobile apps," Heitzmann told Tom Keene and Scarlet Fu on "Bloomberg Surveillance."
"The second piece is security. A large part of these shutdowns are denial of service attacks," he said. "If you think about HBO or any of the big name sites, [they] constantly have hackers banging on them. And a portion of those shutdowns or fails are because of security leaks. So there's a whole next generation of security dealing with this whole new ecosystem of mobile apps."
A number of high-profile incidents have taken place in the past month indicating that demand for online video bandwidth is rising quickly, perhaps faster than predicted.
Viewers watching the Oscars online during an ABC trial of over-the-top live streaming, for example, complained that the stream cut out for much of the broadcast. HBO Go subscribers last week howled as their stream of the season finale of "True Detective" was overwhelmed by demand and replaced by a buffering message.
NBC's Olympics live stream saw traffic peaks as high as 2.5 Tbps during popular events such as men's hockey, but its Live Extra app was plagued by buffering issues.
Heitzmann said Google, as well as Firstmark funding recipient Pinterest, "had some of the best engineers in the world" working on their products, such as Google's YouTube. Making sure that product was delivered to as many as seven different apps--iOS, Android, and Web-based--and supporting demand for images and video worldwide presents a challenge to both established companies and startups. "It's an incredibly complex problem."
(Source: Bloomberg Television)
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