May 18, 2021

How did today’s streaming giants begin?

Technology
techgiants
streaming
Video
4 min
Viewing habits have changed drastically over the last few years, and in turn so has the way we consume TV, but how did streaming begin?

The past 15 years have seen a huge progression towards home entertainment and different platforms have racked up millions of subscribers. Streaming has become extremely popular and provides consumers with content which they are interested in, whenever and wherever they want it. 

The consumption of multimedia content on smartphones is becoming increasingly unstoppable. According to the studyThe mobile streaming report 2021″, carried out in eight countries, the majority of Generation Z (55%) and Millennials (58%) stream content on their phones every day. In addition, nearly one-third of consumers (30% of Gen Z and 28% of Millennials) stream at least once a week or more.

However, this trend is not only among younger people. The study also reveals that there is a change in behaviour in people aged 55 and older. The majority (60.3%) are streaming video/TV content at least once a week using a smartphone.

So how did today’s streaming giants begin? 

Netflix 

Netflix was founded in 1997 in Scotts Valley, California, and was originally a rent-by-mail DVD service that used a pay-per-rental model.

Users would browse and order the films they wanted on their website, put in an order, and Netflix would post them to your door. After renters had finished with the DVDs, they would simply post them back. Rentals cost around $4 each, plus a $2 postage charge. After significant growth, Netflix switched to a subscriber-based model. 

Between 2003-2006 Netflix continued to refine the subscriber experience by providing recommendations and suggestions for future viewing using the Cinematch ranking algorithm, which helps personalise suggestions. This, in turn, allows subscribers to create “queues” of titles to rent that are likely to be of interest based on their rental history and ratings given to individual titles.

By the end of 2006, Netflix had more than 6.3M subscribers, a 7-year annual compound growth rate of 79%, and had finally become profitable, generating more than $80M in profits in 2006. As the interest in physical DVD’s started to subside, 2007 saw Netflix introduce its first online streaming service. 

As of the first quarter of 2021 Netflix had 207.64 million paid subscribers worldwide.

Youtube 

Youtube launched its website to the public in 2005 and now has over 2.3 billion users worldwide. 

It was founded by former PayPal employees Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim.

On April 23, 2005, YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim posted the very first video to YouTube, entitled "Me at the Zoo." The video is exactly how it sounds: Karim at the San Diego zoo standing in front of the elephants and talking about their trunks. 

Google acquired the rapidly growing video-sharing site for more $1.65 billion in October 2006. At the time Google called it "the next step in the evolution of the Internet." At the time, YouTube only had roughly 65 employees, and it now has over 135,000. 

Disney+

Disney+ is a relatively new player in the streaming world, launching in March 2020 in the UK and other European countries such as Germany and France. The streaming service had been available for subscribers in the US and Canada since November 2019.

Disney Plus is home to an extensive catalog of movies and TV shows from Disney and its various brands and franchises, like Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox. Titles include a mix of classic content from Disney's storied vault, recent blockbusters, and brand-new exclusives developed specifically for Disney Plus.

Disney announced during its Q1 2021 that the streaming service has 94.9 million subscribers already.

Apple TV+

On 1 April 1976 Apple was founded and it is now worth over $2 trillion. From computers to phones, watches and apps, Apple has changed the tech world.

Apple TV+ is Apple's home for original films and series, launching in November 2019. It is available on a monthly subscription and available across several platforms through its latest version of the Apple TV app. Apple TV+ offers ad-free, exclusive content that's been either green-lit or produced in-house by Apple itself.

Amazon Prime Video 

Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in 1995 as a website that only sold books, and it has come a long way since then.

Amazon launched its Prime subscription in February of 2005 and included Prime Video in February 2011. Amazon first introduced an internet video service in 2006 (Amazon Unbox) but added the perk of free access to “unlimited, commercial-free instant streaming of more than 5,000 movies and TV shows” to paying Prime members in 2011.

CEO Jeff Bezos announced in his annual letter to shareholders, published April 15th, 2021, that Amazon now has 200 million members in its Prime membership programme worldwide.

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Jun 16, 2021

How can technology help cut business costs?

technology
Cloud
digitaltransformation
RemoteWork
3 min
With the increase of digitalisation across many businesses, we take a look at some of the way that technology can help cut business costs

Businesses are always looking for ways to cut costs and help increase profitability. Choosing quick fixes that reduce expenses, such as redundancies, can often decrease quality, and also impede the company’s reputation. 

Upgrading technology and how the company use it can improve the business, although it may require an upfront investment, it will help save money in the long run. We take a look at some of the different ways that technology can help improve business costs. 

Increase productivity 

 

Time is precious when you have a business, every hour counts, and the budget accounts for each hour, whether that be operating costs or paying employees. Implementing efficient processes is a way to decrease delays, and make sure the business runs smoothly. 

Technology can help to quicken everyday duties such as:

  • Communicating with team members
  • Accessing and locating files
  • Scheduling meetings and tasks
  • Monitoring progress and results
  • Managing annual leave and absences

Digitising files 

 

Going paperless is becoming more common, and there are many advantages of paperless environments in the digital age. It eliminates the need for physical storage solutions, so you don’t need to pay for using an off-site storage facility. If you usually keep files in the office, storing them digitally will create more space so that you can grow your team.

With a paperless system filing documents no longer means printing them out, then having to search for them manually later on. Digital storage can be done in seconds, and retrieval involves a quick computer search. The reduction in employee work hours spent on menial tasks is significant.
 

Moving to the cloud 

The 2021 Flexera State of the Cloud Report shows that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on cloud adoption in 2020. The report found that multi-cloud continues to be the dominant strategy, adopted by nearly all surveyed enterprises, 92% of respondents reported having a multi-cloud strategy. 82% are taking a hybrid approach, combining the use of both public and private clouds.

With cloud computing, businesses can store and access data over the internet no matter where they are. It helps employees who are located in different areas to collaborate in a highly convenient and secure manner. Cost saving is one of the biggest Cloud Computing benefits. It helps you to save substantial capital cost as it does not need any physical hardware investments. Also, you do not need trained personnel to maintain the hardware. The buying and managing of equipment is done by the cloud service provider.

Remote working 

 

Running your business digitally gives you the option to operate remotely, full or part-time. With employees working from home, it enables businesses to downsize or remove the office altogether, to save on rent costs. With minimal staff onsite there will be other savings such as electricity and cleaning. Having remote employees could also reduce the cost of serving refreshments/catering, which some companies offer. 

Ensuring your staff members can operate efficiently and safely from home is extremely important. Providing equipment such as laptops, monitors and mobile phones is essential, but to also make sure these devices are secure and have sufficient security measures. 

Video conferences 


The past year forced businesses to adapt quickly to remote working, and video calls become the norm. Zoom, a popular video call app, generated $2.6 billion revenue in 2020, a 317% increase year-on-year. Instead of paying for travel for client meetings, you can conduct them for free through a video conference tool. You can also access or host webinars through video conferences.

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