Dan Sahar

Dan Sahar on

Online Video is Hitting its Stride

The worst stab wound is the one to the heart. Sure, most people survive it, but the heart is never quite the same. There’s always a scar. Which is meant, I guess, to remind you that – even for a little while – someone made your heart beat faster.Augustus Hill, Oz (HBO Series)

Oz was the first one-hour dramatic television series to be produced by a premium cable network, HBO, and it seen by many as a monumental event in the history of film and television. In the world of online video, Netflix, taking one from HBO’s playbook, probably experienced their “Oz-moment” back in February by launching House of Cards, the critically acclaimed political drama. According to industry sources, 11 percent of Netflix subscribers watched at least one episode of the series the day it was launched.

Last Monday, right on schedule, Netflix launched its second (well actually third if you count Lilyhammer) original series, with the fourth season of Arrested Development. We at Qwilt have seen over 20% traffic volume increases in many of our network deployments in North America in overall Netflix volume due primarily to Arrested Development.

Qwilt Video Analytics - The Impact of Netflix Series Arrested Development
Qwilt Video Analytics – The Impact of Netflix Series Arrested Development

That growth did not go unnoticed by others.

Less than 48 hours later, Amazon announced that they too have given the green light for 5 original series of their own after creating one of the first user video pilot voting systems.

The proximity of these two events along with the countless online announcements by the likes of Intel, Spotify, Rdio and others have come to show what we have seen in networks where Qwilt is deployed throughout the world – online video is hitting its stride and it’s time to prepare the underlying infrastructure for the next wave. Netflix’ content chief also hinted last week that Netflix has committed as much as 10% of their $2bn annual content budget, to original programming.

Just imagine what will happen once an online equivalent of Seinfeld, Friends or NCIS is created. There is no telling the amount of traffic that will cross our broadband networks – and it’s time to get them ready. The hearts of at least a few content providers and operators are surely beating a little faster this week.