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Streaming: Where Did We Start, Where Are We Right Now, and How’s the Future Looking?

Since the birth of music streaming services, the entertainment came infinitely closer to our digital devices. And the future looks even brighter!

By Becka MaisuradzePublished 5 years ago 5 min read

The technological advancements that are changing our lives to the deepest level are sometimes called the Fourth Industrial Revolution and it couldn’t be closer to the truth. Just look at what’s happening everywhere around us:

Not only have people started using electric cars, they have also started issuing electric tanks - Tesla’s Cybertruck is nothing except for the tank; the same person, Elon Musk, is testing the new orbiting satellite that can provide free wi-fi for every single person around the world; the smartphones and tablets are becoming so powerful that they overtake many computers…

Such technological discoveries are abounding in literally every industry, which is true for the entertainment industry as well. And for quite some time now, the market has been undergoing a drastic migration from the physical ownership to the streaming services.

From the earliest music streaming services all the way to the most recent cloud gaming platforms, the industry has changed so much that it’ll be hard for many people to remember what was before. And it’s even more exciting to note that things are on the verge of another revolutionary development; we’re talking about virtual and augmented reality here.

But before we jump into the futuristic speculations and hypotheses, let’s do a little homage to the past and the present of streaming services - where we come from and where are we right now.

Where it all started

Before the internet became an overall hit, the streaming services were obviously non-existent. Only the most affluent people and big agencies had high-broadband connections but even they were limited to what they could do - the industry couldn’t run just for their high-end needs and wishes.

The music and movie industries were based on legal ownership of the content. The consumers had to physically buy cassette tapes or CDs for their favorite tracks and movies. This practice had a lot of restrictions that included money and time.

Birth of music streaming

However, the so-called “first” and “second streaming revolutions” started to take big chunks of the market year by year. First, there was digital music services that became popular after Steve Jobs introduced the very first iPod. After that, people were no longer obliged to buy physical types of vinyl or cassettes - they could just download the music on their devices.

But even that wasn’t the point. People weren’t into spending money on individual songs in their playlist which, in effect, resulted in hundreds, even thousands of dollars of expenditure. That’s where music streaming and subscription-based services became popular. The first-ever streaming service was called Rhapsody which offered a large database of tracks for a particular price.

“Chill out and Netflix”

After that, it was only a matter of time before the new services like Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, etc. emerged. The movie industry undertook the same changes but a bit later. If we’re talking about the massive movie streaming uses, the 2010s is our pick here.

The movie studios started to realize that people couldn’t pay 10-20 dollars in movies every single time; there had to be another way of letting them pass some quality time. Right then, some private companies among them started to offer movie streaming services. And so we have a good-old Netflix, as well as some recent services like Disney+, Apple TV+ etc.

The status quo

Live casino

After the first two “streaming revolutions”, the technology spilled over to other industries as well. For instance, online casino players are already pretty familiar with the live casino capabilities - from the best online live casino Canada has got all the way to the same Australian services, this industry is sucking out all the perks and advantages that the streaming platforms are so famous for.

Basically, the punters - that’s what the casino players are called - are playing their favorite casino games in the comfort of their homes. But instead of online games with AI-based mechanics, they’re playing real games at the actual casino halls - that’s the power of the Livestream-enabled cameras and networks.

Cloud gaming

Another pretty big deal in today’s entertainment is cloud gaming. Some even call this the “third streaming revolution”. Before this, gamers had to own specific gear such as power-machine computers or consoles, as well as the games themselves. All this resulted in a pretty expensive gig that not many gamers could afford.

However, after some time, providers started thinking about covering a large section of customers with game streaming. That’s right - you play games just like you watch movies or listen to music.

The most popular example of cloud gaming today is Google Stadia - the tech giant’s yet another initiative to expand its coverage. With its all-too-powerful data centers all around the world, Google is “lending” its customers the computing power to let them play their favorite games. And what’s more, it’s going to be exactly the price at which you can stream movies on Netflix.

Prepare the stage for VR and AR

Okay, we’ve covered the past and the present in our article somewhat briefly. From music to game streaming, it’s apparent that the industry has taken a huge leap forward. However, there are more innovations waiting for us in the future.

Virtual Reality

One such technological evolution - or even revolution - is expected to happen on the Virtual Reality front. VR is not particularly new or overly innovative technology, to be perfectly honest. We know how it works: we put a specific headset onto our eyes and the whole video content suddenly becomes three-dimensional.

However, VR is still in its crude state where only small startups and relatively unknown companies are embracing its capabilities. But once it becomes more popular, big industries - including movies, games, and others - will start incorporating VR into their content, making it more interactive to the audience.

And it’s especially prospective in streaming services. Imagine sitting at home on your couch and watching a movie where you’re part of the action using a VR headset - how awesome is that?

Augmented Reality

The next big thing in streaming is the Augmented Reality - that’s where the virtual reality spills over to your own reality to become a unified world. Just like VR, AR is also a pretty well-known phenomenon for tech geeks and enthusiasts. Even big companies like Apple have been incorporating AR capabilities to their devices for quite some time now.

However, the prospective applications of AR in online streaming services have a big potential. For instance, think about playing Call of Duty on your PC. It’s a pretty straightforward experience - you watch the screen where the action takes place.

Now, imagine that instead of the screen and the virtual world of the action, everything happens in your actual reality - be it your home, your street, your hometown, etc. Suddenly the gaming experience becomes ever-more engaging and fun. I mean, who doesn’t want to fight against extremist terrorists in their own environment? Not that it’s any fun in the real world but still, the prospect of combining the virtual to the real world seems very exciting.

The past was revolutionary, the present is exciting, the future looks unbelievable

Streaming services have taken the entertainment industry to a whole new level. The changes that they initiated pushed new technologies to evolve and improve our lives.

It all started with the music streaming services and then spilled over to the movie industry. After these two streaming revolutions, the third wave hit the market with live casino and cloud gaming capabilities.

And now, the prospects of VR and AR in streaming make things even more unbelievable than they already are. It’s only a matter of time before we see the actual results of those tech innovations in action.


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    Becka MaisuradzeWritten by Becka Maisuradze

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