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Bitmovin 2018 Video Developer Survey reveals shifting technology landscape

Tanya Vernitsky

Written by:
September 12th, 2018

The 2018 Video Developer Report reveals the challenges and opportunities today’s developers around the world are dealing with when building video services.

In its second year, the Bitmovin Video Developer Report provides a deep insight into the evolving technology trends of the booming online video industry. With 456 participants from 67 countries around the globe, the report is a handy reference for how the video streaming infrastructure is shaped by consumer demands and technology challenges.

The insights from this data is revealing and gives us not only a feeling of specific trends in technology usage, but builds a holistic picture of where developers are placing their bets when it come to the future of video delivery technology.

Here’s what we learned.

Latency and device playback top technology concerns for video developers

Latency, or broadcast delay are the biggest problem being experienced with video technology today, according to over half of global respondents (55 percent) and almost three quarters based in LATAM (74 percent). Delivery delays can be a particular pain point for online streaming compared to traditional broadcasters, especially for live sports events.

The next most prevalent issue is ensuring playback on all devices, pinpointed as a headache by half (50 percent) of global respondents, almost exactly the same percentage (49 percent) as in last year’s Bitmovin survey.Biggest problems experienced with video technology today

What are the biggest problems that you are experiencing with video technology today?

The rapid rise of AV1 moderating future adoption of HEVC & VP9 among video developers

AV1 has gained significant momentum, with nearly a third (29 percent) of respondents planning on using the codec in the next year. This is over double the rate of planned usage (14 percent) that was seen in the 2017 Bitmovin Video Developer Report. 15 percent are planning on using VP9, down on 18 percent from 2017. Over a third of respondents (36 percent) plan to deploy H.265/HEVC in the next twelve months. This represents a decrease from 40 percent seen in the 2017 survey, reflecting a trend toward using a wider array of next generation codecs in the future.

Which video codecs are you planning to use in 12 months?

Apple narrowly leads a multi-device world

Mobile video delivery is a key focus for developers in 2018 and it is refreshing to see that in well over half of the use cases, developers are leveraging native capabilities of the devices.

Currently, Apple iOS is the most widely supported native platform at 62 percent vs 60 percent for Android globally. The trend is consistent in most regions of the world at 65 percent (vs 63 percent) respectively in APAC, 64 percent (vs 59 percent) in North America, 63 percent (vs 59 percent) in EMEA, and 63 percent (vs 63 percent) in LATAM.

Platforms and devices used by developers to stream video or audio content in 2018

Ongoing fragmentation in streaming formats

In 2018 Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) continues to be the industry work horse, used by 82 percent. This is a consistent pattern from 2017, whereas MPEG-DASH and MPEG-CMAF are getting increasing developer focus, foreshadowing widespread adoption and proliferation in the future. The formats are used by 61 percent, a 5-point increase for MPEG-DASH, and 10 percent, a 4-point increase for MPEG-CMAF. Adding further to the already considerable fragmentation, RTMP is used by a third (33 percent, down by 4 points) and Smooth Streaming (27 percent, up by a point) and Progressive Streaming (23 percent, down 2 points). Usage of MPEG-CMAF has nearly doubled since last year (from 6 to 10 percent) and nearly a quarter (23 percent) plan to implement the format within the next 12 months.

Usage of DRM is increasing rapidly

In 2018 we see the number of video developers NOT applying some form of content protection to their streams decrease dramatically since last year, from 65 percentage percent to only 36, showing a trend of premium, high value content further transitioning to OTT distribution. Despite this trend, when we look at each technology individually, there’s a slight decrease across the board, apart from MPEG-CENC, a new option in the survey this year. Although we cannot refer to a hard number, last years “other” result was 10%, only 2% more than this year, so it follows logically that there is a growing number of developers working with CENC.


To see the complete set of charts and regional data for codec use, platforms and device distribution, and others, download the 2018 Video Developer Report.

Download the Report


We hope this report provides useful information about what your peers are working on. We have already learned a lot, and are looking forward to expanding the industries understand of developer pain points and the next-generation technology solutions aiming to solve them!

Like building awesome things with video? Come join us at bitmovin.com/jobs!

 

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