Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Dominique Jodoin, CEO of Bluestreak Technology, who put together the five most important trends of this past year.
Bluestreak Technology is the proven leader in software presentation solutions, deployed on multi-screen embedded devices, such as set-top boxes, digital televisions, mobile phones, and other consumer electronics. Privately held and headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Bluestreak Technology’s MachBlue™ platform powers the user interfaces and applications for many of today’s leading television and mobile companies, including Bouygues Telecom, DivX, Orange, Irdeto, Mitsubishi, NDS, Qualcomm, Soft@Home, Time Warner Cable, Videotron, and Zon Multimedia.
2010 has been a year of tremendous change in the technology industry. The television and wireless industries, in particular, have undergone a lot of inflection points, disruption, and accelerated growth which presents new opportunities for companies both large and small.
With so much happening it is easy to get caught up in the ‘buzz’ and lose sight of the facts and figures which tell the real story about where technology is headed in 2011. To that end, we’ve taken a look back at the statistics and data measurements that we heard this year and have assembled our view of the five most important technology numbers from 2010 that help predict where the tech industry is headed over the next year:
- 54% – The percentage of online video that is available in HTML5 as of October of this year, according to a report by web video cataloging service MeFeedia. Are you thinking “that’s not that impressive, 54% is barely more than half”? Then let’s look at the most amazing part about this statistic: in January of this year the percentage of online video that was available in HTML5 was just 10%. That means that the percentage of online video available in HTML5 format has grown 5X since January. Can you think of another technology that is showing those kinds of rapid adoption rates? We can’t.Key takeaway – HTML5 is being adopted rapidly as an online video technology and companies need to prepare their growth strategies to incorporate this new standard. However, it is still early and HTML5 doesn’t give you all the same features and functionality that Flash does today so consider your options wisely or pursue technologies, like MachBlue XT, which give you flexibility on this front. Moreover, video content providers offer HTML5, Flash and other standards for video streaming to devices. We do not see HTML5 as a replacement technology but rather as another means to play video and develop rich user experiences.
- 335,000 – The number of subscribers that the TV industry lost in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of this year, according to SNL Kagan. Not all of the TV industry is floundering, but cable operators clearly face the biggest challenges going forward. They lost 741,000 basic video customers in third quarter, which is the largest recorded decline for cable since SNL Kagan began compiling data in 1980. Why the decline? The economy? Definitely. But let’s not discount the fact that new online video, or over-the-top video and services like Hulu, are making a dramatic impact on the cable industry as more consumers drop their monthly cable bills for less expensive, on-demand online TV and video options.Key takeaway – Cable operators need to figure out ways to differentiate their services or increase the value to consumers. This presents a huge opportunity for new emerging companies to work with cable operators to augment the TV viewing experience. Think – integrating web content into cable programming and adding new interactive options to menus and entertainment programming guides. If not, online TV is going to continue to inflict serious cuts on the cable business in 2011.
During 2010 Bluestreak Technology signed OTT-related contracts with both traditional cable TV operators, set-top box OEMs as well as consumer electronics chipset companies, and it is clear that the TV industry has entered a period of transition to new business models. These new models offer opportunities for companies, like Bluestreak Technology, that have the technology and experience to enable traditional cable operators to provide a harmonized OTT and wireline TV experience to consumers.
- 628% – This is the year-over-year growth rate for the Android OS from Q3 2009 to Q3 2010, according to a report published by analyst firm Gartner. While much of the media buzz this year continued to surround Apple’s iPhone, the iPhone has had flat growth for the past four quarters in a row while Google’s open OS, Android, is taking the Smartphone market by storm. Don’t feel too bad for Apple though. Despite having just a 4% market share of the Smartphone market the company still enjoys 50% of the profits, according to Asymco.Key takeaway – If you are building mobile applications or software, don’t focus solely on the iPhone. While it still may be the most popular device for downloading applications, the sheer number of devices launching with the Android OS and the number of developers working with it make it an equally important priority for mobile strategies in 2011. Also, this stat reinforces an important trend from history: over the long haul, open systems typically prevail over closed ones. In 2010, Bluestreak signed contracts with two Tier One Operators, in Europe and in the US, for multiscreen TV solutions, and it is clear that the Android OS is at the top of the list for operators when it comes to wireless advanced services.
- 500,000,000+ – That is the number of active users on Facebook as of today, according to the company. Facebook now ranks as the #1 visited site on the Internet with 75% of Americans, and 66% of the global internet population visiting the site almost daily, according to a Nielsen report. The report goes on to state that Facebook is currently growing at 3x the rate of the overall Internet with people spending an average of 7 hours a month on the service.Key takeaway – Facebook’s growth numbers are like nothing we have ever seen before in the history of the Internet. If you aren’t incorporating social media, and in particular, Facebook, into your technology strategy in 2011 than you are missing a chance at interacting with the single largest online community ever assembled. Cable operators, mobile developers, ecommerce sites – every technology company needs to take a moment to determine if their business strategies can benefit from the networking capabilities Facebook offers them in 2011. At Bluestreak Technology, we architected our MachBlue XT platform to provide an HTML5-compliant runtime engine that enables the seamless integration of social media sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, into the user experiences companies create with our products.
- 35 – hours of content added every minute to YouTube. This signals not only impressive growth for YouTube as a company but also mass market adoption for online video, in general. The ease of uploading video to streaming media sites is offering consumers ways to share information and is clearly set to take off rapidly in 2011.Key takeaway - For TV companies, the growth in video streaming means that it is important to architect new ways to incorporate more personalized media center options into the TV viewing experience. Bluestreak Technology customers, like Bouygues Telecom, are already deploying innovative connected TV solutions that unite Internet content, personalized media centers and unique user interfaces into a single solution for consumers. For emerging companies it means that in 2011 video should be an integral part of your technology and marketing strategy over the next year.
HTML5, over-the-top (OTT) video, Android and iPhone, Facebook and social media, and video streaming – those are our hot topics for 2011 based on the numbers we saw this year. Think we missed a bigger more important stat? We’d love to hear it