Is Streaming the (Already Present) Future?

The year 2018 is near and streaming services are everywhere. You can stream music, TV shows and movies with any subscription-based service of choice. This is already seen as being revolutionary. But is it?

The internet has been found as a couple computers connecting each other to exchange data. And in history this has led people to invent technologies to exchange data without completely eating up enormous amounts of bandwidth. Bandwidth is like a road. The more and bigger cars drive down a road, the less additional traffic is possible. Because of this, video/picture codecs, cache-technologies and things like BitTorrent were invented.

Hard cut: We’re in 2017 and big companies like Netflix, Amazon, Spotify and co. distribute services that eat up huge chunks of bandwidth. The internet roads are eaten up and the worst part about it is the following: Everytime you watch a movie/listen to a song it is downloaded again. Thus, it eats up bandwidth again. Especially with things like BitTorrent already existing, this is odd.

torrentcomp_small

BitTorrent enables people to share files within a BitTorrent network. Files do not have to be downloaded again and again from the same server, but can be directed from other computers within the network. You don’t have to “drive” all the way to the big company server to access a picture if your neighbor has one. This type of protocol should be standard for Streaming. Why that is?

Just imagine streaming services keeping on sky-rocketing like this. The end result will be even more people using up bandwidth for streaming services. Every song listened to, every TV show episode watched will be downloaded over and over again, slowing down the general speed of everyday purpose browsing significantly. And why don’t companies do anything against this? Because of copyright for the most part.

Big entertainment companies like music labels or film studios are concerned with their content being shared without their consent. While I do understand that appropriate funding is mandatory, technology like DRM – used by every major streaming service – do not stop piracy at all. If people want to, they can download almost anything. So why still implementing it? In order to control the consument who is actually paying for the content and restricting his ability to enjoy the already paid content. This is why streaming services will (probably) never use BitTorrent like protocols or rely on caching. This is why you will have to stream the content over and over again.

If companies don’t start adapting functions to their service like Spotify’s Downloading option, the internet is going to be a lot more expensive for the end user while traditional media sources already die out.

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