Streaming has transformed how we access entertainment. From movies and games to films and TV, a huge range of content is now available to stream. But what is streaming and how does it work?
Streaming is the process that transmits continuous media files from a client base to the consumer. It is what happens when we play music, game or video files. As the files are hosted by a company or on the cloud, we do not have to download anything.
The gaming industry has also seen the benefits of streaming technology. Gamers no longer need to have the top of the range hardware to play the latest games. This is true across all sorts of genres and titles.
Many players now livestream a variety of videogames such as Fortnite and FIFA where players can play in live multiplayer modes with players across the world.
Live gaming and casino online features have become a hugely popular part of the industry. Players taking part in an online poker tournament can stream the games live. Casino players wanting to play roulette can now also opt to play a live version with real-life dealers.
Torstar’s new gaming app is set to take full advantage of the partnership between streaming and gaming entertainment.
Music streaming platforms such as Spotify have had a profound effect on how we listen to music. For a subscription fee – or for free plus advertising – music streaming services offer up a huge catalogue of music.
The listener can select what they want to listen to whenever they want. The code information for the song exists on an external server as a raw file. It is then compressed and sent to a device, which will then decode the information and play it.
While many audio purists will decry the loss of sound quality that can occur in compressed files, consumers will often opt for more choice.
The recent revival of vinyl sales shows that physical audio can also be successful alongside the latest technology.
Streaming is also how many people access their favourite movies. Home cinema libraries are becoming ever more popular and are constantly expanding their collections.
Netflix is the best-known movie subscription service. The company currently has over 200 million paid subscribers worldwide. However, there are many other video streaming services attempting to break through the crowded marketplace.
New channels and features and a constant demand for exclusive titles is a familiar sign of a competitive industry.
Certain streaming services concentrate on a particular genre. Shudder for horror movies and MUBI for curated arthouse films are successful examples of this.
Despite some fears that the popularity of home streaming services is having a damaging effect on the film industry, many believe that it is complementary.
There is every reason to believe that the film world will continue to grow and expand. Streaming to home devices and communal cinema can both play a part in the future of the industry.
There are no signs of streaming activity slowing down any time soon. Indeed, the future of entertainment is right here, right now.