2018 is off to a fast start, with the hol- iday festivities tucked away in
memory, and well-meaning New Year’s resolutions still wriggling around in the back of our
minds, demanding attention.
In the streaming world, the pace picks up in
the first week of the new year. In Las Vegas, the
2018 Consumer Electronics Show, held annually
in mid-January, yet again introduced the world
to a number of new and improved consumer devices, many of which will rely on streaming to
create their unique selling propositions.
This month’s issue of Streaming Media magazine, the last one before our historic 20th-
anniversary issue, has a feature that I’m proud
to have written, on a topic that I haven’t touched
in the nearly 2 decades of being around the
I’ve often heard the hype that streaming
will change the world. Here recently, though,
it’s been a refrain that’s delivered in a bit more
temperate manner, but also more grounded
For those of us who have been around for the
entirety of the streaming revolution, it’s no surprise that streaming has infiltrated work and
home life in a thousand different ways, making
itself both indispensable for daily work and a
catalyst for innovation on multiple fronts.
Yet what’s even more interesting is how it
has impacted non-digital media industries. As
a result, I’ll be using several writing slots in 2018
to explore industries where streaming really is
making significant changes.
No one industry is more impacted, on multiple levels, by audio and video streaming than
agricultural. Agribusiness has seen many innovations over the years, but the ability to couple
sensor-equipped drones with live-streaming
video allows farm hands, ranchers, and farmers to have an extra set (or dozens of sets) of
eyes in the air across wide swaths of land. From
detecting predators to counting sheep to 3D
mapping, video-equipped drones are forever
changing the landscape of farming.
But that’s not the only industry that’s been
impacted. Later this year, we will explore use
cases in manufacturing, mining, and music collaboration (multisite music creation as well as
live distribution of multisite collaborations) as
yet another way to celebrate the innovation that
closely accompanies streaming. Manufacturing
and mining are highly analog in their output of
real-world “stuff” but they are undergirded by
digital workflows to enhance and automate that
Other topics of interest this year include
the ongoing innovation in the AV1 codec and
how that relates to High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC or H.265), as well as topics around
audio, video formats, and the ongoing consolidation of the media industry.
That last topic, though, needs to be viewed
through the lens of a global media industry.
The overall media opportunity is also expanding, despite the over-the-top (OTT) growing
pains of the contracting traditional media-industry giants.
In 2018, I expect there will be greater expansion of the global viewing market for OTT,
fueled not just by a growing cord-cutting populace in the United States but also by rapid
growth in key markets that have never had
cable television beyond a few major cities.
Finally, I look forward to doing at least one,
and hopefully several, human-interest stories
around the real-life impact of streaming media at a human level. Too often, we look for
trends without spending time looking at the
simple pleasures that streaming brings. The
start of the year is a great time to contemplate
exploring those small miracles. Maybe that’s
a New Year’s resolution of sorts that we can
all get behind!
New Thoughts in a New Year
Tim Siglin is a streaming industry veteran and longtime
contributing editor to Streaming Media magazine.
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