Video streaming is a continuous transmission of video files from a server to a client. Video streaming enables users to view videos online without having to download them.
Streamed video content can include movies, TV shows, YouTube videos and livestreamed content. Services such as Netflix and Hulu have had great success in streaming videos to subscribers.
Benefits of video streaming
Video streaming offers the following advantages.
- Downloading vs. streaming. Users can view videos without having to download them.
- High playback resolutions. Some services support up to 4K, which is a higher quality than the standard for over-the-air TV resolution.
- Price. Some video streaming services such as YouTube and Twitch can be used for free, while other streaming services rely on subscription models that may cost less than the average cable subscription.
- Platform choice. Users can choose from a number of platforms to stream videos. TV and movie streaming services typically try to compete with one another by making exclusive content. Users can view livestreamed content as it happens, while they can view on-demand content, which is prerecorded media, whenever they want.
- Content variation. Since the concept of video streaming is so broad, individuals can stream TV shows, movies, user-generated content from websites like YouTube, or livestream content online.