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Will Streaming on Laptop/Computer become obsolete?

Rakesh Ranjan Published on : 21 October 2019


Day-by-Day, the streaming behavior of audiences is changing.

Back in the mid-2000s, when internet was only accessible through computer systems, users were very much dependent on desktop & laptop for streaming their favorite movies & music online. However, today the scenario is completely different.

Since digital technology is evolving with time, a majority of audiences have discontinued using their traditional computing tools and are now preferring advanced internet devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and smart TVs to enjoy high-quality video and audio experiences seamlessly.

Well, forget about other users! Even you must have also reduced using your laptop or computer, when it comes to streaming films, TV series, or songs in your free time. Don’t you?

In my case, this is very true. I don’t even remember, when was the last time, I used my laptop for browsing Netflix and Prime Video. It’s like, I have always preferred streaming video/audio on my mobile phone through dedicated applications. Whether it’s about listening to my all-time favorite songs of Taylor Swift or watching a new web series on weekends, I always find it comfortable and convenient to use my smartphone and sometimes my smart TV, when I am at home.


Facts & Figures – Streaming habits of users in 2019

  • Online streaming on computers shrinks to 48.7% in 2019.
  • More than 76% of global internet users use smartphones to stream online video and audio.
  • 78% of smartphone users stream via dedicated applications like Spotify, Netflix, and YouTube.
  • An average US adult spends almost 6-8 hours a week to stream his/her favorite content on mobile devices.
  • 45% of internet users in the US also watch online video/audio on their smart TVs.
  • Popular video streaming applications such as YouTube, Prime Video, Spotify, Hulu, and Netflix are responsible for 69% of total internet viewership.
  • Streaming traffic on mobile and tablet has overtaken desktop traffic by 62% worldwide.

Now from the above statistics, you must have got an idea of how the streaming behavior of audiences has shifted from computers to smart devices in the past years. But what do you think, triggered this shift in the streaming habits of audiences? Is it all about the convenience and comfort of viewers or there are some other factors?

Well, for a better understanding, let’s dig out the primary reasons that led to the video/audio consumption on smart devices instead of computers.


Factors contributing to the rise of smartphone/smart TV streaming

  • Optimized Content Delivery – A few years ago, streaming on mobile phones was not flexible. Since the content was delivered in web format only, it was not convenient for users to access them on phones. However, today every broadcaster or programmer is delivering on-demand, live and linear content optimized for smartphones as well as smart TVs.
  • Improved Mobile Internet Connection – Mobile data connections have become cheaper and faster over the past years. Even, some mobile data carriers also offer unlimited data plans so that users can stream countless videos and audios without the fear of hefty overage charges. With such comfortable internet facilities on mobile devices, who cares to stream on computers.
  • On-the-Go high-definition streaming – The flexibility of using smartphones & tablets anywhere and everywhere, has made the audience to fall in love with the on-the-go streaming habit. Since it’s not possible to use laptop for streaming videos/audios in every corner, users had no other option.

The bottom line is, video/audio streaming on today’s smart devices has improved so much that, consumers no longer need those computers, especially for streaming purpose. With new technology & innovations, they can now stream any content, at any place and any time they want, with a comfortable user experience.


Final Thoughts:

No doubt, with the introduction of smart internet devices, audiences have now a variety of alternatives to stream online content. But this doesn’t mean desktops or laptops will become defunct anytime soon. Well, there are a number of tasks in which computers have been always good and are still very good at. Records management, video editing, 3D modeling, and software development are mostly done on PCs and laptops.

 However, it’s also true that, with the developments in OTT sector, streaming on computers and laptops will become very rare. A majority of the online audience will simply prefer streaming on mobile & TV applications on their preferred smart devices, as per their convenience & comfort.

 Hope you agree with my opinion. If not, let me know your thoughts.


Expert Tip if you are a content creator: – Don’t just build a streaming website and wait for subscribers. Try out with multiple mobile & TV platforms to stand out from the fierce streaming competition.

[This Blog was first published on LinkedIn Pulse]

Written by: Rakesh Ranjan

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