Along with a proliferation of new devices and platforms on the web, we're seeing huge growth in audio, video and realtime communication. Online media is transforming the way we consume media of all kinds.
A UK government study found that 53% of adults 'media multi-task' while watching TV: using mobile devices to share and consume media. In many countries TV viewing is down and online viewing is up. In China, for example, in 2012 only 30% of households in Beijing watched TV, down from 70% in 2009. According to the W3C Highlights 2013, 'In the past year video-watching on mobile devices has doubled. This year in the US, the average time spent with digital media per day will surpass TV viewing. Viewing is no longer a passive act. In the US, 87% of entertainment consumers say they use at least one second-screen device while watching television.' According to Cisco 'video ... will be in the range of 80 to 90 percent of global consumer traffic by 2017'. That equates to nearly a million minutes of video every second.
So what do we have for web developers? An ecosystem of media APIs for the open Web: standardized, interoperable technologies that work across multiple platforms.
- WebRTC provides realtime communication in the browser, and is now widely supported on mobile and desktop. In total there are already over 1.2 billion WebRTC endpoints.
- Web Audio provides sophisticated tools for audio synthesis and processing.
- Web MIDI, integrated with Web Audio, allows interaction with MIDI devices.
- The audio and video elements are now supported on more than 85% of mobile and desktop browsers.
- Media Source Extensions can be used for adaptive streaming and time shifting.
- EME enables playback of protected content.
- Transcripts, captions and the track element enable subtitles, captions, timed metadata, deep linking and deep search.