Is online entertainment an interim solution or a new global trend?

A statistical survey by G-Core Labs

G-Core Labs, an international provider of cloud and edge solutions, observed in springtime an IT infrastructure load burst for web entertainment and media. Mass self-isolation and quarantine measures unsurprisingly changed user behavior and caused an increase in web data. The question remains though: what will happen when the restrictions are lifted? Will traffic consumption return to previous levels or will the pandemic cause an additional large boost to the digitalization of leisure activities?

G-Core Labs has its own cloud infrastructure spanning 5 continents. Thousands of clients worldwide use G-Core Labs services. Such coverage allows G-Core Labs to both see the global picture and analyze data by region and country. Unlike previous years when we usually see a decrease in web activity at the end of winter, the situation this year was reversed. The highest traffic increase for April was observed in North America and Europe where total traffic consumption grew by 33 % and 18 %, respectively, during the pandemic. In Latin America, the network load increased by 12 % since the beginning of the year.

How to handle the increased load

To handle the increased load, the company bought up channels and redistributed traffic flows between its servers. Thanks to its own content delivery network G-Core Labs can direct traffic from the busiest locations to servers in the neighboring countries which have free capacity. For example, it will take only 10 to 30 minutes to lessen the load in any European capital even at traffic bursts.

At peak times the load is handled using our DNS service with geo-balancing allowing to direct the clients’ traffic from a particular continent/country/city to the desired location. And as the own global network is comprised of 100+ points of presence in reliable Tier IV and Tier III data centers in more than 65 cities, G-Core Labs could potentially provide almost limitless bandwidth.

What next?

Remarkably, the online entertainment sector showed the biggest growth. For example, in Europe, there was a traffic spike in both the game industry (+51 %) as well as streaming platforms and online movie theaters (+67 %). The situation is similar in North America where online game load and video traffic consumption increased by almost half (+47 % and +48 % respectively).

The traffic load burst caused by the pandemic became a real challenge for game companies and the media industry. Even though self-isolation is a temporary thing, we still see a clear trend towards the digitalization of entertainment. The longer people stay home, the stronger the habit to spend leisure time online. With the rise in access to the Internet all over the world and the willingness of online businesses to invest in additional capacity, the online entertainment industry will be able to meet even the highest user expectations for content delivery quality and speed. These are the things that greatly determine user satisfaction and the time users spend online.

Author:

Dmitry Samoshkin, Vice President of Products at G‑Core Labs

G-Core Labs S.A. 2A, Rue Albert Borschette, Luxembourg

More information at gcorelabs.com

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