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How much traffic does a live stream consume and do I really need to know that ?

Does it make sense for an online video provider to have a business plan based on data traffic?

Streaming video requires a significant amount of bandwidth, and the cost of delivering that bandwidth (sometimes called as Internet egress) can be high for the provider. An online video provider might rely on one or several external Content Delivery Networks (CDN); CDN have traffic-based pricing, a CDN Bandwidth Calculator might be necessary if you are directly publishing to a CDN. Some online video providers relying on external CDNs for their delivery also choose to charge their customers for TB usage as well as they can easily add their commission on apples-to-apples metrics

The consequence of billing based on data transfer rather than duration is that broadcasters may reduce the quality to incur lower costs. Another resulting issue is that viewers may express dissatisfaction with the video quality, as it does not match the standard of freely available public streaming.

Does it make sense for a content provider to be charged on data traffic for streaming?

A content provider may not be encouraged to use high bitrate when charged on data traffic for streaming, as it would increase costs and data usage for the provider and potentially for the users as well. High bitrate results in larger file sizes and thus more data usage. Therefore, in cases where the content provider is charged on data traffic, they may opt to use a lower bitrate in order to reduce costs and minimize data usage. However, it is important to consider that high bitrate also results in better video quality and may be preferred by users.
traffic bandwidth GB calculator streaming

Why do I need a bandwidth calculator?

While video content owners and producers generally focus on the duration and audience of their content, they may also need to consider data traffic usage when working with an online provider that charges for data traffic. In this case, it is important for them to use a bandwidth calculator to estimate costs and revenues, as this information is necessary for setting their own paywall pricing or advertisement costs in order to achieve a return on investment. However, this approach may not be ideal for accurately estimating costs and revenues.

What is the formula for determining the data traffic usage for a live stream at a specific bitrate?

To determine the data traffic usage for a live stream, you can use the following formula:

Data traffic usage = Bitrate × Time × Number of viewers

In this case, the bitrate is 7800 kbps, the time is 1 hour, and there are 1000 viewers. First, we'll convert the time to seconds:

1 hour = 60 minutes × 60 seconds = 3600 seconds

Now, plug these values into the formula:

Data traffic usage = 7800 kbps × 3600 seconds × 1000 viewers

Data traffic usage = 28,080,000,000 kilobits

To convert this to a more standard unit like terabytes (TB), we can use the following conversions:

1 byte = 8 bits
1 kilobyte (KB) = 1024 bytes
1 megabyte (MB) = 1024 kilobytes (KB)
1 gigabyte (GB) = 1024 megabytes (MB)
1 terabyte (TB) = 1024 gigabytes (GB)

Data traffic usage = 28,080,000,000 kilobits / 8 (bits per byte) = 3,510,000,000 kilobytes

Data traffic usage = 3,510,000,000 kilobytes / 1024 (KB per MB) = 3,427,734.375 megabytes

Data traffic usage = 3,427,734.375 megabytes / 1024 (MB per GB) ≈ 3,348.44 gigabytes

Data traffic usage = 3,348.44 gigabytes / 1024 (GB per TB) ≈ 3.27 terabytes

So, for a live stream at 7800 kbps with 1000 viewers during one hour, the data traffic usage would be approximately 3.27 terabytes.

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