Music and video streaming services have expanded considerably in the last few years, partly due to innovative developments in the smart living sector. With immediate access and the option to choose freemium subscriptions (free of charge but with limited functionalities), these services should always be used via WiFi connection to avoid consuming all available data in a matter of days.
Bearing in mind that a WiFi network is not always available, it is useful to know the difference in data consumption between video and music content. Reproduction of the latter can require even less than one MB of traffic. For content of the same duration, videos undoubtedly consume more. In both cases, high definition reproduction implies a higher level of data consumption.
A Few Numbers
In the specific case of music streaming, levels of reproduction quality range from ‘low’ to ‘automatic’. In the former category, the speed is approximately 24 kbit/s, which implies a resulting data consumption of one tenth MB per hour.
If we look at the next level and consider normal reproduction quality, a speed of 96 kbit/s is reached, with data consumption of around 45 MB per hour. High quality consumes an average of 70 MB per hour. With the automatic modality on the other hand, the parameters vary according to the individual connection.
These numbers can change according to the company supplying the streaming service. In the case of music, there are some platforms which consume more than others, as much as almost 100 MB per hour of listening.
Companies operating in this sector provide alternatives in order to reduce data, such as the option to deactivate the high definition reproduction facility. It is also possible to register for a Premium subscription, which allows music and podcasts to be downloaded and used offline.
How much do video platforms consume?
In the case of video streaming, by taking the average numbers from the main providers, we can work out a mean hourly consumption for low quality reproduction of content slightly in excess of 200 MB. This is a rough estimate, as the situation varies from one provider to another.
Some providers can guarantee a consumption of between 0-3 and 0-7 GB for low quality reproduction, while others provide a data saving modality to reduce data consumption to around 0.15 GB of traffic (both per hour). By choosing a higher quality (Ultra HD), it is possible to reach over 7 GB per hour of data consumption on each device. Also in the case of video streaming, the automatic mode can be used, where the system chooses the most suitable quality according to the connection.
From this information it is clear that video streaming consumes a lot more than musical content. The standards of data compression are also very different. To avoid problems, it is advisable not only to access the content via a wireless network, but also to study the various available options regarding reproduction quality with care.
Companies providing these services are generally very open about what they offer and their official support pages are an efficient source of information. Specific details in terms of GB can also be found there, thereby facilitating the final decision greatly.
Another useful tip is that it is a good idea to deactivate music reproduction when the smartphone is not connected to a WiFi network. It should also be remembered that some providers are prepared to help users of video streaming by deactivating HD reproduction should a connection with data traffic be made.
Translated by Joanne Beckwith