Video streaming has become a part of everyday life. In fact, today’s youth cannot imagine a world where online streaming does not exist. But how exactly did we get here? What are the major milestones that marked the development of streaming technology from its infancy to its current dominant position in providing entertainment the world over? This article will cover three main milestones in the history of online streaming.

1995: The Development of RealPlayer

A game between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners in 1995 is believed to be the first live-streamed event. The commentary was streamed online at a time when the internet was still in its infancy. The team behind this stream went on to develop RealPlayer, the first software package that brought streaming to the masses. While technological constraints at this time meant that only audio could be streamed, this set the platform from which video streaming would emerge.

2005: YouTube is Launched

YouTube’s launch in 2005 changed the internet forever. Not only did it create a platform from which people could stream video, but it also opened it up to the general public. Anybody with a video camera and an internet connection could broadcast their content to a global audience. While YouTube didn’t invent video streaming, it made it mainstream. This led to hardware and software developers prioritising video streaming which further developed the nascent technology.

2010: The Proliferation of Subscription Video Streaming Services

While Netflix launched its video streaming service in 2007, it was after 2010 when online streaming services were truly adopted as a mainstream channel to consume entertainment. Faster internet speeds and technological advancements in the development of mobile devices meant that people could stream video while on the go. Nowadays, the options are virtually endless when it comes to online streaming services. Popular online streaming services include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon’s Prime Video, HBO Go and Disney Plus.