Skip to content
Demand for Real-Time, Interactive Digital Video & Audio Has Exploded in 2021 featured

STUDY: Demand for Real-Time, Interactive Digital Video & Audio Has Exploded in 2021

By Author: Team Agora In Press Releases

New analysis is from Agora, who powers 50 billion minutes of video and audio engagements each month for the world’s top apps 

SANTA CLARA, CA, (August 31) – Agora, Inc. (NASDAQ: API), a pioneer and leading platform for real-time engagement APIs, today announced the results of a new study examining the growth of real-time engagement (RTE) technology—interactive, two-way digital video and audio—amid a tumultuous past year.

People increasingly want interactive real-time video or audio features in the apps they use. For example, students in an education app want to see and speak with classmates in a more natural, interactive way; users in a dating app want to not only see potential partners but connect in a multi-dimensional manner; and buyers in a shopping app want to talk to sellers. However, for many developers, interactive real-time video and audio functionality are too difficult and expensive to build.

Enter Agora whose platform allows developers to easily embed powerful real-time engagement experiences video and audio into their apps and services. Globally, Agora helps the world’s leading developers power 50 billion minutes of video and audio engagements each month, giving them an unparalleled view on how end user demand is shifting year-over-year.

For its analysis, Agora examined changes in real-time, interactive video and audio usage over the last four years, totaling more than 191.9 trillion minutes of video and over 1.11 trillion minutes of audio.

Key findings include:

Overall Growth Surged in 2020 

Between 2018 and 2019, RTE video (+75%) and audio (+67%) grew significantly. In 2020, however, in conjunction with COVID-19, growth exploded, with RTE video rising 110% while audio climbed 143%. In total, Agora powered nearly 82 billion minutes of RTE video and nearly 449 billion minutes of RTE audio in 2020.

“Today, it has become more important than ever for people to make meaningful connections with one another,” said Tony Zhao, founder and CEO at Agora. “As a result, adoption of real-time engagement technologies is growing at a rapid pace.”

 2021 RTE Usage Will Exceed 2020 

 RTE video and audio usage is expected to outpace 2020’s totals. In 2021 to date, RTE video usage sits at over 49 billion minutes — 60% of last year’s total — while RTE audio is nearing 367 billion minutes — 82% of last year’s total. This is with 4.5 months left on the calendar. 

“2021 will see even more RTE technology usage than 2020, which was already a record year,” added Zhao. “We are seeing a paradigm shift in the types of functionalities and features end users expect from their apps. Developers must adapt to deliver on desired RTE experiences.”

Top Growth Categories  

In 2020, several app categories saw especially impressive RTE video and audio usage growth. In video, customer service (+2,689%), HR (+4,120%) and health (+956%) were the top-three growth verticals, while audio saw HR (+1,404%), media and broadcast (+552%) and education (+467%) lead the pack.

In 2021, several categories have already exceeded the total minutes of usage seen in 2020. In RTE video, those categories include ecommerce (126% of 2020’s total), HR (141% of 2020’s total) and customer service (126% of 2020’s total). In RTE audio, the standouts are customer service (272% of 2020), finance (136% of 2020) and health (132% of 2020).

 “RTE video and audio has been essential for HR, customer service, education, health, and others amid the pandemic,” said Zhao. “These technologies are at the center of digital transformation and will continue to be cornerstones both now and in the future.”  

Agora will explore these trends in RTE at its flagship RTE2021 conference, which is set for Wednesday, September 1st and Thursday, September 2nd. The event—free and held virtually—will bring together leading global voices to discuss innovations in video, voice and streaming during a time where it is more important than ever. RTE2021 is the world’s largest event exploring real-time engagement (RTE) technologies.

For more information about RTE2021, and to register, visit here.

 About Agora

Agora is the leading Real-time Engagement Platform as a Service (RTE PaaS) company. Agora’s mission is to make real-time engagement ubiquitous, allowing everyone to interact with anyone, in any application, anytime and anywhere. Agora’s platform provides developers with simple, flexible and powerful application programming interfaces, or APIs, to embed real-time video and voice engagement experiences into their applications.