OTT: Video, video everywhere, and nary a thing to watch

According to Ooyala's "State of the Broadcast Industry 2018" report, the over-the-top (OTT) video world may offer too many choices to be ...

Ooyala: Video hinges on personalization, mobility
Ooyala: Video hinges on personalization, mobility

According to Ooyala's "State of the Broadcast Industry 2018" report, the over-the-top (OTT) video world may offer too many choices to be managed easily.

The report - which draws on Ooyala's own data and analysis as well as research conducted by other organizations - indicates that viewers are embracing content anywhere, on any device. However, it also indicates that Millennials, arguably the key demographic for streaming services, already are overwhelmed with the plethora of options - estimated by Parks Associates to include more than 200 OTT services in North America alone. Some 49% of viewers saying there are now too many TV programs from which to choose, according to Hub Entertainment.

And yet amid all this abundance, Millennials also indicate they are not completely satisfied with their current OTT services, per Morning Consult. Consumer frustration is expected to drive improvements in the OTT experience: streamlined authentication, better content curation, personalization and easier search and discovery, Ooyala predicts.

At the same time, mobile viewing is expected to continue to grow. Surveys predict that mobile video viewing will account for 75% of mobile data traffic by 2022, per Ericsson.

"TV viewing is continuing to go to a much more personalized, one-to-one experience," said Belsasar Lepe, co-founder and SVP of Products and Solutions at Ooyala. "Where previously you might have sat with your family and consumed your favorite show together, it's going to be online and much more personalized with additional features such as virtual and augmented reality."

The Ooyala report identifies several areas of focus by content distributors as they seek to attract and maintain share of view. These include:

  • Format experimentation - Content delivery services are experimenting with formats, such as vertical video or mobile-specific content series, to optimize the TV anywhere viewing experience.
  • Social media - Major social-media platforms, including Facebook (with an estimated $1 billion content spend next year), Twitter and Snapchat - all grasping the growing role of video online - are jumping into the streaming pool with big investments in long- and short-form video.
  • Bundling - Skinny bundles are gaining traction, and distributors are expected to end the year with more than 3 million U.S. consumers subscribing to mini-bundles, per comScore. More bundling experiments are expected in 2018.
  • IP technology - Traditional TV companies - broadcasters and cable programmers alike - are going all-in on IP technology, focusing on the related metadata, which providers believe will drive critical advances in every area of video delivery. The next-generation broadcast TV standard, ATSC 3.0, is an example. This embrace of data is expected to be crucial to TV industry success during the next five years.
  • Original content - Though some viewers are saying "too much content," creators are attracting viewers with a combination of originals and exclusives, the budgets for which are expected to grow. Consequently, distributors are expected to have less patience for the time it has traditionally taken to build audiences, and they may be quick to cancel shows. Content creators are also expected to pursue new revenue streams (subscription plus advertising, more merchandising of shows, etc.).
More in OTT