The streaming market has matured, and now providers and broadcasters created an add-on service on the side of the core business of broadcast. In ten years, advertising is expected to integrate; Targeted advertising and data mining capabilities will become key for the industry.
Parks Associates’ Research Director, Steven Nason hosted “Streaming in the 2020s, An Industry Comes of Age,” co-hosted by Comcast, which featured representatives from media giants, such as Bart Spriester, GM and VP of Content and Streaming Provider Solutions at Comcast Technology Solutions, Jon Watts, Senior Advisor at MTM, and Tom Griffiths, Director of Technology at ITV. The webinar discussed current consumer and industry trends shaping the OTT marketplace. Speakers shared insights from industry leaders in the media and entertainment technology industry on their priorities to incorporate into their tech stack, priorities in technology and how to help clients come up with technology solutions for streaming, and expert analysis on key developments in the streaming market over the years and how evolved the market will become moving forward.
The research firm gathered the most common consumer trends in 2020 during the pandemic, which consisted of OTT subscribers rising by almost 20% between 2019 and this year, advertising rising by almost 10%, TV everywhere users slightly increasing, along with transactional videos. Overall OTT service subscriptions increased by more than 5%, and the number of households who have four or more services overall increased to almost one quarter. Subscription cancellations decreased by about 5% for OTT services, smart TVs were the most common form of streaming. The weekly average video consumption also increased.
The experts initiated their discussion by describing how different the market was 10 years ago. According to Spriester, the streaming market was “perfect” because the streaming investment infrastructure matched monetization models, which were inappropriate, and along with low investments. He also highlighted the evolution of WIFI and incremental improvements in the connection over the years. “WIFI is kind of like oxygen for streaming,” Spriester said. “If you don't have good wifi in your home, the biggest chunk of your pie there that connected tv probably doesn’t work.”
Griffith explains that the market has matured, along with its products. Ten years ago, the goal was to just make sure all components were going to people’s screen. Now, providers and broadcasters have an addon service built on the side of the core business of broadcast, and quality holds more value. “It’s now universally a much more reliable customer experience, a much more liable experience as a service provider to our customer," Griffith said. "That's not to say it doesn’t come with its challenges, but I think it's a fascinating proposition than it was 10 years ago.”
The speakers agreed on the importance of metadata and discovery to increase exposure in the current market, along with making unique selling points, and the usage of CDN, supply coding, etc. According to Watts, there’s no alliance for OTT platform services. OTT services were built on the side of parallel supply chains, workflows, and teams and have become part of the core strategy and are now equally as important as broadcast. Companies are now coping with different technology and the challenges of firm cultural mindsets. Watts continued by stating that between now and 2025, the industry should shift its focus to monetizing IP and the content’s delivery as opposed to just its monetization. Along with streaming technology reaching that of broadcasting, Spriester thinks advertising will become more integrated, and utilizing targeted advertising and data mining capabilities will be key for the industry. Live and on-demand will have to scale better by then, and the industry will potentially seek for ways to use AI.
Broadcasters will have to manage relationships with consumers and subscribers, which didn't previously occur. The quality of experience is likely to outstrip broadcast due to content delivery. Although the volume of content it can carry will continue to grow, the quality will exceed broadcast, allowing teams to focus on things that matter, such as backend capabilities and consumer experience. Watts explained that it is crucial to becoming more diverse during these unprecedented times, along with learning how to accommodate one’s platform, including trade-offs, paywalls, and more.