OTT: How & When, Not If

Industry analysts are getting a clearer picture of how the rise of OTT is going to transform viewership.  What is coming clear is that, soon, OTT will be what people mean when they say "television." 

First, Alan Breznick in Light Reading reads the tea leaves in a study based on interviews and seminars with industry leaders (Study Sees OTT Revenues Soaring) Today's $4 billion in OTT revenues will double by 2018, as new players and offerings expand and deepen the market reach. 

"Bundling premium content with existing membership subscriptions is just one of the opportunities that will help providers increase revenue and differentiate their product offerings, especially as OTT providers seek access to new customer bases and MVPDs [multichannel video programming distributors] look to court cord cutters and the cord shavers," said Bryta Schulz, SVP of marketing for Vindicia, one of the sponsors of the study.  Read More Here.

This extraordinary growth will come at the expense of other viewing according to research from Futuresource Consulting reported in Rapid TV News (OTT availability threatens free, live TV as consumers' favourite choice). While cable-cutters say they are dropping traditional cable subscriptions because of cost, another key factor is the availability of other sources for content. So they may actually not be spending less - just differently. This trend will likely accelerate as online and OnDemand services continue to mature.  According to David Sidebottom, principal entertainment analyst at Futuresource, "Google Chromecast in particular has stimulated growth across all markets covered, having a DMA ownership share of 30%. 62% of DMA users watch paid-for video on them (76% in the USA) and 80% use them at least once a week, a quarter every day." Read more of David's comments here.

Finally, another analysis based on UBS Investment Bank research predicts that original digital video content (ODV) will soon be king (ODV the New TV in Five years Say Marketers). And as the eyeballs move, so will the advertiser dollars. Findings include that "75% of advertisers were most likely to take dollars from TV to put toward ODV."  See the research here

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