We’re almost to the finish line of 2016, which, of course, raises questions about 2017. What will it bring? What kind of ups and downs will it have in store for us — not just Zype as a business, but but for you r video business, and consumers as well?
Taking a look at trends and trajectories, we can make some relatively safe predictions about OTT in 2017. In fact, we already made one when we talked about Netflix and opportunities for niche OTT operators.
But it doesn’t stop there for OTT.
Changes For The Big And Small
There seems to be a recent trend where OTT VOD providers, big and small, have been trying to be like each other; small VOD providers want the slick UI and breadth of offerings that larger companies have, but large VOD providers want the close connection the small providers have with their customers, because regions have different likes and dislikes and there’s no one large blanket of content that will work, well, everywhere.
Here’s what Tom Williams , co-founder and CEO of Ostmodern had to say :
“Over the past years many local VOD providers have tried to change to be more like the big global companies (mostly by copying their UIs) and inevitably falling short. Those that have been successful have used the advantage of knowing their audiences’ viewing behaviours more intimately than a global provider ever will, or could. On the other hand, the big globals have increasingly realised that they need to be more local because of the varying tastes of audiences across different regions.”
At Zype, we’re really into our customers having a direct connection to their audiences. Data and feedback are pretty invaluable to scaling your video business. That’s why we have easy-to-read deep analytics at your fingertips — and access to multiple ways to monetize (AVOD, SVOD, TVOD, and hybrid) so you can use that connection with your audience to find the best way to make money.
While we're on the topic, we also bet we'll be seeing a continued and accelerated adoption of monetization beyond AVOD (e.g., more independent/individual broadcasters and publishers self-monetizing through SVOD and TVOD).
Quality Over Quantity
It seems like for the longest time that the wide scope of content you could amass automatically made you the best option. We believe that having a good amount of content — to avoid your audience quickly exhausting all the content you have — will always be a necessity, but we also feel like curation is going to become paramount. Zype's video platform has some impressive ways of helping you curate your content into manageable libraries and playlists (at Zype, you can even monetize those playlists) that promote discoverability. You'll be seeing your video business competitors step up their game in coming up with smart ways to help users navigate bigger collections of content, so it's time to start really thinking about curation and how it can help you.
And, we really do believe that the age of the niche OTT operator is on the horizon. Video businesses that know exactly what they’re offering and what specific audience they’re offering it to will be popping up — and within businesses like that, curating that niche content becomes even more important for the discovery of new titles that live in a sea of similarities (like an all-noir channel, for instance).
Sports Go OTT
This past year we saw the NFL broadcast live football games on Twitter. How crazy is that? Not so crazy if you think about it, but in the context of each leap in how sports are devoured, it’s pretty cool — in person, radio, TV, online/mobile.
We’re going to see even more of this too, because younger people are watching less and less when it comes to live sports, and it's smart for sports to look online for redemption. For younger people, the idea of sitting down in front of their TV for a live game might not align with how they get the rest of their content: on the go and online. This is why we’re seeing creative solutions like NFL streams on Twitter, working out relatively well for everyone .
The real question is, though: will going OTT revive watching sports, or is it something new generations are growing out of naturally, in general ? Sports will have to figure out how to deal with that, and maybe something more drastic than full live games online will have to be implemented, like short-form VOD content and replays for filling the gaps.
OTT is growing. According to Pivotal Research, viewership grew 62% over the past year and accounts for 8.1% of all US ages 18-49.
62% is wonderful, and a large enough leap that another leap can probably counted on for 2017 as well. With more and more OTT cable solutions popping up (like Hulu’s addition, due in 2017), it’s a safe bet that more and more people might at least try cutting the cord to traditional cable and opting for an internet-based service. Already on the map are Sling, Playstation Vue, and DirecTV Now.
This doesn't even start to take into account how many OTT VOD subscribers there are for services like Netflix, which continues to grow and supplement entertainment for those with or without cable subscriptions. If you've been wondering how to actually cut the cord, the NY Times has a great guide on how to get started. Last quarter alone, cable lost 298,000 subscribers. That many people can't all be wrong.
After Going Live
Saying “Live VOD” might be an oxymoron, so let us put it another way: we're going to be seeing more and more live video that immediately becomes a VOD offering right after the stream ends. We’re talking access to the entire library of once-live shows that will grow as each episode signs off. Zype LIVE already handles this with ease, turning your live stream into VOD automatically if you so choose, with the embedded live player seamlessly becoming the code for the new VOD file for playing. No need to swap it out.
Look, the global market forecast for OTT VOD revenue is set to balloon to $65 billion by 2021. You can bet a chunk of that will be VOD from live streaming.
2017 Is Going To Be Impressive
2017 is on trend to be the biggest year ever for VOD, OTT and Beyond. Without sounding like too much like soothsayers, we expect to see changes from larger providers (like Netflix) and smaller, more local and niche-operators, as they try and become more like each other in terms of UI and discovery. We're going to see more video businesses choose monetization outside of AVOD, too.
We’re going to see changes to how people offer and devour live sporting events, beyond the NFL having games on Twitter. With a whole younger generation watching fewer sports than ever, sports will have to make some drastic moves to stay relevant, money-making machines.
All of this is underlined by the fact that cord cutting is growing, and people are now able to access programming easier, and cheaper, online than ever before — including access to live local programming. And speaking of live programming, we’re going to be seeing more and more live content go OTT.... and be served up for VOD offering soon after airing.
Are you looking forward to 2017? What do you think the future hold for VOD and OTT?
If you're looking to start 2017 off right, why not go all-out and request a Zype Demo? You can do that right here.