What is next in OTT


Mary Kay Evans TV-Bay Magazine
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In the past year alone, we’ve seen a substantial increase in the amount of OTT content that’s being streamed. In the first quarter of 2018, there’s been a 114 percent year-over-year growth in streaming video hours, and those numbers are only expected to rise. With OTT revenue predicted to reach $16.6B in 2018, a 40% gain over last year, there’s no question that OTT is booming, and that there’s never been a more critical time to pay attention to the space.

But what will be the driving factors for all of this OTT growth?

There are three catalysts emerging in the next year that will play significant roles in OTT’s unprecedented growth: a thriving interest in live event streaming, cloud-based innovation for content monitoring to ensure higher quality streams and fine-tuning personalized viewing experiences for higher engagement.

Live event streaming, especially of sports, will continue to grow at an exponential rate.
Viewers aren’t only sitting in front of their traditional television sets to tune into a live awards show or a big playoff game; now more than ever, they’re plugging into live events through their mobile phones and smart TVs, as well as other connected devices.

With Cisco predicting that live video will grow 15-fold by 2021, broadcasters and content producers must deliver high-quality streams — whether it’s VOD, linear and especially when it’s live. However, managing live event streams still poses many challenges: scaling to manage concurrent viewers, the inherent unpredictable nature of live events and technical complexities like blackouts and unexpected traffic spikes. This is where depending on a service provider partner can be valuable, enabling teams to quickly ramp up during live event streaming, by providing additional support. At Verizon Digital Media Services, we offer our Live Event Operations managed service, which has a staffing component, offering our team’s expertise in areas like broadcast engineering, non-linear editing, transmission engineering and Linux administration. Live content providers can ramp up resources quickly and extend operations staff with minimal fixed costs.

As the OTT industry matures, innovation like complete end-to-end visibility in the cloud will drive it forward.
Mobile devices have come a long way from simply making phone calls; we can now watch the latest television shows and movies on our smartphones.

Similarly, the OTT industry has matured significantly within the past decade, with trailblazing advancements including the introduction of Smart TVs to the emergence of prominent streaming players like Hulu. But while major milestones may have started to slow down, that doesn’t mean that there’s not an opportunity to focus on continued innovation.

For example, there’s an opportunity for the same end-to-end visibility that broadcasters have for broadcast feeds through traditional monitoring hardware systems to be available, all within the cloud. That means OTT content providers can monitor a stream, from origination to the edge, in real-time, no matter the location of the end user, helping to provide quality of experience.

Personalization will still be the key to attracting customers and advertisers alike.
While terrestrial TV advertising revenue is expected to grow to $128.1 billion by 2021, broadcasters still have a ripe opportunity to diversify monetization efforts within the OTT space. Multiple studies have shown that viewers are open to ads when watching OTT content, so long as the ads are relatable and seamlessly stitched with the content. With emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, we’ll be able to create more integrated, intuitive ad formats for OTT that will lead to producing more relevant ad and content experiences.

With these three factors contributing to the rise of OTT, it’s imperative to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies that we’ll see emerge in the near future, to ensure you reach a customer base that’s tuned in to more than just the television set.


Tags: iss133 | ott | verizon | cisco | Mary Kay Evans
Contributing Author Mary Kay Evans

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