The “pivot to video” trend has been in full swing for quite some time. Last year, global consumers watched an average of 84 minutes of online video per day, and this upward trajectory shows no signs of slowing. Amid the global pandemic, Verizon has reported that global video streaming is up by 12 percent and other sources indicate that total video streaming minutes in Southeast Asia have seen an almost 60% increase. COVID-19 has certainly led to higher engagement and better subscriber growth for streaming services around the world, speeding up the permanent shift from linear to digital platforms.
Here are five ways that video consumption is changing:
1. Video is no longer just about entertainment.
Video is being consumed across every aspect of people’s lives. With recent year’s shift from TV to smaller screens, behavioral change was already underway but the current pandemic has certainly influenced and accelerated the move. It is interesting to see how Smart TV consumption has shown a significant rise during this period, mostly due to the lockdown restrictions that enabled easier access to devices at home. The types of video people engage with are also different as are their expectations on the user experience and content. From DIY to exercise, work and politics, video is being used to enhance and support everyday lives in a variety of ways.
2. OTT delivers opportunities, but competition is high.
The OTT industry is crowded with a large number of service providers streaming endless amounts of content to a hungry consumer community. Video consumption via OTT services is on the rise and many consumers are happy to subscribe to multiple services to access the content they want. OTT represents an opportunity to get your content to viewers in a controlled environment where you can ensure that you are always delivering the right experience to keep subscribers engaged by listening to their first-hand feedback and learning from them without a heavy upfront investment on infrastructure. However, competition is fierce and providers ought to make sure that their services offer a remarkable user experience, world-class content catalog, wealth of differentiated features (or ideally, all of the above) in order to remain relevant.
3. New ways to interact with content are emerging fast.
The way in which consumers interact with OTT services is changing fast. One of the biggest shifts is in search. We are beginning to see a move towards a future where voice is the primary interface. If content cannot be accessed quickly, consumers quickly lose patience and voice is key to resolving that, but only if it is thoroughly researched and implemented intelligently.
In a recent article for Videonet, our Director of Innovation, Niklas Björkén, discussed how 5G will likely open up a wealth of interactive opportunities for broadcasters, thanks to the increased bandwidth. We will likely see more broadcasters experimenting with technologies and features like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and holographic video. This will have a significant impact on the way people interact with video content and also on the expectations they form on video service providers.
4. Consumers want control over what they watch.
In a world where subscriber retention is vastly important, it is key to ensure that consumers can easily access the content they want. Savvy OTT providers are beginning to explore the potential of AI and ML technology, which are becoming more available through SaaS platforms, in creating a more personalized content offering and user experience.
In a previous blog post citing his predictions for 2020, our CEO, Michael Lantz, discussed how TV operators will increasingly become aggregators of content. This will make it easier for consumers to access the content they want, regardless of the OTT service delivering it in the first place.
5. User experience is king.
Content has been king for many years now, and it will continue to be, but more companies are realizing they need to start differentiating their services further through advanced user experience. It doesn’t matter how great your content catalog is; if a viewer cannot easily and quickly access the content they want, they are likely to move on to another service. User behavior and preferences often differ from between consumers so sometimes it is worth considering a different UX for different parts of your audience to truly unlock the benefits of OTT to create an enriching and refreshing video experience from the traditional TV experience.
One thing is clear: the media landscape is more complex than ever before. That is the reason for the launch of the next generation Accedo One platform. Whatever your vertical and business model, OTT services are a great way to control your video and really understand your audience. This is where Accedo can help you navigate the OTT ecosystem, choosing the right tools to create and deliver video to an audience who will want to remain loyal to your service.