In a recent IABM feature discussing key video trends in the APAC region, Accedo’s Director of Strategic Accounts for Asia, Abdul Haleem, shared his viewpoints on the fast-evolving APAC landscape, important market trends, and the overall impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It has been well documented how the global OTT industry has experienced significant growth over the past six months. Extensive lockdowns due to the coronavirus have further accelerated this shift. Haleem highlighted that Accedo is particularly well placed to offer insights into the effects seen in multiple territories as we have 16 offices in various locations across the globe. APAC is an extremely diverse region and Accedo’s partnerships at a local level enables our OTT team to respond to the varying needs of specific markets.
Haleem commented, “Accedo is a truly global organization, having worked with over 400 customers on deploying more than 1000 video apps worldwide. Over the years, we have formed open and unbiased partnerships with a wide range of expert video technology vendors, and this enables us to help our customers scale and customize their offerings as the market and their needs evolve”.
While Accedo continues to follow both WHO and local guidelines within the APAC region, it is safe to say that the video industry has been less affected by the pandemic than many other sectors. On the contrary, we’ve seen viewing figures skyrocket during periods of lockdowns and, as Haleem explains, “some even argue that this will accelerate the adoption of streaming, especially on big screen devices.”
Despite the increase in audience engagement, advertising revenues have continued to fall due to market fluctuations and territory lockdowns. This has led to concerns over monetization which Haleem identified as a key focus for APAC. As the subscription market within APAC becomes more saturated, many OTT providers are turning to advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) models. These are also an effective solution in territories where a large percentage of the population would be priced out of a monthly subscription.
In his conversation with IABM, Haleem mentions that “this increase in viewership is naturally good for the video services industry; however, times of chaos and unease can have significant and long-lasting effects on the entire streaming ecosystem”. He gives the example of AVOD models and how these might experience a decline in advertising revenue from badly affected sectors such as travel and hospitality.
Another sector which has been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic is sports broadcasting. As most events and tournaments have been canceled, sports entertainment has been thin on the ground across all territories for several months. With months of empty schedules and just a handful of events restarting, sports content providers have struggled to keep subscribers engaged. Churn is the obvious concern for many sports SVOD providers and some are planning long-term changes to their business models in order to future-proof their services. As Haleem comments: “a diversification with regards to content availability and the emergence of eGaming and eSports, will be occupying vendors’ minds in the future.”
As the transition to OTT advances, so does the market competition. Offering a high-quality user experience (UX) continues to be the priority for new OTT entrants and incumbents alike. One way to capture subscribers is with a cost-free trial, but in order to avoid viewers becoming frustrated and canceling new subscriptions it’s vital that the UX lives up to expectations.
In order to show the breadth of content at its best, services need data to drive personalization and recommendations. If your platform isn’t building a connection with users, potential long-term subscribers may well become more selective and shop around for services. Stay at home recommendations enforced by the pandemic could potentially have an adverse effect on loyalty over the coming months. As Haleem explains, “SVOD providers may be faced with increased competition as users have more time to explore and compare new services.”
This is a key area for investment for new OTT services in the APAC region. Great UX helps build a relationship with audiences and by extension captures their loyalty. Accedo focuses on the video experience as a whole and helps grow engagement for broadcasters, content owners, aggregators, pay-TV, and telcos. If you’d like to explore the options around tailoring your OTT strategy to specific regions, you can find out more information here.