2020 was a watershed year for digital media consumption. Predictions from Pundits went out the window as milestones for adoption and viewership, that were forecasted 5–10 years from now, were suddenly visible during lockdown. With a majority of the population spending time in the comfort of their homes, it was only natural for media entertainment consumption to grow exponentially. A recent study by Comscore found that the total viewing hours across live TV, VOD, DVR, and OTT grew by 2.3 billion hours in 2020, as compared to 2019.
And so far, this doesn’t seem to be a one-off anomaly but a new way of life for OTT platforms and content creators. With consumption levels still growing during a partial easing of the lockdown, the industry is set for even faster growth in the coming years.
If you’re a media entertainment brand or a content creator, the decisions you take in 2021 will have a far-reaching impact into the years to come. But before you get into action, here’s a list of 4 key trends to watch out for that will impact your business.
The rise of 5G
5G internet, while adopted in developed countries, will soon be accessible to developing countries as well. For context, 5G is roughly 100x faster than the best available 4G networks today. This means faster delivery of content & better opportunities for content producers to create high-resolution content. Not to mention the access to new audiences, so far on primitive networks, that can now leverage the true power of video with faster & more accessible infrastructure.
Competition Gets Fierce
Given the low barrier to entry, the competition at all levels of the video streaming ecosystem is slated to grow. Existing traditional media powerhouses like Disney are already standing toe-to-toe with the likes of Netflix & HBO. On another level, content creators, Social Media Influencers & Celebrities too are creating their own walled gardens for their content and embracing a wider distribution approach to amplifying their content — creating a lot of options for a user to view. The consumer is looking for entertainment everyday and every media brand will ensure it is present across all platforms and devices to drive viewership.
User Experience Takes Center Stage
Internet is measured in fleeting seconds today. This is made more convoluted with the need to provide instant gratification to users continuously. Add to that the fact that there are multiple platforms, operating systems and devices. This makes focussing on the user and his / her actions critical to success. The top OTT platforms today spend a lot of time engineering their UI / UX and this drive and focus will be adopted by players across the spectrum of the media entertainment industry.
New Innovations in Technology
While the current generation technology of video entertainment is great, there are a few pet peeves that need attention. For example, having multiple subscriptions to streaming services but still not finding that one movie you want to watch. Or binge watching reruns of F.R.I.E.N.D.S for the 9th time and realising that the show has moved to another platform owing to licensing changes. These are just here and now problems that we’re aware of. There are challenges that will arise later that we have no way of knowing today. Media businesses and content creators that have their tech stack in fluid shape will be able to overcome all challenges that come their way in the future.
These are just a few of the top trends that will have a strong impact on the media entertainment industry. If you’ve got your technology infrastructure ironed out, you’ll be in a better place to leverage new opportunities and solve future problems.
The future of the media entertainment & OTT industry is bright! Need a flexible partner to help you create an OTT streaming service of your own? Let’s chat!