ActiveVideo conducted a survey in which they asked 50 US OTT users which genre of content would they focus on if they launched their own OTT services. 35% of the respondents answered with ‘film’, 20% responded with ‘niche interest’ or ‘hobby’, 16% with ‘sport’ and the remaining with ‘kids’ and ‘comedy’. This shows that consumers are seeking more than entertainment in the form of web series, TV shows and movies on OTT platforms. The question is are there platforms which cater to this need and how have they nurtured their audience? Let’s have a look.
Some of different types of content being offered beyond the traditional entertainment streaming videos are:
a. Educational Content or Documentaries
b. Personal Development Content
c. Leisure Activities Content (Such as travel, food, music etc)
A lot of the big players such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have a slew of shows that are past the typical entertainment content on their platform. But at the same time, there are quite a few stand-alone video streaming services out there which cater to audiences with a keen interest in watching niche content. One of them is Discovery+.
Image Source- Discovery+
Discovery+ is Discovery Inc.’s streaming service platform. It has a wide array of content streaming options that target the ‘Educational’ and ‘Leisure Activity/ Hobby’ content-seeking segment. Its extensive library has content from 14 networks that include Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Food Network, The History Channel, Oprah Winfrey Network, Science Network etc. After its debut launch in India in March 2020, it expanded to the UK, Europe and United States within a span of 1 year. Issac John, digital business head of Discovery South Asia says “In a digital world laden with hours and hours of scripted content, Discovery+ offers a unique and untapped opportunity for us to build on the trust of the flagship brand and offer content that truly powers people’s passions across verticals as varied as Adventure, Science & Lifestyle to name a few.”
When it comes to sports content, there is no mistaking that the biggest name in sports broadcasting of live events, media rights, sponsorship packages, hospitality experiences and everything in between – is Red Bull.
Image Source- Red Bull TV
Red Bull TV is Red Bull’s highly ambitious digital streaming service platform. The type of content they dish out is made for viewers who enjoy watching extreme sports, music and lifestyle & culture. Right from mountain bike races, motorbike trick competitions, F1 races, e-sports championships, B-boying dance battles etc Red Bull TV is the place to go. Red Bull’s strategy has always been to sell the experience more than the product. This gives it a unique USP above all other brands and this strategy percolates down into Red Bull TV as well. They have made Red Bull TV a free-to-download app which offers ad-free content without any in-app purchases or paywalls. This shows they have really gone all the way in putting their audience first. Red Bull TV has over 10million plus downloads.
Another broadcaster who has held a major position in sports entertainment streaming is the WWE Network. WWE’s Subscription Video on-Demand service and much-hyped Pay-Per-View events have been a raging hit over the years. Because of their venture into OTT, their streamed content has been able to reach fans in nearly 180 countries (Source is here).
The OTT ecosphere cannot be complete without the mention of music content. Most notable among them is Spotify – one of the world’s most recognizable audio over-the-top streaming brands. This Swedish music streaming platform boasts of a 350 million+ global active user count (Source is here). Its library of content offers a complete music experience to the viewer with album, artist, playlist and podcast content. Like other audio streaming platforms such as SoundCloud and iTunes, Spotify has sought to bring artists and listeners closer to one another. But the difference is, thanks to its machine learning technology, Spotify is able to analyse user data, including listening behaviours likely to change during different times of the day. Not just that, it has pushed podcasting to newer heights. By introducing its video podcast feature, Spotify aims to support podcasters by enabling viewers to not just listen but also watch them.
The OTT space is a broad one and the list of non-traditional entertainment content platforms is long. Some of the other notable mentions include Vevo, CuriosityStream and ESPN+. In conclusion, streaming services are here to stay and it is worthy to note that brands and media houses have recognized its potential to reach audiences worldwide. It has also given artists and content creators a reason to be inspired and deliver original and captivating content. So whether it is movies, web series, music, lifestyle, travel, sports etc, OTT is here and it is big.
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