OTT’s Growth is Accelerating Beyond Entertainment to New Industries

Jodi Susman May 17th, 2021

The popularity of OTT video is growing faster than ever. In recent years, cord cutting has increased as more and more consumers give up their traditional cable TV for on-demand video streaming that gives them more control over what they watch and when. It’s predicted to completely overtake cable in the coming years.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in 2020, many industries struggled to adjust to a new normal. But for providers of OTT video, there was an enormous surge in demand. Of course, as people spent more time at home, they watched more content across the board. But now that over a year has passed and there are fewer restrictions around the world, it has become clear that this spike in streaming video wasn’t temporary. The increased viewership of OTT video has mostly been sustained, even as people in some parts of the world have returned to work and normal life.

This acceleration of OTT growth has not just been for the entertainment industry. Streaming video is becoming an increasingly important revenue stream for fitness, health, education, sports and more.

OTT’s growth is global

For streaming video entertainment, 2020 was a pivotal year that saw the launch of services like Disney + and Peacock. At the same time, viewership reached an all time high. According to Ampere, the average 18- to 24-year-old American now spends more than 1 hour and 40 minutes each day watching subscription OTT video, with 25 to 34-year-olds watching a similar amount. Another report by TransUnion revealed that 55% now prefer VOD content over a cable-TV subscription.

Similar trends can be seen in other regions as well. In a report published by Penthera, eMarketer analyst Matteo Ceurvels said the number of subscription OTT video viewers in Latin America is expected to grow by 27.5% to 117.2 million in 2021. OTT is also growing quickly in Europe, and even faster in India, which is expected to become the 6th largest OTT market globally by 2024.

Global OTT revenue is set to almost double in the next five years — from the current level of $106 billion in 2020 to $210 billion by 2026, according to Digital TV Research. Meanwhile, the top five countries will only account for two-thirds of global OTT revenue by 2025, down from 72% in 2019. That’s because OTT growth in the rest of the world is accelerating as it becomes increasingly popular across the globe.

OTT video is transforming countless new industries

It’s also happening across industries. Though entertainment is often the focus of OTT’s acceleration as cord-cutting disrupts cable’s decades-long reign, other markets are finding themselves transformed by streaming video, too.

In Q1 2021, Penthera and Apptopia released the Future of Fitness report, which showed how the fitness industry has also seen quick growth regarding OTT video. We found not only that the popularity of fitness mobile apps grew in 2020, but that fitness apps which included streaming video were the fastest growing in the industry. In H1 2020, video-based workout apps were installed 65% more, recorded 38.5% more daily active users, and generated 15% more revenue than similar apps that didn’t include OTT.

The sports world is also being upended by OTT, with massive revenue expected as viewers can watch in any location on their phone and any time even after a game ends. Plus online video offers experiences traditional broadcasting can’t, as new video developments like AR and VR are making sports viewing more immersive. Education OTT is also gaining steam, especially as the pandemic increased the popularity of remote video learning.

All this growth is expected to continue throughout 2021 and beyond. More streaming services are slated to launch this year, and more industries are realizing the revenue benefits of having an OTT strategy. Plus, consumers are increasingly learning the convenience that OTT provides not only their leisure time but also their health, self-betterment, news consumption and more. Together, these factors mean that OTT’s global domination is well on its way.

Penthera, a valued Enveu partner, offers a suite of streaming solutions to OTT providers to improve the video experience for their users. Our technology helps eliminate last-mile streaming issues, such as buffering and low video quality, to reduce stream abandonment and churn. Learn more at

Jodi Susman
Jodi Susman is Penthera’s Chief Marketing Officer, overseeing global marketing and communications. A technology and media executive, Jodi has been working in ad tech and media for more than 20 years.

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