Amongst all the changes that the pandemic has brought to our lives in the past two years, not being able to go out to the movies is a major one. People have been forced into the confinement of their homes and find sources of entertainment on apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime due to the lack of fresh content on television. This has led to an unprecedented rise in the use of OTT video streaming apps.
Let’s have a look at some of the OTT video trends that have been witnessed lately:
The consolidation of different OTT platforms
While there are a host of OTT platforms across the world and the growth potential for each one is immense, there is a lot of fragmentation in the smaller ones surrounding bigger brands. This has given rise to the trend of bigger names like say Amazon Prime getting into collaboration with other OTT platforms to offer a diverse pallet to its viewers along with a streamlined structure for payment and so on. This in turn gives the smaller platform exposure to a bigger audience and offers better growth potential.
One of the major reasons for this may be subscription fatigue which has emerged to become a growing concern, amongst people. It’s as simple as people being tired of having to take different subscriptions and losing track of what they are paying for, what needs to be renewed, etc. The consolidation has proven to be a good way to offer a wider range of quality content to viewers without them having to worry about various segregated accounts.
Growth of meaningful content
There has been a rise in meaningful content that serves a social message. The trend has shifted from traditional to nontraditional forms of content, leading to social integration on various platforms. There has been a rise witnessed in digital original content, which means shows or movies that are created only for OTT, like say a “Netflix Original” or a “Prime Original”.
The reason for this is the freshness it has brought about in terms of content quality, how it has broken the monotony or the limitations that television tends to have at times. It is expected that in the year 2022, there could be unified content from the likes of Apple TV, Amazon, and Roku.
“Did you know that the projected OTT based revenue for the year 2022 is estimated to stand at about US$ 2,673 million with over 182 million subscribers?”.
Making OTT video streaming platforms local
With the help of faster and more widespread internet, different OTT Platforms have garnered viewership from several developing countries, India being one of them. Besides offering exposure to audiences of content from across the world, it has taken OTT viewership across metro cities and into smaller towns. Keeping in mind the preferences and likes of that segment of audiences, in terms of the struggles witnessed in small towns are brought to life through new OTT stories. This reflects in relatable regional dialects, character nuances, and so on.
More immersive live streaming
The trend shifts where the broadcast of awards, sports, and other important events happening live on OTT platforms rather than on regular TV. The content format that was assigned to television for the longest time is now being picked upon by OTT platforms and this is something revolutionary for the development of the same, especially in developing countries.
The rise of 5G
5G will be a potential game-changer in terms of streaming 4k videos. This is one of the future trends of OTT that will bring to life the dream of high-resolution video capability with minimum latency. 360-degree live streaming will also become more accessible with the same. The use of VR( Virtual Reality) will result in a more immersive and interactive experience for the viewers.
Shared viewing could become widespread
Due to the pandemic, there has been a rise in shared viewing or viewing through video chat and so on, which means allowing the sync stream content. The focus has shifted towards creating the most likable content for the viewers, which can be shared with friends and family even if they are away from you; whilst also ensuring that the platform is easy to use and navigate through a variety of devices; so that viewing together from different locations is possible without glitches and delays.
OTT Multiplex Metaverse
Airtel has recently launched OTT Multiplex Metaverse in India. Brought by Airtel’s Xstream, this will be a platform offering 20 screens to access different content portfolios from various leading OTT partners present on the app.
It would allow watching the first episode free of charge for some top original content or say a few minutes of popular movies, which will intrigue the user to get a membership plan and watch further. This is one of the OTT industry trends in 2022 that picked up momentum almost immediately.
Hybrid models for OTT monetization
Now when it comes to earning money from OTT platforms, the Hybrid mode which is a collective of the below has worked the best:
- Ad-based video on demand(AVOD) like Tubi,Youtube(Non premium) Xumo
- Subscription-based video-on-demand (SVOD) like Netflix, HBO, AppleTV
- Transactional Video on demand(TVOD) like iTunes, CinemaNow
The reason is that it offers flexibility to the users to create their own plans and pay for what they are actually going to use. It also consolidates several options in one palace so a person doesn't have to separately look for them elsewhere.
Sharing passwords leads to eroding subscriptions
'Shared passwords' is another concern when it comes to OTT. People tend to share passwords with their friends, family, and even colleagues. This means that several people use one account instead of separate, paying accounts, which is a revenue erosion or loss for the platform. This is happening across the world and there need to be ways found to put an upper limit on the number of users that can access a single account from different devices or IP addresses.
There are some methods being used to control this such as:
- Logging out one user, if other logs into the same account from a different location
- One title is accessible only for a period of 72 hours
- Offering family plans that legitimize the concept of shared accounts
- Offering cheaper subscriptions, for instance, Netflix on phone being offered for a minimal amount
The long and short of it, the shift from Television to OTT has been major and definite, with people becoming more receptive to content from different parts of the world. It has opened up a whole new horizon of possibilities for viewers in terms of viewing experiences and it is only going to get stronger and more popular in the future.