Future of Video Streaming & Striking Developments to Benefits Viewers
Posted: Jan 11, 2019
Live video streaming continues on an upward spiral, with consumers viewing content often from myriad sources and devices. Smartphone proliferation worldwide has resulted in a significant surge of online as well as offline stream video content, trailed by smart TV. A global survey of consumer preferences for live video streaming by Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) states nearly 50% of consumers watch live video streaming more than they did in 2017.
The trend is particularly high in developed nations such as America and Europe, wherein viewers stream video live via digital streaming subscription services. Quality content, trailed by speed of the internet connection available and nature of service – free or subscription-based, are key influencers of video streaming. TV shows, series, sports, game trailers & strategies, and tutorials are most preferred online video streaming, according to respondents of IAB’s survey.
Original Programming – A Key Subscription Decision Influencer for Viewers
As more and more households subscribe to different streaming services, subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) brands have been dealing with an intense competitive environment lately. Original programming has emerged as a key differentiator amid this competition, with a significant number of viewers subscribing to various video services. Although original programming is an imperative influencer of subscription decisions of consumers, wide variety of content has been deemed to be more appealing than access to exclusive streaming services.
The notion that the cord-cutters are relatively less lucrative consumers across the globe is backed by the fact that cord trimmers – viewers who scale back pay-TV subscriptions – use comparatively more services on a regular basis. The trend of higher service permeation among cord-trimmers is being leveraged by the streaming service providers to complement the pay-TV content, rather than entirely replacing them. These factors have indeed motivated the video streaming market at the global level for a wider reach among users.
OTT Content Gains Ground
With more media brands creating innovative video content, likened to TV shows and cinemas, for huge content budgets, a significant increase in over-the-top video content has been witnessed in the recent past. Ad-funded and subscription-based VOD services are sought as promising revenue pockets. However, media companies are thriving to get their video content crawled in this cluttered landscape.
Social media companies are entering into collaborations with the mass market platforms and legacy cable players in the over-the-top (OTT) ecosystem. However, platforms that focus on investing in quality content are likely to have a competitive edge over others in acquiring viewers. Publishers seeking creation of OTT content are facing key challenges such as expanding their audience base, monetization, and discoverability of content. Despite funding from leading players, competition continues to remain fierce in the video streaming space.
Cross-Device Behavior of Consumers and Way Forward for Video Streaming
Cross-device online streaming is translating into the standard among digital consumers, in line with evolution of the online video streaming into the cross-device activity. And while this trend is picking pace, emphasis is being placed on the ambiguity of video format among myriad devices. Number of users viewing in-app video content on social media platforms is increasing in line with those of the streaming media giants. However, as social media platforms outstrip streaming videos based on sheer user reach and numbers, success in terms of the viewer engagement is yet to be realized.
With the rise of the cross-device behavior of consumers, digital content, particularly video streaming, is also gaining high visibility across distinct platforms while attempting to reach consumers beyond their reach. Multiple digital device platforms are being leveraged by video streaming service to reach millions of users, implying extending scope of the user experience strategy beyond mobile and PC. Albeit obvious opportunity prevails for social media platforms regarding video streaming, this shift beyond PC and mobile is yet at its early phase considering battle for consumer attention.
Users on platforms, which originally gained significant attention owing to their ephemeral video capabilities, are now spending most of their time on the non-video content. Significant size of the social media user base, along with the time-intensive nature of services, together clock a significant share of the overall digital video consumption. Meanwhile, streaming video platforms are focusing on the development of new ways for maintaining firm hold on the viewer attention. Evolving for better incorporation of social features, recommendations, and sharing of video content for their own long-term benefits is a key focus area among most social media platforms.
Potential for video streaming content as a keystone has already been recognized by the social media services as well as the messaging applications, with the onus on video platforms being to make the dynamic to impact vice versa. Agencies and advertisers are now taking video streaming content seriously, and although video streaming-focused services are subscription-dominated via business models, social platforms-based video streaming content – whether sponsored, social, or branded – continue to pose a significant influence on prospects of premium advertising in both programmatic and targeted ways. Overall, future prospects of the video streaming space is expected to be bullish.
Arslan Khan is currently living in Delhi, working as a Senior Research Manager @ Fact.MR. He is a blogger with unique content each time.