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Coming Attractions 2015: What’s Next in Online Video

Coming Attractions_Mirror ImageThe rise of Over-the-Top (OTT) applications and devices has created one of the greatest media disruptions in our history. The rapidly increasing number of consumers who choose to consume content online is challenging incumbents in the cable, entertainment and advertising industries.

As much as 2014 brought us major changes – such as HBO and CBS announcing their OTT services – 2015 is a year ripe with opportunity. And with opportunity, comes competition that leads to more innovation and a better overall experience for consumers.

Let us walk you through what the future looks like, and what we see as major developments likely to happen over the next year.

  • Major Networks Get on Board with OTT: A major development that will continue to affect the industry is HBO and CBS’ recent announcements that they will provide streaming- video services apart from the cable-TV bundle, to get closer to their customers. Through this development, both networks will have the ability to control both the content and the delivery system of how their customers receive that content. These recent announcements illustrate that premium content will be available to tap from wherever you are, no matter the device.
  • Live Sports & Local Content: Another trend that is emerging but will truly break out in 2015 is better access to local content and live sports. We haven’t yet seen the establishment of a default way to get local content available online. The rise of more local content and live streaming sports is something we’ll look for in 2015. A great example of a company today is USSSA working with youth and amateur sports across the nation to deliver their games online for users to consume globally.
  • Unbundling Packages: With new systems like HBO and CBS streaming, viewers will have more options to pay only for the networks or programs they want to watch—and to decide how, when and where to watch them. This will heavily put pressure on the archaic system of bundling packages from traditional providers.

While all this innovation ends well for consumers, it creates many challenges for providers. With increased access to online video, the quality of service becomes a factor. How strong is the Internet connection the viewer has at that moment in time? What type of quality video can be used through that signal? The industry needs to do more to maximize the experience.

Providers also need to consider what devices they support, and adjust online video based on the consumer’s screen and format of the video. This is where multi-screen streaming is critical. Providers need to have technology in place that allows for seamless multi- screen streaming no matter the specific requirements of the viewer’s device. With consumers viewing video on smartphones, tablets, Roku boxes, Amazon Fire TV, Smart TVs and more – providers need to ensure the best customer experience, no matter how consumers choose to watch their content.

Online video is the way of the future—consumers will watch the content they want, when they want, where they want. Along with this continued growth, there will be more intelligence in delivery of video, better ways to serve the best types of advertising, optimize subscription- based business models, and integrate multiple types of premium offerings.

With the evolution of mobile devices and wireless technology, there’s a need for better content delivery methods. Dynamic delivery needs to enable fast and reliable content delivery and precise targeting logic, customized to each individual user and their device. Content delivery needs to be more than just reliable. It needs to be reliable, with no network strain or buffering, and it needs to be dynamic by offering value-add services like customized user targeting– changing the way content is delivered for the digital world.