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Friday, May 19, 2017

OTT Video Services: Entertainment for a New Generation

By Fredrik Andersson, SVP Business Development and Co-Founder, Accedo

At CONNECTIONS next week, I will be joining a panel to discuss OTT video services for a new generation. We will be examining the global impact of OTT services, including market shifts, changes in consumer habits, and strategies to create direct relationships with today’s connected consumer. Personally, I find this topic particularly fascinating, not least because it is changing so rapidly.

Of course, we all know that the TV landscape has changed significantly over the past couple of years, with a massive shift to OTT viewing on a global scale. We have seen a fundamental change in consumer consumption habits, with many consumers subscribing to multiple OTT services to get the content they want, as well as seasonal subscription trends, where consumers subscribe during a particular sporting season, for example. It is interesting however that despite an absolute flood of OTT providers, there is still room for mainstream and niche providers alike, thanks mainly to this habit for multiple subscriptions.

There is also clearly a huge difference in those consumption habits depending on the age of the consumer. Millenials, for example, are much less likely to sit in front of a TV screen and consume linear content, whereas the older generation has grown up with linear TV and there is still a certain amount of affinity with it. There are also other considerations when it comes to the generation gap. We did some research last year that found the way in which consumers want to discover and engage with content is also very different depending on their age. It comes back to the same point that someone who hasn’t grown up with technology in the same way is much more likely to want their OTT experience to have the look, feel, and usability of linear TV.

OTT brings with it a huge amount of benefit for content providers, whether they are traditional broadcasters or next generation media companies, but it is not without its challenges. At the beginning of this evolution, there was a lot of focus on the distribution challenges facing content providers, with a sudden need to deliver all content to multiple screens at the same time, and ensure a comparable experience on each of those devices. We are very much past that point and the challenge now, with a plethora of video services doing this, will be to differentiate your offering.

What I believe we will see now is a shift from those distribution challenges to customer management challenges. One of the redeeming features of OTT for a content provider is that direct relationship with customers and the ability to deliver a truly personalised and subsequently much more engaging experience. However, the challenge will be in collating and managing that data effectively to ensure personalisation happens, and happens well.

For more information on the CONNECTIONS Conference, visit www.connectionsus.com or contact Parks Associates at sales@parksassociates.com.

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