You don't need me to show you the trends; the numbers are everywhere. There is a dizzying array of stats and figures, a barrage of information and an arsenal of data from leading research houses, data companies, media companies and finance institutions.
The data constantly changes, the numbers are frequently rising meaning reliable statistics are hard to come by.
But everybody agrees:
TV is changing, linear TV and Pay TV are losing market share faster than ever and OTT continues to go from strength to strength, with new services, new channels and new content providers rapidly sprouting up all over the world.
There are more channels than ever before, more content providers than ever before, and a hungrier, more demanding set of audiences than ever before. From mainstream to niche, sports to news, entertainment to lifestyle; global viewers are clamouring for television.
Consumers have a wider choice than ever before and can consume content on a vast number of platforms, devices and locations, even on the move as 5G continues to fan the flames of the streaming revolution.
With so much competition, how will services not just survive, but thrive, in a marketplace saturated with players and subscriber loyalty can no longer be relied on?
The key is in finding the right technology partner to power your service.
There is an ever-increasing number of considerations and concerns for service providers. And it´s not just about the core capabilities of fast collection and aggregation of content, seamless personalised promotions and efficient and reliable distribution, from a vast number of publishers and content providers, to an ever-more fickle audience and to a seemingly endless array of consumer end-points.
It's also not just about the traditional survival concerns of data and relevance, personalisation and automation, and basic monetisation, device appropriate experiences and cross-platform resumes.
For OTT service providers today, the challenges and drivers above are the essentials. But to ensure success, more flexibility is required. And not just for new market entrants, but for mature services as well. The right OTT technology partner will have a flexible, modular and scalable platform that allows you to pick the capabilities that you need today across the end to end VOD workflow, and will grow with you according to the needs of you and your audience.
Any business model, everywhere, anytime. Globally available in multiple currencies.
Flexible business models are fast becoming the oxygen of service providers. A new market entrant may start out as a free to air, with content publicly available, funded by advertising (AVOD). This entices new viewers and grows an audience base. Syndication of content across more platforms helps to drive an increase in audience and viewership.
Premium content can be offered through an optional login as free content or a paid for service, rented for a finite period, or owned to re-watch for as long as the service provider holds the rights (TVOD). Regular viewers can be offered more personalised experiences, exposed to more relevant content, driving engagement and loyalty.
A subscription service has evolved, and your regular audience will sign up for compelling content packages (SVOD).
The right OTT technology partner will help you plug in these capabilities when you need them, and will aid you on your journey to success, growing business models and capabilities as your service grows. Deeper integrations to specialist capabilities such as recommendation engines and metadata enrichment services should be able to be added as necessary as your growing business can budget for more advanced requirements.
And it´s not just new and emerging market entrants taking this approach. Service providers that have been in the market for decades are now flexing their business models to stay competitive as audiences flit and fluctuate between publishers, providers and segments.
This is what I see in the market on a daily basis, from customers, partners, peers and prospects.
Some of the more mature and established content providers in the world are breaking new ground in HVOD (hybrid) business models, changing their content libraries so that they have free to air content to lure new viewers both with and without login, compelling content to capture individuals and personalise, and subscription content for regular consumers.
The right OTT technology partner will help you flex these business models and increase business value, will ensure that a single piece of content is available in as many of these categories as you need, enabling and empowering you to work with new, existing, known and unknown audiences anywhere in the world creating whatever blend of free, paid, advertising funded and premium packages you need to attract, win and maintain viewers.
The right partner will help ensure that you don't have to duplicate content, that you don't have to continually move around terabytes of video files or double-handle your content libraries. The right partner will help make your single content library available across multiple platforms and consumer facing services, maximising the return on content by reducing operational costs.
The right content partner will scale automatically, making sure you have the capacity that you need without intervention, on an efficient infrastructure that can scale from a handful of viewers to many millions in seconds, and without delay.
Users and Developers
An OTT technology partner must place as much importance on system users and developers as customers, as it does on audiences and infrastructure. If your content catalogue cannot be efficiently curated into compelling viewer experiences by editorial teams, your business will lose money. Don´t underestimate the value of user efficiency and user experience. A good OTT platform will be the center of the service universe for content and metadata from many sources, reducing workflow complexity, allowing automation where required and saving time and generating success.
Good developer experiences are essential. Easy to use APIs, great documentation and clear best practice and examples. Providing great technology is only the beginning of the journey. Expert help in using it to your best advantage is essential.
Vimond Media Solutions
Vimond has been in the OTT market since the beginning, working with some of the world´s largest broadcasters, and launching new market services across all business models. We help businesses find, grow and monetise audiences. Vimond technology is fast, flexible and scalable.
We help you aggregate, organise and distribute content with the capabilities you need, when you need them. We stay focused on the future of television, and helping you get there. Vimond provides the tools to generate business value, create amazing viewer experiences, empower users and developers, and flex and scale as you need it, when you need it. Partner with Vimond to build a world-class entertainment service.