OTT, what can we expect
In our first Over the Top article, we looked at some of the current OTT players. However, OTT isn’t only relegated to the cable and satellite companies. When it comes to streaming internet content from your favorite vloggers, People are turning to Youtube and Vimeo who have launched their own subscription based OTT services, and at relatively low costs. All this the cord-cutting is taking a toll on the telecom providers. In response, many telecom companies are becoming more focused on their internet services, and looking for ways to squeeze more money from customers with higher data needs. Basically, streaming customers are likely to be charged more for access. Although, we may see the market trend price of television packages go down, it’s likely that internet package pricing will increase, and probably include data caps and fees for overages.
OTT’s tend to have different Video On Demand (VOD) services, than cable subscribers have come to expect. Customers are more likely t encounter Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) services, like the aforementioned Netflix; Ad-assisted Video On Demand (AVOD), which play ads before the content being viewed which includes services like HULU, Crackle and CBS; Last but not least we also have the TVOD, which is a transitional “pay for only what you want to watch” service that runs ad free like Amazon Instant Video, Vimeo On Demand and iTunes. It is up to the content creators themselves to see which platform they would showcase their work on. More about OTT VOD
Ultimately, OTT is a league of it’s own and differs greatly from the “TV Everywhere” service. Sure, they both follow the “watching when you want and where you want” motto, however with TV Everywhere, you will still need a subscription to a television provider’s service. All you need with OTT is a stable internet connection to view the content that you want to watch, the way you want to watch it. More and more apps are becoming available, if not pre-downloaded to cellphones and tablets so the convenience is already sitting at your finger tips.
The arrival of OTT services, this has changed the television game for producers and executives as well. The different services have made Television Rating Systems almost completely obsolete. No longer are people waiting around until a specific time slot to watch a show. Most aren’t even watching the live airing and choosing to stream or download at another time. OTT has opened the door in a big way that puts a viewer in control, more so than ever before.
Distribution has been the biggest things standing in the way of OTT. More and more televisions are internet-based however with the Android Free box and Apple TV and that is helping to get content creators to release their app across a multitude of different platforms, from cellphones to gaming consoles and the different operating systems that are within that spectrum. Content creators are now more concerned with getting their app out there and reaching a broad audience before they have actually have the content to share. It’s essentially starting in the middle of a project then trying to get both ends to meet but it is also letting the content creators gain more control over their work, as seen among the popular “Youtubers”. It is becoming more and more like the Indie creators are turning Mainstream.
What Does the Future Look Like?
Whereas the above is effecting the growth and expansion of OTT services, it’s also seeing a huge increase each year in viewership and gaining popularity among all age demographics. As OTT services gain followers, the content is surely going to follow. There will be less and less cable television and more and more internet television. Although Cable companies are trying to adjust their traditional television packages to include cheaper “basic” television channels, they are still packed with unnecessary filler that doesn’t appeal to the viewers interests. With HBO rising as well as AMC, they have started creating powerful “must watch” content like Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. It is making writers buckle down and create interesting content to get people hooked. This content is also made available through their OTT airing live as it is on cable tv so they are not taking a huge hit from viewership that would have been lost to illegal downloading and illegal streaming as before.
Having the telecom companies paying attention more to what viewers are choosing as opposed to what their package is offering, will share more information on the demographic and different trends that are going on. It will showcase the viewer more as an individual than a Rating statistic on the premiere day. Viewers also will be able to find and view content and curating television and movie lists tailored to what they like, much like making a music playlist for different activities. All in all, the future is here now and it’s gaining momentum. Internet television is here to stay and the market is shifting rapidly in it’s favor. The viewer is now in control over what they are viewing, more than ever before.