OTT or Over-the-top is an internet-based service which delivers streaming content generally through the use of applications. OTT apps provide a platform to content producers so that they can release content without the hassle of dealing with distribution channels. The term OTT was coined because of the nature of the platform whereby it skips the use of TV cable and goes over the top to provide the content on the internet. This idea gained traction with the increase in the capacity of internet connections to download and stream content at reasonable rates. Currently, it is not difficult to imagine all TV content being delivered through the internet in the future. The OTT platforms have provided strong competition to TV cable platforms and the sales for the traditional platforms has decreased significantly over the last 5 years.
Here, we explore some of the top trends in the booming OTT industry that will shape its future.
Immersive Video Quality
The OTT apps have been supplying quality content for some time now. But the introduction of 4K videos and other technologies such as Virtual Reality has taken it a step further. Platforms have started providing extremely good quality videos with the increase in the bandwidth of internet connections across the world. The connections have become capable of streaming high-quality content which was previously not possible due to the lesser internet speeds. 4K and VR may end up being major differentiating factors across OTT platforms in the future.
Pay-per view or Group subscriptions
The OTT platforms make their revenue majorly through the subscriptions. This has been the standard across most OTT apps but users are now facing issues because they want to access content from various platforms. So, there is an increasing demand for a pay-per-view system. Also, multiple platform subscriptions are becoming a hassle. Many consumers also show interests in platforms that take a collective payment and provide access to multiple OTT apps
With the introduction of 5G, the data speeds are expected to increase manifold. This will further boost the growth of OTT platforms and will also boost the viewership of live streaming for sports and events. Although there are certain complications with the implementation of 5G, it would bring a transformation in the current OTT viewership. It will also prove to be a boom for emerging platforms like Quibi, who are all set to give seasoned players such as Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. some good competition.
Entry of Huge players
OTT industry has seen a huge influx of big companies introducing their OTT platforms. These are companies with deep pockets and some like Disney also have their own extensive collection of content for viewers. While Netflix has been a pioneer in the field, Disney and Amazon Prime are now emerging as strong competition and are gaining market quickly. With the Coronavirus outbreak pushing people into their homes, OTT apps have seen a huge increase in user base. Another huge development has been the direct release of big-budget mainstream movies directly on OTT platforms.
The OTT industry has matured considerably and many big players are now testing the waters. The scope of increase in the industry is quite predictable but growth is imminent and the above trends are going to shape how content is going to be distributed and viewed in the future.