OTT Trends in 2022
The widespread availability of mobile devices, access to a high-speed Internet connection, and the increasing popularity of video content have driven significant growth in the global video streaming market. In 2021, VoD (video on demand) services revenue was estimated at 61 billion USD. People are increasingly cutting the cord (or giving up the ‘classic’ cable TV), instead choosing over-the-top (OTT) streaming services. This solution allows users to watch their favorite series, blockbuster movies, or even live events, all via the Internet and a device of their choice. However, with more and more OTT companies out there, viewers have a lot to choose from – so stay ahead of the competitors and take a look at the industry trends for the upcoming 2022!
What is an OTT (over-the-top) video?
Over-the-top is a service that allows a provider to broadcast videos and live transmissions to any device connected to the Internet, such as a laptop, PC, a set-top box, or even a gaming console. That means the users gain access to video content from anywhere and on a device of their choice. OTT platforms also offer several monetization options, including subscription to a streaming service (i.e. Netflix), rental of video content for a limited time, and individual purchases of series or movies as direct downloads.
OTT Trends in 2022
5G technology – even better quality
Introduced a few years ago, the 5G Internet is growing in popularity and gradually becoming the new standard. The high-speed connectivity provided by 5G will impact every industry, including music, game streaming, media, and OTT. 5G technology is predicted to soon change the way people consume media.
The speed and reliability of the 5G Internet connection will give new opportunities for OTT platforms. For example, in the case of sports channels, 5G will significantly improve the quality of live streams and reduce the possible delays. That means that the sports fans watching an event online will be able to experience it at the same moment as the stadium viewers.
In addition to that, companies interested in producing content will be able to achieve their goal without having to make considerable investments or purchase expensive hardware. As 5G will help deliver content faster and in better quality (the Ultra HD – 4K and 8K – quality will no longer be a luxury) than ever before, consumers will also be willing to pay more for an improved OTT video experience.
UX – tough? Yes. Worth it? Definitely!
The crucial thing for OTT platforms is content selection. But do you know what is the second most important aspect? That’s right – it’s how simple and intuitive it is to browse, explore and consume the videos. It’s not uncommon for users to unsubscribe from the platform because the service was difficult to use. And as the interest in OTT services increases, the competition grows. That means the providers must ensure that their service has a rich content library and puts the users’ convenience first. To meet these criteria, it might be crucial to invest more in UX.
UX (user experience) is about the aesthetics of a website and its functionality. It describes the user’s experience with a given product or service. Effective UX affects brand loyalty and might convince viewers to choose your platform over the competition. OTT UX designers must not only pay attention to the technical aspects but also understand how users engage and interact with the content on a website and in a mobile application.
UX is one of the most difficult aspects of the OTT industry. But investing time and resources in it pays off – by anticipating users’ needs and desires, we gain their subscriptions, recommendations, and loyalty!
Content Fragmenting – focus on a niche audience
Another trend in the OTT world in 2022 is content fragmentation, a strategy that content broadcasters use to reach niche audiences. The goal of content fragmentation is to maximize success by reaching smaller target groups. With an appropriate selection of content chosen with the expectations of a particular group in mind, videos have a better chance of reaching users interested in a given genre or subject.
An example of the content fragmentation strategy are platforms dedicated to a specific audience, such as sports platforms that allow viewers to watch live matches and follow the achievements of their favorite athletes. One of such platforms created by Insys VT is BeActive TV, the first Polish on-demand fitness platform, owned by Ewa Chodakowska’s company, BeBIO. They launched the new version of their platform in February 2021 and targeted people interested in training at home (which, due to the pandemic, has been growing in popularity). One of the reasons for the platform’s success is knowing who their video content is addressed to – or, in other words, knowing their potential customers.
CTV – interest in large screens is growing
The pandemic and numerous lockdowns have significantly accelerated the growth of OTT services. Once forced to stay at home, people started to subscribe to streaming services much more readily. For many of them, however, the small screens of their mobile devices quickly became insufficient or simply inconvenient to use. That is one of the reasons why CTV has become a solution used by more and more consumers – and in 2022, its popularity is expected to continue to grow.
CTV (connected TV) means that video content is streamed on a Smart TV. In 2021, it noted a rise in popularity, as users started watching more video content on large screens of smart TVs, streaming devices, and game consoles. In 2022, CTV content should become a part of every viable OTT strategy. It will allow advertisers to effectively deliver personalized and dynamic ads and target certain audiences based on criteria such as their lifestyle or income. Popular CTV streaming technologies include Apple TV, Amazon’s Firestick, Xbox, or Playstation.
Think local – global
The focus on local video content will be the thing to keep an eye out for in 2022. Many experts have been wrong in claiming that global productions will be the content that will dominate the video landscape. The incredibly popular Netflix series from Korea, the Squid Game, has proved otherwise. In its debut month, it attracted 111 million viewers and was the most popular show in 90 countries. Instead of high-production Hollywood movies, many viewers are turning towards, for example, Korean and Spanish productions. What does that mean for video content providers? Instead of thinking global-local, producers should act local-global. When it comes to content, the film industry may surprise us in the upcoming year!
The OTT industry is steadily growing, and the new emerging technologies are only accelerating that process. In 2022, companies will want to ensure that their platforms are functional and that the users’ satisfaction always goes first. Reaching new audiences will become even more crucial, and with 5G technology, videos will be available even faster – and in better quality! We should also expect more non-American movies and series as a result of the growing interest in the local cinema. What do you think is the next local market that will take over the global movie industry?