The changing media landscape: Over-the-top & streaming services

Technology has fueled a change in consumer behavior enabling viewers to watch what, when, where and how they choose. This shift has led to the mass adoption of over-the-top (OTT) consumption – the delivery of traditional film and TV content via the Internet without the need for a subscription to a traditional cable or satellite service.

As modern media and viewing dynamics change before our eyes it becomes increasingly difficult for both linear and over-the-top (OTT) media companies to drive viewership in a crowded marketplace.  According to eMarketer, by 2019, 72.1% of US internet users will use over-the-top (OTT) video services. “Such high penetration suggests saturation, but for many there is still significant room for growth.”

This consumer adoption is forcing media and entertainment providers to evolve as the competition for viewers heats up.  This competition has led to higher-quality, more niche-programming – NetFlix will reportedly spend $6 million on custom content this year. As a result, even consumers are adopting OTT services and advertising is shifting from mass placements to hyper-targeted messaging, delivered for non-linear viewing.

Established media and entertainment players must focus on nurturing relationships and adapt to shifting consumer expectations in order to effectively reach consumers.

The good news? If approached appropriately you have the tools to succeed.

The challenge

First, you must be able to drive viewership in this competitive environment.  Leveraging audience development techniques that combine unique data assets can help you identify highly targeted audience segments.  Second, you must be able to effectively reach these desired audiences across digital media.

The opportunity

Media has become more data-centric as access to consumption patterns, habits and behavior becomes available – something linear programming doesn’t benefit from.  Because OTT services are completely customized for and by the user, the information from those services is incredibly dense and specific.  It affords you the opportunity to distribute personalized content like never before.

Still, sophisticated data-driven capabilities are needed to deliver hyper-relevant messages to attract viewers and drive ad dollars. Investing in the right technology infrastructure and data collection capabilities is key to future success – particularly as the market becomes even more saturated.

Future success will be enabled by your ability to leverage data, superior digital reach, measurement and individual-level creative versioning to stimulate viewership.