This is the age of streaming media and OTT, where people have better choices and access to entertainment and information.
The OTT market has been growing for the past few years. In fact, MPAA recently announced that worldwide streaming has surpassed cable in terms of subscribers. According to MPAA, there are more than 613.3 million subscribers of online streaming globally. On the other hand, cable subscriptions are only 556 million.
For the first time ever, OTT and streaming media have dominated the cable industry in terms of reach. But is this the golden age, everyone has been waiting for?
Or, are there certain challenges awaiting solutions in the industry?
Exceptional customer experience is a necessity
When it comes to customer experience, streaming media services still need some work. While cable TV and broadcast services offer real-time latency, streaming media tend to lack immediate response.
If you remember watching cable, it takes a second or less to change a channel and switch to another program. But, on Netflix, BritBox or Amazon Prime, you need to go back from the current video, scroll, find a show, and push a few more buttons. After all that, you can start a new program, which might buffer for a while before starting.
Several streaming services such as Netflix try to improve customer experience with streaming previews, auto video quality adjustments, and cache. While these are impressive, they don’t deliver the desired level of instant gratification.
Interactive streaming could be the next big thing in online entertainment
Streaming media industry doesn’t want to stop at TV-style content. They want to raise the bar with interactive streaming. Industry leaders are looking into collaborative content such as auctions, game shows, and online gaming. They want to utilize WebRTC to improve the interactivity of online streams.
WebRTC or Web Real-Time Communication requires no plugin to enable real-time interactions. This technology conveniently uses standards and features that already exist in most smart TVs and browsers.
Combined with the powerful 5G networks, interactive streaming could be the next big thing in the OTT industry. Streaming media services can push new collaborative and interactive features to many users.
More personalization with further increase in subscriptions
Personalization has been the primary position of OTT and online streaming against cable and broadcast services. Every individual finds a tailored list of content, which increases watch time and subscriptions. At the same time, it allows better marketing opportunities for ad-supported platforms.
The providers of online streaming and OTT are working on utilizing available user data points in ad representation. They want to make ad insertions more dynamic and aligned with each individual’s needs. This has never been possible on the cable TV model. Advertisements are mostly divided as per specific regions and countries only. But now, streaming media might insert ads to impress each user.
With artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other technologies, OTT and internet streaming solutions can attain the much-required edge to conquer complexities and challenges in online streaming.