Ooyala predicts 2017 broadcast and video trends

In just about every sector of industry, technology is developing at such speed that processes and the way people work today will look very different in ten, five, even as little as two years from now, according to Ooyala. In this article, the content delivery specialist presents ten trends and changes it expects to impact the video and broadcast markets in 2017.

  1. Live advertising will ramp up revenue

2016 saw Facebook debut Facebook Live, Twitter streaming NFL games across the globe and Hulu launching a live option in 2017. Publishers and broadcasters have a big opportunity, particularly in the news and sports sector. Yet, as attractive an option as it is for publishers, finding the best way to monetise live content is still a process. The big question is how to use ads while still maintaining the customer experience? What’s the best ad load to content length, and how does that change depending upon device? Expect 2017 to be the year of setting standards for live ad monetisation, ad load and personalising the experience.

  1. 2017: The year of investment…

Streaming services will face higher content creation costs as output demand increases in 2017.  Netflix is set to invest an additional $1 billion in original content next year while other content giants like Amazon are also ramping up production to stay relevant, competitive and meet demands.

This increase in investment in original series content means more pressure on local providers to do likewise. The challenge will be finding successful ways to minimise costs in other areas. Expect 2017 to be the year we talk more about the costs of production, how to streamline processes and how to make production more efficient.

  1. …and innovation

We’re going to see a lot of innovation, a lot of success and a lot of failure in 2017. As more streaming offerings have emerged, there’s been a reaction by some that the market can only handle a limited number of new services. That’s not true, at least not yet. There is no service — aside from Netflix — that’s really winning every time. What does this mean for next year? Simple, customers will continue to experiment with whatever’s new. People are always looking for the ‘next big thing’ and that’s not about to change so there’s still time for players to disrupt the market and make their mark.

Who we are most likely to see this disruption from is established companies experimenting with tools for reaching new customers through SVOD and AVOD services. Notable is music streaming service, Spotify, which already has a huge by user base and is planning to enter the video arena with at least 12 shows in 2017. We expect to see other big players shake things up like this in 2017.

Despite this, broadcasters should remain mindful, the ease for viewers to drop one service for another is easier than ever. 2017 will show, more than ever, the need for personalised experiences that keep viewers and reduce churn

  1. Mobile is here to stay

Ooyala’s Q3 Video Index found that mobile video views topped 52% of all views in Q3 of 2016. We predict this figure to continue to rise in 2017 as customers are increasingly willing to use a mobile screen to watch just about anything – episodic TV, movies and sporting events. All regardless of screen size.

And it’s not just the Millennials adopting mobile viewing as standard; video consumption is increasing across all ages and demographics, securing its place at the core of nearly everyone’s mobile lifestyle. In 2017, providers of SVOD and AVOD services will concentrate on capitalising on the mobile revolution, launching new services (including AR and VR applications) to further tempt users.

  1. The way we consume sports is changing

In 2016 we saw live, traditional TV sports ratings take a huge hit. Events such as the Olympics represented a perfect opportunity for rights holders to creatively package content and monetise it with niche audiences – but this wasn’t done.

In 2017 sport broadcasters will fight back: they will use data to get to know the audience and offer them packages of content they really can’t refuse… everything from single online-event passes to gold or platinum passes for entire events. They will also start to offer access to all, not just customers inside their pay wall. There’s realisation now that paywalls represent a lost opportunity for viewership and reduces marketing options.

To keep viewers engaged, in a world where few will sit through an entire game, broadcasters will offer interactivity, alternate content that they can explore during the event to keep them engaged longer.

  1. Go the way of the audience

Content providers have been embracing multi-device distribution strategies for a couple of years with their own platforms, but social is proving to be increasingly vital in video distribution. Publishers, broadcasters and content providers need to be wherever their audiences are. In 2017 expect more deals with social platforms and more investment in creating content for these platforms.

If we can offer a word of advice here; social doesn’t have to be the be all and end all for a content strategy. A hybrid strategy, that still favours your owned and operated properties, will ensure you get first-hand data about how your audience is engaging, and which content is performing best. This data can help inform content creation and video strategies moving forward.

  1. IP-minded production infrastructures

While we won’t see the end result in 2017, we will see advances in the movement towards IP-minded production infrastructures. Market demands for flexible production and complex syndication, along with overall desire to manage costs flexibly along with variable distribution revenue will force rapid adoption. For this to work organisations must have a solid strategy in place to manage the transition from tape, file, SDI-based infrastructure to one leveraging the benefits of IP, including both premise deployed systems and cloud-based services.

At this stage, such technology may seem cost-prohibitive, however as Amazon Web Services, Google and Azure continue to knock heads, we will seen dramatic drops in the cost of storage and bandwidth. This will help ease the transition.

  1. The year of media logistics

In 2016 we saw an explosion of demand to create multiple versions of assets, including clips, highlights and summaries, for marketing-only content, or global distribution. The digital boom is to blame as content provides must meet the demands to deliver content to even more devices, platforms and syndication partners. We will see this process of multiple versioning be planned for and incorporated into production cycles in 2017. We’ll also see more recycled assets from providers’ archives (may include content not in original final assets). As such, expect production teams to look for media logistics solutions that to automate the process of producing hundreds of various clips of the same asset. It’s demanding work, and to it manually is becoming unfeasible.

  1. Automation

Speaking of automation, in line with the increase in content production is the dawn of production automation. While already in use by some content creators it will now start being adopted across the video supply chain.

Automation can be leveraged in both the creative and non-creative sides of video production. Content producers can eliminate many manual tasks and shorten production cycles to reduce errors; it increases productivity, speed and efficiency to help production companies meet exponentially increasing demands. Automation can also facilitate better team collaboration by eliminating logistic hurdles, providing content producers with increased control over, and visibility into, the production chain. If service providers want to continue increasing output in 2017 they must leverage automation to succeed.

  1. Video analytics to inform content creation

The ability to judge audience reactions in real time will become the new normal in 2017. Video analytics will grow to be about measuring reactions in close-to-real-time and making changes to content or ads immediately as needed.

The greater impact of this will be seen as engagement analytics begin to inform content production (TV, movie, news) curation and/or commissioning. Time-coded metadata can be collected by TV writers, producers and directors to tie social media comments back to an exact moment or event on a broadcast. These audience reactions can then be used to inform future storyline strategy.

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