The number of online video viewers worldwide is expected to eclipse 1.3 billion by 2016, growing from a current 2010 base of just over 780 million, according to ABI Research. As more consumers look to their broadband connections for content, the Over the Top (OTT) video industry will likewise grow with many companies such as Netflix, Hulu and Apple’s iTunes division aiming to capitalise on this market trend, says the research firm.
Consumers are increasingly engaging with a variety of Internet video services. This rapidly growing ecosystem depends on close cooperation between chipset manufacturers, consumer electronics and set-top box providers, content producers, and service providers worldwide. “Content discovery is just one example of the rapidly changing environment, with traditional programme guides being supplemented by search and recommendations,” says Jason Blackwell, practice director at ABI Research.
Netflix is the current leader in OTT revenues, as it has led consumers to embrace long form broadband video on their TVs with support in nearly every Smart TV platform. iTunes and Hulu each represent about 15 per cent of the current Over the Top market. “Over time, more viewing of YouTube and historically Internet-based platforms will shift to the living room, opening up significant advertising revenues. This trend will be accelerated based on YouTube’s recently announced increase in VOD content,” notes senior analyst Sam Rosen.