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What you need to know about European OTT viewers in 2020

Over the past year, the global OTT market has begun to focus its expansion on Europe, and in 2020 there is expected to be an all-out boom in streaming on the continent. Competition will be fierce, and meanwhile the attitudes and behaviours of European viewers are evolving. Understanding viewers’ changing streaming habits can help providers take market share. This article draws on survey data to demonstrate European attitudes to the mobile streaming QoE including, especially, the expectation for programming download options from app providers. A large majority of respondents say they will pay extra or accept advertising in return for download capabilities.

How to counter the piracy threat

Research from the 2019 Pay-TV Innovation Forum shows that the number of households worldwide who use illegal TV services grew from 11% in 2017 to 17% today, a clear sign that action needs to be taken to stop the piracy onslaught before it is too late. The television ecosystem as a whole has to act together – infrastructure, distributors, content owners – to combat new threats. Senior executives should no longer ask themselves whether they need to invest in content protection, but whether they are investing enough in the right areas to protect business models.

The evolution of video codecs

Given that each video compression codec has different properties and every broadcaster or Pay TV operator has different infrastructure and legacy systems, it is unlikely there will be a clear ‘winner’, in terms of dominant codecs, over the next decade. Instead, there will be several dominant players per niche, meaning every audience will benefit from continual enhancements. Compression innovations must ensure no consumer group gets left behind. It is likely, however, that H.264, HEVC and AV1 will be among the most popular codecs in use, with AV1 perhaps the ‘codec of choice’ for streaming media distribution.

The importance of content curation

More media companies are trying to appeal to as many people as possible with one product, whether that is a streaming service, movie or television show. One engagement strategy is to get an entire household, across all generations, involved in content, thereby magnifying the impact – something where Disney+ could excel. In the meantime, advertisers are breaking their audiences into smaller segments, so if you carry ads or product placements you have to prove to brands that you have dedicated audiences, and you need to know the types of shows that different viewers are interested in, and be able to promote the right content to those sub-audiences. Content curation remains important.

Converging linear and digital TV budgets for 2020

We need a single media budget and standardised measurement for linear and digital advertising so buyers can switch between platforms, formats and devices as seamlessly as consumers do. For connected TV, the industry should bring TV buying rules into the digital space while making the most of programmatic efficiencies. You cannot have a Nike ad running next to Adidas. Competitive separation and blacklists are among the tools needed, along with ad podding and frequency capping. Private marketplace trading removes the risks associated with open programmatic for connected TV and underpins convergence. But there are several other ‘convergence’ issues to address.

Editing longer-form creative into six seconds is a recipe for mediocrity

Mobile was crowned the primary channel for content consumption in the UK last year and to get ahead of the curve in mobile advertising you need to design video creative with the six second format in mind. Taking a 30-second ad and cramming it into six seconds usually results in ads that feel rushed and fail to clearly communicate a brand message. You need tailored work if you want to stand out, capture the attention of mobile users amid a haze of distractions, and achieve tangible outcomes.

Empowering TV users to find content in the blink of an eye

We are living deep in the experience economy. People will not passively accept the experiences they are given anymore. Compressing and improving content discovery is more than a strategic imperative, therefore – it is a survival skill. This article reveals four distinct use-cases that demonstrate how you can reduce the time viewers spend searching for content and increase their engagement. They include eliminating search dead-ends, and digging inside what people watch rather than what they type so that when they search, you serve up content with similar topics, interests, people, story points or moods. There is advice on how to encourage binge-watching or create a home screen filled with visual news feeds, snackable content reels and current or undiscovered favourite shows.

What gets measured: mastering TV attribution in 2020

TV attribution is making significant progress in Europe but there are still three key challenges to overcome and this article outlines them. They are: Sell-side collaboration on audience definition, so there is a common approach to defining niche audiences across different broadcasters and sales houses; Specific permission requests for user-related data, in order to enable GDPR compliant links between census-level data, devices and user identifiers; Increased accessibility of STB return-path, ACR and fingerprinting insights, backed by data sharing agreements involving attribution vendors, device makers, broadcasters and operators.

What is 2020 bringing us, in home devices and applications?

2020 will mark a tipping point for key network, customer premise equipment and smart home technology that has been developing for years. The confluence of technologies such as DOCSIS 4.0, 6GHz spectrum and Wi-Fi 6 are pushing a range of new services into the realms of reality. Whether it is 10Gbps access speeds, more pervasive and powerful home networks or visual assistants, range of exciting trends are emerging to improve the customer experience and drive new levels of service capability for Internet service providers. These include the smart media device – the successor to the STB – which will become a much-loved consumer device.

Why object storage can help eliminate your media archiving challenges

Archiving data is a major challenge for the media and entertainment industry, but if performed correctly, it could save money and time, and add value to a business. As capacity requirements grow exponentially, tape storage systems are outpaced. Storage area network (SAN) and network attached storage (NAS) disk-based solutions become cost prohibitive and lack the scalability needed – and they create data silos. We need a way to seamlessly and cost-effectively scale to hundreds of petabytes without interruption or downtime and ensure that content is readily accessible anywhere and anytime. Object storage answers the call.

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