It was interesting and refreshing to be at IBC 2022 in Amsterdam after 3 years of no-show due to the COVID pandemic. The time gap makes change more evident and for me the most obvious one was that the OTT market is beginning to mature. Gone are the wild west times of 2019 where OTT launches were springing like mushrooms, the mainstream now are serious projects from serious brands that carefully balance content, technology and business.
As usual in media (some things never change) content is hugely important. The projects we see now are from serious operators with content that is fit for purpose for the market they target. Coupled with content is how to distribute this content in order to reach the maximum audience; and brands are deploying a blend of SVOD, TVOD, AVOD in both linear or non-linear formats. Again, in the business world, we did a circle and are back to the old DTH days of premium, freemium with ads and TVOD.
A big trend and change is also evident on the business and subscriber model. Operators are now super sensitive on the product they offer their subscribers and the membership model and choices offered are richer and wider. Multiple subscriber models are needed, from simple pay-before-you-use to more advanced subscription plans with binding and promotions. The initial 30-day free period is replaced with continuous advanced promos based on BI in order to increase revenue per subscriber and decrease churn. Choice of packages with upgrade paths is in, one size fits all is out. A wide selection of payment methods is important. Advanced usage-based models are also coming with concepts such as 10 blockbuster films per month in your subscription package.
A successful OTT product needs fit for purpose content, good video tech and a modern, flexible and highly functional subscription management and billing / payment platform.
Let’s welcome the new mature OTT market that is still growing and evolving fast.