Odds are good that the cable won’t be completely severed, but not including the ever-growing demographic of over-the-top or OTT viewers into your broadcast plan would be a missed opportunity. Viewers have taken ownership of how they’re watching content, and the industry is adapting. Traditional cable and broadcast providers are moving towards OTT as public access channels are no longer being carried by cable companies.
According to an Adweek article, almost three-quarters (71%) of all US consumers still have a TV cord and plan to keep it, and 55% of paid TV loyalists are adding to their cord services rather than replacing them. Broadcasters should view OTT as both an additional channel of distribution and an added revenue opportunity. Connected devices allows your organization the opportunity to connect with harder-to-reach demographics, especially Millennials and Gen Z’ers. Platforms like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Sling, Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Google Chromecast are growing more popular as they allow viewers to watch on a smartphone, tablet, game console, or smart TV.
Over-the-top revenue rose 37% in 2018 to $16.3 billion and is on pace to grow another 35% to $22 billion in 2019, according to the Convergence Research Group's annual “The Battle for the American Couch Potato” report. Furthermore, PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that over-the-top revenue, which grew 15.2% in 2017, will rise at 8.8% annually from 2018 to 2022. That’s a lot of growth, and a lot of new viewers.
The ultimate take-away from all of these statistics is that you need to be flexible. While OTT is clearly the direction viewing is going and it’s a great way to further reach your demographic, multiple avenues seems to be the most lucrative route. TV is not dead yet, it is transforming, and that transformation will be a hybrid of OTT and broadcast TV.
Supporting your OTT transformation doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. Sal DeMaio, VP of Broadcast of at HB notes, “LiveU enables you to reach OTT viewers such as YouTube and Facebook Live as simple as clicking on a few buttons. And, combining Newtek with LiveU enables you to provide high quality programming on the web in a very streamlined fashion.” Finding the right platform is half the battle in starting your OTT and broadcast transformation.
Your next step will be to create a content strategy. OTT represents a great potential for revenue growth, but that starts with a strategy for attracting and engaging this growing audience. Your strategy should align your content and your audience, and include both the OTT and broadcast avenues.
Get help with all of your broadcasting and OTT needs from HB. We can help you to create a broadcast environment to create content that will reach your OTT, traditional cable, and any other audience.