Streaming’s Biggest Year Yet

2020: Reaching new audiences

Content will achieve unprecedented global reach, empowering content creators to push boundaries and think beyond historical geographical and technical barriers.

2020 will see more smaller service providers enter the market serving a particular niche as audience fragmentation increases. The streaming format enables content owners and rights holders to reach global audiences in a cost effective way that simply wouldn’t have been possible before.

Cloud, edge and AI technologies will play a fundamental role in the future of video content delivery and workflows, making it easier for new players in the world of streaming to build scalability into their business model. They have the flexibility to adapt their strategy to provide content that meets global or local demand at any given point in time, meaning they have fewer restrictions on the types of programming they want to create.

Connected TVs: a major growth area for eyeballs and revenues

Connected TVs (CTVs) have now superseded mobile devices as the primary means of viewing streamed content, as the living room is where the improvements in quality now being achieved can be really appreciated. There are expected to be over 200 million Connected TV viewers in the US alone by 2021.

This rapidly increasing popularity is not lost on advertisers in the US, who are expected to spend $5 billion on supporting streaming content delivered via CTV in 2020. CTV already accounts for 55 percent of premium video dynamic ad insertion (DAI) inventory across the US and Europe, demonstrating a YOY growth of 48 percent. This is not a growth curve that is going to dip any time soon.

OTT: The future of live sports

New innovations in 4K streaming, enhanced playback features and hyper-personalisation are enabling streaming content service providers to create an alternative viewing experience for fans. More consumers will choose to watch live sports via streaming platforms as they now offer the same quality experience as broadcast. The increase in popularity will see streaming service providers look to acquire sports rights.

The summer of 2020 will be a big one for sports fans, with the Olympic Games following on quickly from the Euro 2020 soccer tournament across Europe. We predict higher concurrent viewer numbers and higher data traffic than ever before.

Ultra Low latency: beyond the hype

Latency will continue to be a big part of the conversation, but the focus of broadcasters for the time being will remain on the side of quality and availability over speed. Audience expectations of higher streaming quality, enhanced features and increased accessibility from their service providers will be the top priorities.

As the year moves on we predict more conversations on the practical issues around delivering low latency. How does it impact the business model, especially where ad insertion is concerned? And how do you navigate live streaming issues quickly in a low latency environment? It will be crucial that service providers have clear visibility of their entire OTT workflow, from encoding to ad insertion and delivery.

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