Live-Linear OTT Viewing to Soon Supplant Broadcast TV, Streaming Media Industry Predicts

May 1, 2017

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | Media & Entertainment | Television | TV Audiences & Consumption | Video

Streaming media industry professionals have little doubt that live-linear OTT viewing (broadcast TV over the internet) will exceed typical broadcast TV viewing, finds a study [download page] from Unisphere Research, Level 3 Communications and Transitions, Inc. Indeed, for the almost 500 respondents surveyed, it’s just a matter of when.

The answer to that is sooner rather than later, in the minds of these industry leaders. In fact, a slight majority (51%) of respondents whose companies who already offer OTT services believe that this type of viewing will supplant broadcast by 2020. More than two-thirds, meanwhile, are confident that OTT will pass that milestone by 2022 – in 5 years’ time.

Even respondents whose companies don’t offer OTT services are largely in agreement: almost half (48%) see OTT gaining dominance by 2020, and close to 7 in 10 see that mark being set by 2022.

Overall, just 5% of respondents who currently offer OTT services believe that OTT will never overtake broadcast, and only 8% of those whose companies don’t offer OTT agree.

The move to OTT viewing will almost certainly be led by Millennials, who are moving away from traditional TV viewing and who form the largest portion of online TV program viewers.

Meanwhile, the study finds a slight shift away from subscriptions and towards advertising as an OTT monetization strategy – to the extent that advertising will almost match subscription as a monetization approach next year. Interestingly, back in 2013 streaming media professionals predicted a similar strategy for 2018, with respondents back then forecasting the most successful OTT revenue model to be a monthly subscription (46%) followed by an advertising/sponsor-supported (42%) models.

Finally, by far the main technical challenge faced in offering live-linear OTT services is the quality of the experience, per respondents. Indeed, virtually all streaming video viewers today feel that the quality of the streaming video experience is important to them.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 486 streaming media industry professionals, 229 of whom (almost 47%) indicated that their companies offer OTT services today. Seven in 10 respondents are from North America and Europe.

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