Thoughts from the road: OTT Media Delivery Trends

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In my recent article, “Get Ready for Changes in Media and Entertainment”, I riffed on a number of imminent technological and cultural phenomena such as automation, UHD/4K, security and the application of analytics to the media and entertainment industry.

Now I’m back from a pre-IBCMedia OTT leadership summit in Amsterdam, where I took part in a great discussion of OTT business models, during which I compared OTT to a gold rush: content providers in a hits-driven industry competing for nuggets of viewer attention. All the panelists agreed that existing media companies have to re-tool their workflow and infrastructure in order to stay competitive.

There are a lot of new contenders and it’s certain that we are still in the early days of OTT delivery, with ad-supported (AVOD) and subscriber-supported (SVOD) as two of the more successful business models to date. With all this activity in the market, the future of media delivery will be decided sooner than later as large and small content providers settle on their strategy.

I don’t think the workflow versus business model dichotomy is the problem, it’s actually an opportunity. In customer meetings, I advise media companies to profile their content and subscriber base first, and then choose a suitable distribution platform. That way, they can hedge their bets if they own or create multiple types of programming. It seems like the millennials are quickly moving in one direction and, as I keep saying, and as soon as the parents’ generation can navigate the OTT interfaces (or someone builds a better one) the majority of viewers will switch to on demand video.

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