A personalised OTT experience helps engagement and opens new monetisation opportunities in advertising, says Massive CEO Rob Downey.

IBC365 Rob Downey Massive

Rob Downey

It’s not a huge surprise to begin by saying that the OTT space is facing unprecedented change. By 2022, it’s predicted 55.1 million people will cut the cord, and today 24% of the U.S. population aged 18-35 have never even owned a cable TV.

Clearly, such rapid growth spells vast opportunities.

Let’s begin with the viewers themselves. Never before have they had so much power. The OTT space is rife with competition, and in an era of cord-cutting years-old loyalty is just not enough. They know what they want, and they’ve never demanded more. They’re searching for engaging, interactive content. They want it on the go. They want more choice. They want quality – and they want it yesterday.

But OTT viewers are also as different as the world in which we live. It’s no longer a space simply for the young or the early adopters. All users have contrasting interests and ample ways of watching. We know one thing – and that’s methods of the past simply won’t cut it.

Of course, it’s also a time that spells vast opportunities for broadcasters – and any other organisation ready to secure a growing number of eyes on its online content.

For example, you just have to think about the introduction of 5G, which is set to take the world by storm in the coming months and years. It’s one part of the technology landscape that will inevitably lead to a seismic shift when it comes to the way the world consumes content.

Infrastructure is being put in place as we speak to allow for such colossal changes, with some predicting that APAC will be the region to most widely adopt 5G as soon as 2025. This is untrodden ground, and whatever happens, change is afoot once again.

Faster, more ready access to high-quality content is just one aspect that I believe is leading OTT to enter a new era. You only need to look back 20 years and the phenomenon that is online video didn’t even exist. Today, it’s moving into a phase of maturity.

Of course, it’s no longer simply enough to just get content on screen. The real opportunity lies in wait for those ready to react and drive this next chapter by enabling their user experience to become a revenue- and engagement-driver.

OTT operators now have the tools in place to use data to drive decision-making, meaning that delivering personalisation across an entire UX, rather than just the content, can be at the heart of a video service more than ever before. Not only does this demonstrably help increase engagement and help reduce churn, but it also opens new monetisation opportunities around premium advertising and sponsorships that go beyond the simple pre- and mid-roll in-stream models.

With internet advertising expected to surpass 50% of total ad-spend for the first time in 2021, those looking to truly succeed in the OTT space can’t get left behind. They must act – now.

Rob Downey is CEO at Massive. Massive was acquired by Deltatre in November 2018. 

Deltatre will be exhibiting at IBC2019 on Stand 14.F06