2020 may be the year of the OTT, but despite new launches, the market remains challenging for content providers. As part of our OTT week, IBC365 rounds up features and interviews on the OTT market.

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OTT: Dominating 2020

Source: Manuel Esteban shutterstock

In 2020, the OTT market is set for its biggest transformation in almost a decade, as new services launch aiming to shake up the way we consume content. 

Large media companies, including broadcasters and film studios, have sat on the sidelines as the likes of Netflix, Amazon and YouTube have moved in and gained a strong foothold in content consumption. 

But from the end of 2019 and during 2020, that is changing, with the likes of Disney, NBCUniversal and the BBC and ITV all launching new platforms, or taking revamped services into new markets. 

At the same time, new players such as Apple and Quibi are also increasing competition by offering new models or technology that aim to differentiate them from the more experienced heads. 

This is all happening in the shadow of the coronavirus, which has dominated the news. Global lockdowns have seen more demand for new content than ever before and this has helped drive subscriptions to services like Disney+, which launched at the end of last year (and in Europe in March). 

The OTT market is set to reach US$167 billion in revenue by 2025. According to new figures from Digital TV Research, this total will be double the revenue of 2019 (US$83 billion) with an estimated US$16 billion to be added in 2020 alone. 

Here, we curate some of IBC365’s recent OTT content. 

Tech Expert: Inside OTT

In the second of a new series of explainer videos, Maria Ingold details the similarities of and differences between OTT and VOD services.

The second streaming revolution 
When Netflix entered the video streaming market in 2010, shifting focus from DVD rentals, it began a shake-up of content consumption that is now fully coming to fruition. 

A decade later, Netflix is still the dominant force in the OTT market, but it is set to face some of its biggest challenges yet, as more players enter the game. 

2020 looks set to be the year of the OTT, with a number of new services coming to the US and Europe from some of the biggest content providers in the world. IBC365 looks at the platforms that will bring the second streaming revolution. 

bob iger

Bob Iger: Former Disney chief executive

Going OTT: Designing and delivering the champion of streaming services 
After it launched in December, former Disney chief executive Bob Iger told analysts during a conference call that the response to its Disney+ service has “exceeded even our greatest expectations.” 

There is no doubt Disney has succeeded in launching its new offering into what is an already crowded and competitive market, however it did so with technical glitches. 

Did these glitches matter? IBC365 deep dives into the challenges of OTT user experience and the future of the streaming wars. 

Eleven Sports interview: Scoring OTT goals with sports broadcasting 
Sports is a key staple of maybe broadcasters’ portfolios, and this has seen similar competition spring up in the OTT space. 

Serving sports fans globally, Eleven Sports saw an opportunity to provide audiences an alternative to what founders Andrea Radrizzani and Marc Watson “saw as a stagnant and fragmented sports media market.” 

Prior to the cancellation of most sporting events, the company offered a platform available across both linear and OTT services with the aim to put sports fans back at the centre of entertainment. 

Joining Eleven as managing director of Belgium in 2015 ahead of its launch, Anouk Mertens was then promoted to chief operating officer in November 2018: “It’s been quite a ride so far,” she tells IBC365. 

SVOD: Price is right 
Content has long been viewed as the main battleground for subscribers in the increasingly crowded streaming market. 

So how can new entrants in the OTT space differentiate themselves from more established players? One way is price. 

Do you go for a subscription service, or fund the platform through adverts, or look at a hybrid model? 

The importance of SVOD pricing has been underlined in several surveys this year. A KPMG survey in the US of more than 2,000 subscribers found that price topped the list of the most important features for consumers in selecting a streaming service. 

Piracy: The subscription fatigue threat 
For a period, it seemed like the TV and film industry was winning the battle against streaming piracy. 

The rise of subscription streamers Netflix and Amazon Prime, offering a wide selection of content at a relatively affordable price, meant that consumers turned away from peer to peer filesharing applications like Napster, Kazza, BitTorrent, Gnutella and eDonkey which exploded in use between 2006 and 2010. 

But with new SVoD services offering exclusive content, are users set to feel subscription fatigue, where they get sick of maintaining several expensive subscriptions? And if this happens, will they turn to piracy? 

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Soumya Sriraman 

Interview: Soumya Sriraman, Britbox 
One OTT service that has recently embarked on a major expansion is British joint venture Britbox. 

The SVoD, which is a joint venture between British broadcasters ITV and the BBC, originally launched in the US, but went live in its home market last year. It is now set to expand its “best of British” content offering to Australia. 

Soumya Sriraman has pushed the SVoD service BritBox to early success across North America. She spoke at IBC2019, and told IBC365 how she meets the needs of subscribers.