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Which Video Streaming Providers will Survive in the Next 5 Years?

There are many more OTT providers than you real­ize.  One ser­vice offers to pro­vide you with 600 chan­nels. A Mash­able arti­cle promis­es 33 Ways to Watch Free TV Online and of course there are the usu­al sus­pects; Hulu, Net­flix, Ama­zon Prime, CBS, Crack­le and the list goes on and on. By the way the indus­try term for Video Stream­ing is OTT for over the top.

But Which Video Streaming Providers will Survive and Why?

In Secret For­mu­la to Win the OTT Race Kei­th Zubchevich talks about the impor­tance of qual­i­ty over quan­ti­ty.   But how do you mea­sure quality?

In our data crazed world most sure­ly the algo­rithm mas­ters will find a way.

Some would say that qual­i­ty pro­gram­ming only comes from expe­ri­enced direc­tors and pro­duc­ers.  Some of the most suc­cess­ful shows like House of Cards and Home­land are cre­at­ed, writ­ten and pro­duced by sea­soned professionals.

It’s dif­fi­cult to guar­an­tee the cre­ation of lots of suc­cess­ful shows.  OTT providers will employ dif­fer­ent strate­gies to accom­plish this objec­tive.  Per­haps some OTT providers may opt to buy cable net­works and/or a cable com­pa­ny.  Per­haps Ama­zon will buy Com­cast.

Are YouTube Stars Professional?

Would you con­sid­er Michelle Phan, one of the longest sus­tain­ing YouTube stars sea­soned?  Over the last 7 years she has uploaded 300 videos which have received in excess of 1 bil­lion views.  Have House of Cards or Home­land attained that view­er­ship?   What about PewDiePie? With almost 38 mil­lion sub­scribers and 9 Bil­lion views he tops the list of YouTube suc­cess stories.

Is the Experience Important?

In his arti­cle Zubchevich appears to devote as much time to dis­cussing the impor­tance of the expe­ri­ence to the qual­i­ty of the pro­gram­ming.  Giv­en today’s 3 screen (and per­haps more than that one day) world no doubt the expe­ri­ence is an impor­tant part.  Maybe not as impor­tant as the qual­i­ty of the show (a bad show in a good expe­ri­ence still is not going to get great view­er­ship vs a great show with less of an experience).

Accord­ing to Ted Saran­dos, Netflix’s Chief Con­tent Offi­cer, speak­ing at Van­i­ty Fair’s New Estab­lish­ment Sum­mit in San Fran­cis­co ear­li­er this year, “In 10 years…it will be entire­ly deliv­ered on the Inter­net. It will be a series of apps that’s clos­er to what you see on smart TV. I don’t think it will be deliv­ered on cable, and I don’t think it will be linear”

How­ev­er no ques­tion that the show of tomor­row will need to play to mul­ti­ple screens and the abil­i­ty for pro­gram­ming to adapt will def­i­nite­ly aid its pop­u­lar­i­ty.  The eas­i­er you make it for the audi­ence to view your show and the more you can engage that audi­ence most like­ly the greater the success.

Is Advertising History and Subscriptions the New TV?

Giv­en that of the top viewed OTT pro­gram­ming a high per­cent­age is on sub­scrip­tion only ser­vices and pro­vid­ed on a binge basis are we ush­er­ing in a new era of adver­tis­ing free TV?

I don’t think free tv is going away any time soon.  How­ev­er I do believe per­haps a com­bi­na­tion of paid sub­scrip­tions and adver­tis­ing could be in our future.  It’s not that view­ers hate ads they just hate too many ads.  Prime time TV keeps increas­ing com­mer­cial time to where it is almost 20 min­utes per hour and it has become exces­sive in many view­ers eyes.  How­ev­er if we need to buy every chan­nel we see the costs could be pro­hib­i­tive for most and lim­it the amount of pro­gram­ming that could be produced.

Per­haps the future will bring us spon­sored shows with lim­it­ed adver­tis­ing but still incur a month­ly sub­scriber cost; sim­i­lar to how we pay for cable cur­rent­ly where basic cable has advertising.

Redefining the OTT Experience

I think Zubchevich is cor­rect that, in addi­tion to win­ning the pro­gram­ming acqui­si­tion chal­lenges, the next most impor­tant ini­tia­tive will be the enhance­ment of the OTT expe­ri­ence.  Only time will tell who merges, who clos­es or who buys who.

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