OTT moving ‘to centre stage’ for broadcasters, says Ooyala

Ooyala state of the broadcastOTT is now a key area of focus for broadcast companies as the pace of changing consumer habits accelerates, according to a new report by Ooyala.

According to the Telstra-owned video platform provider’s State of the Broadcast Industry 2016 report, OTT is now “centre stage”, with just 45% of adult viewers tuning into traditional scheduled TV. However the how viewers choose to watch depends to a significant extent on where they live, with SVoD growth dependent on a range of local factors, including the availability of broadband infrastructure, maturity of the market and piracy.

According to Ooyala, 30% of North American smartphone owners now watch full-length TV shows on their smartphones, and 20% watch full-length movies, with growth driven by the availability of content and the growing size of screens.

Other global regions are also on par with those figures. Mobile apps, with their stronger user experience, are now preferred over mobile browsers, according to the company.

Millennials now account for the largest segment of US viewers, at 75 million, larger than the population of ‘baby boomers’.

Millennials showed a 16% decrease in traditional TV viewing. Ooyala cites studies that have shown that Millennials increasingly prefer time-shifted TV on online platforms and that a quarter of childless millennials in the US do not have cable.

Among the 16 million US homes without pay TV, 45% now also view old-fashioned over-the-air TV for a proportion of their viewing, reversing the long-term trend in the US away from this platform.

TV Everywhere has failed to arrest cord-cutting in the US, where the first quarter sa a net loss in subscribers for the first time.

In response to the shift, broadcasters and pay TV companies are addressing online initiatives more and more, according to Ooyala, citing research that indicates that 15-20 new niches services will emerge in by 2018 to eat into Netflix’s share of the premium market, which is expected to grow to US$8-10 billion by that date.

Broadband growth continues to provide a bright spot for multiplay providers, with cable operators controlling 60% of the US broadband market.

Other trends identified by Ooyala include growth in streaming to larger TV screens and changes in the way content is makde to target multiple platforms.

The shift in viewing habits is also driving a shift in advertising, with US digital ad spend set to exceed TV spend this year, driven by the emergence of new measurement tools like Comscore’s Xmedia and Nielsen’s Total Audience Measurement.