OTT market ‘moving in the direction of VR’

Stuart_VRThe over-the-top video market is “moving in the direction of virtual reality ” with 67% of OTT companies believing VR is “here to stay”, according to new research.

The new Level 3, Streaming Media and Unisphere Study found that 52% of the OTT companies polled said they are “researching, getting ready to launch or have already launched VR-video content”.

Two thirds said they believed VR is a lasting technology, but acknowledged there are “business and technical challenges” – including lack of consumer awareness, interest and fear of competition from free services, user generated content and bandwidth caps.

In terms of Ultra HD, almost 50% of OTT companies said that have plans for 4K broadcasts, 4K VOD streaming and/or 4K live-linear or live event streaming.

Almost 70% said they offer or plan to offer both high frame rate (HFR) in existing HD video, as well as offering high dynamic range (HDR) content for greater colour depth.

Some 48% of surveyed companies operating in the OTT space said they expected their OTT revenue to grow between 11-50% from 2015-2016, and almost 20% of respondents anticipated growth to be more than 50% year-over-year.

“As the OTT industry continues to grow and evolve, this study shows there is more focus on not only delivering live streaming events – which can be a challenge in itself – but also streaming in 4K or even VR,” said Level 3 chief marketing officer, Anthony Christie.

“End users expect their video streaming experience to be seamless, even as they begin to consume next generation content, and this study reveals the ever-increasing importance for OTT providers to have a robust CDN strategy to enable this upward OTT trajectory as well as the importance of a safe, secure, reliable network.”

The study was based on interviews with 628 people from media and entertainment companies across the globe – 45% of which are offering OTT services.

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