While I’ve attended the annual Consumer Electronics Show for decades, being a media executive attendee this year felt different as so many consumer electronics are increasingly dependent on content, video and associated advertising. This year, I had the opportunity to meet with C-Suite executives, advertisers, agencies and publishers, and the hot topics centered around monetization models for publishers and the future of targeting consumers with ads. Based on my discussions, here are three predictions to watch for 2018.
2017 saw tremendous consumer growth in streaming TV services and 2018 is set to be even bigger. This year, eMarketer estimates that 181.5 million U.S. consumers will use connected TVs at least once every month — equating to more than 55% of the U.S. population — and by 2021, that number will expand to 194.4 million, which is almost 58% of the population. Let’s begin with a basic definition of OTT video (over-the-top): OTT video is video transmitted via the Internet that bypasses traditional cable/linear distribution. While it can either be ad-supported or subscription-based, at Premion, we consider true OTT to be long-form and live streaming premium content such as network programming, TV shows and movies.
The pace of digital disruption that is transforming the TV industry is accelerating: the growth in IP-delivered TV content is reshaping distribution models, consumer viewing habits and advertising. Every major TV operator has launched or is in the midst of launching and scaling up their direct-to-consumer streaming offerings. Consumers now have more choice than ever — from DirectTV Now, FuboTV (a Premion partner), Sling TV (a Premion partner), PlayStation Vue and YouTube TV, to name just a few. Philo is another recent entrant that offers 30-plus entertainment channels. Disney has plans to launch two streaming services and may develop even more following its 21st Century Fox deal.
With many media and content companies jumping on the streaming TV bandwagon, the marketplace is becoming increasingly fragmented, and it’s creating even more competition for high-quality content to keep viewers hooked: Already there are over 200 OTT services in the U.S. market, according to Parks Associates.
What can we expect in 2018 with the rise in streaming services and OTT advertising growth?