HOW THE OTT LANDSCAPE CHANGED IN 2020 AND WHAT TO EXPECT FROM 2021
2020 was a baffling year in so many ways, and in the entertainment industry we saw major changes in user behavior that came along with a radical change in lifestyle, especially during periods of lockdown when there was more free time to enjoy series and favorite movies, or try out new content platforms and discover new forms of entertainment. Some people found their “inner chef”, while others got hooked on Disney’s The Mandalorian or turned to fitness streaming to burn off some of the excesses of this period. Let’s analyze the OTT landscape in 2020 and what to expect from 2021:
How has the OTT market changed in 2020?
From the aggregated data of our worldwide customers during lockdown we’ve seen a significant uptick in content consumed by existing users, a sharp increase in new users signing up to streaming service trials, a slight overall increase in churn rates and a substantial increase in hours consumed, led by Smart TVs, but a considerable reduction in trial-to-paying user conversion rates. Overall, streaming service general consumers, which includes both paying and trial consumers, rose 109% during lockdown. This content consumption was led by linear TV, with a 287% increase in consumption, followed by Subscription VOD (112%), and Transactional VOD (9%). This data indicates a great opportunity for those video services willing to implement strategies to engage their audiences and increase retention.
In Q3 2020 the number of global SVoD subscriptions reached 217.6 million, the highest ever, beating the previous record of 211.7 million in Q4 2018.
The annual increase grew for the third quarter in a row, after declining for the previous four quarters from Q1 2019 thru Q4 2019. The trend reflects the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on video consumption as well as the popularity of the Disney+ service.
What to expect in OTT in 2021?
The growth in OTT viewing doesn’t look like just a pandemic fad. New viewer habits will have stickiness long after the lockdowns end, and OTT services need to adapt to this new scenario by analyzing their users’ behavior to understand what they really want, and leveraging this understanding to adapt to the fast changing environment and succeed in 2021 by personalizing their offerings to the specific needs of the users. The transformation of TV continues and SVOD services are playing a key role in changing the way people consume TV. It looks like the shift away from traditional broadcast and pay-TV will continue in the coming years.
- New players are coming on to the scene: theaters, performance venues and sports arenas were forced to close their doors to the public and transform the way to reach their audience. And just like in many other sectors, a move online was the only way to survive, leading to the appearance of new streaming platforms where people could watch their favorite events and games.
- From the big screen to the small screen: similarly, when movie theaters could not stay open, many movies were premiered directly on television or streaming services, accelerating a phenomenon that players such as Netflix or HBO had been anticipating, with major productions premiering directly on our television screens. We’ll see how movie theaters deal with this development in the next few years, and transform what they offer into a real entertainment experience that attracts consumers beyond a selection of film titles.
- Content aggregation will be king: in 2020, we saw an increase in subscription to streaming services. The wide variety of services and content obliges users to sign up with different platforms, but having to change constantly from one platform to another doesn’t enhance user experience. This is why content aggregators are looking to integrate all of the content their users want on a single platform, saving them money, improving their experience and putting a greater quantity of content at their disposal.
These months of pandemic have clearly accentuated a trend that had been on the horizon for some years already, and perhaps more importantly, have made entertainment businesses innovate and better adapt to the needs of their users. At Jump, we know the entertainment market very well, by working with companies in 24 different countries with very different business models and customers, but with the same objective: to understand and predict user behavior and offer them an experience that is totally personalized and adapted to their likes and needs.
Do you want your entertainment business to triumph in 2021? Request a free demo and we’ll tell you how we can help.