2020 has been disruptive. The pandemic has closed businesses and changed the OTT content consumption dynamics in a significant way. It has especially caused a major impact on the TV industry- Lockdowns changed audience consumption habits and caused disruption in broadcasting, production and advertising.
Change in Pay TV Environment
Pay-TV ecosystem is likely to get affected as an increased focus on third-party OTT service integration. For example- renowned pay-TV operators such as Sky, Canal+ and Deutsche Telekom have incorporated streaming services such as Netflix, Discovery+, Disney and Amazon into their ecosystem. There is an increasing trend of synergies between pay-TV and OTT SVoD services and people are appreciating it to a large extent.
Increase in FAST (Free Ad-supported Streaming TV)
Now, what’s FAST? FAST platforms are networks of channels that leverage the explosive growth of connected TVs. FAST channels are specially designed and delivered OTT channels with a linear TV like feel and appearance with varying levels of functionality. I personally feel that content owners will get more involved with FAST (Free Ad-supported Streaming TV) services this year.
The growth in the FAST space has been fueled largely by consumer demand for connected TVs, according to a media research group. The survey estimated that 156.9 million smart TVs were installed in the U.S. in 2019, and it expects a combined annual growth rate of 6.5% through 2024, swelling to 214.7 million installations.
My take? Access through connected TVs coupled with a huge explosion among fee-based subscription services will cause the FAST model to grow exponentially in 2021. There is no doubt that content owners will get more involved with FAST channels and there will be a change in the licensing model.
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