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Six OTT Trends from 2020 that will continue to rule in 2021 05 January 2021


COVID-19 and the OTT surge – Enough has been written and told already. The OTT industry is undoubtedly benefiting from the ongoing pandemic, but some trends magnified during the year and are set to control the OTT movement in 2021. If you are into the digital streaming business, here is what you need to keep in mind while devising your audio and video monetization strategy.


1. Annual Subscription vs. Monthly Subscription

The pandemic has hit the economy across the globe, and consumers’ buying behavior has changed forever. The enticing marketing gimmicks may fall flat as the viewers are much more informed now than they were perhaps ten months back. Trends in 2020 suggest users preferred annual subscriptions of their favorite streaming services to monthly subscriptions.  

The trend is a testament to leading OTT service’s audience pulling capability and trust factor as far as the quality of experience is concerned. The trend is also largely accelerated by the ingestion of original content and aggressive social media marketing of streaming services. 

In 2021, the people’s choice will hardly change. They will continue to opt for top services like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, etc., but new entrants will have to think if their content portfolio for 2021 has that audience pulling capabilities because math is simple here. Annual subscription means the customer will be around for at least 12 months. That’s huge in customer lifetime value, and service providers will get more time to engage with the subscriber while recovering customer acquisition costs. 

On the other hand, monthly subscriptions are uncertain. You may lose subscribers next month. That’s why it’s always wise to offer subscriptions in bundles and other flexible plans. 

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2. Ad-based Model will Rule, Again!

AVOD, albeit crowded, stakeholders wish to claim a piece of the pie. OTT advertising has become the cynosure of enterprises for its targeting capability. Research suggests digital video ad spending on OTT services like Hulu and OTT/ CTV platforms like Roku will immensely grow in 2021 with numbers reaching as high as $14.6 billion by 2023.

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3. Pay TV’s Rough Stint to Continue

With the rise in the number of low-cost OTT service providers and the superlative quality of content foraying to the streaming space, Pay-TV has been under the weather since 2018. 2021 will be no different for its stakeholders as the number of pay-TV subscribers in the United States is projected to decline from 86.5 million to 72.7 million between 2019 and 2023. The popularity of OTT advertising and original content hitting the digital space owing to the pandemic has only added to its wounds. 


4. Personalization will be the Key.

In 2021, top OTT services won’t battle it out for subscribers. They will compete for audience engagement. 

The small players and new entrants will need strong backend support to score in this space. Good content backed by a neat UI, powerful video player, and a technology-driven audience engagement tool like Alie will ensure that new players correctly set the basic positioning.


5. Live Streaming will be the way to Lead.

Live Streaming was one of the top trends in 2020 as enterprises strived for humanized communication in self-quarantining times. Businesses preferred a white-label live streaming solution to connect with their audience and stakeholders, with live shopping being one of the most popular trends set to soar in 2021. In the wake of the density of live events and current social conditions, there is even an opportunity for enterprises to monetize their live events hosted on third-party video communication platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Team, Google Meet, and more. 


6. Connected Advertising to Open New Avenues

Connected TV advertising, often abbreviated as CTV advertising, has become the most promising avenue for marketers. Connected TV (CTV) is defined as the content streamed on an internet-powered television through over-the-top (OTT) devices such as smart TVs, gaming consoles, and streaming devices like Roku and FireTV, Chromecast, etc. With more than 200 million users using CTV, The popularity has propelled marketers to advertise on these platforms. The pandemic has only fueled the movement.

|As per research, CTV has the maximum ad retention rate in comparison to traditional linear TV, and the personalization has bettered the sales number while being noticeably cost-efficient. Also, online advertising helps marketers gather insightful data such as ad performance, click-through-rate, average ad viewing time, and more with actionable analytics & detailed reports. 


Key Takeaways for OTT Service providers 

  • Exploring innovative subscription business models
  • Expanding live-streaming capabilities to set a more humanized connection
  • Granular understanding of the consumer actions and the hidden emotional response
  • Developing a better understanding of customers’ usage patterns and strengthening the value proposition
  • Enabling immersive viewing experiences for “watch-party” groups who prefer to watch content together on social networks
  • Offering customers a holistic solution where they can watch the video, listen to music, play games, listen to a podcast, and more, everything in one platform

As the competition grows and consumer preferences shrink, the enterprises can stay ahead of the curve with agility and consistent information flow. The more you are informed, the more likely you are going to sustain in the race.  

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Jayadeep Subhashis
Jayadeep Subhashis is a Content Marketing Expert with Muvi. He works closely with Muvi Marketing Team and conveys the Muvi brand story and business offerings through powerful web writing, articles, whitepapers, customer success stories, client communication & more. When not working, you can find him binge-watching on Netflix or reading Hollywood Reporter or dreaming of Meryl Streep, his all-time favorite actress!! You can follow him on LinkedIn: Jayadeep Subhashis Hota Twitter: @JayadeepSubhas1

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