2015: OTT, A Year In Review
By Tom Butts
Netflix, Amazon, Yahoo, Hulu… who would have thought as recently as five years ago that these services would have some of the most innovative programming on television? If you doubt the strength of OTT, you don’t have to look much further than the Emmy Awards, where—in relation to overall viewership—programming from these streaming services dominated the list of nominations. And binge watching? That was a concept that was almost completely unknown as recently as a couple years ago.
To say that OTT has not had much of an impact on our industry is to deny reality. And its impact is being felt worldwide. In a report issued last April, Juniper Research estimated that the pay-TV OTT market could be worth $31.6 billion by 2019, up from just $8 billion in 2014. U.K.-based Paywizard, in its recent report “OTT Isn’t Just for Christmas,” estimates that more than 50 percent of consumers will go OTT during the holiday season. Despite the increasing popularity of streaming boxes from Roku, Apple TV and Google Chromecast, the majority—66 percent—will view streaming services over mobile devices, (although it does add that 80 percent of those surveyed use the traditional TV set as their main viewing device). And of the 69 percent of respondents planning to sign up for OTT, 41 percent will subscribe to multiple services.