WATCH VIDEO. Within the next five years, viewership hours of live-linear streaming over-the-top (OTT) video will surpass those of traditional broadcast TV, according to close to 70% of respondents in the 2017 OTT Video Services Study by Level 3 Communications, Streaming Media and Unisphere Research.
The third annual survey on OTT trends was based on responses from almost 500 media industry professionals.
“This year’s OTT Video Services study reveals clear growth in the OTT marketplace, with survey responses overwhelmingly projecting OTT viewership will exceed traditional broadcast TV viewership by 2020,” said Tim Siglin, contributing editor for Streaming Media Magazine and principal report author.
” The maturation of OTT video delivery reflects key changes in the industry, including fewer bandwidth constraints and the important role live-event and live-linear OTT distribution will play as we transition from VOD-only services to those that more closely mimick traditional broadcast delivery.”
“Viewers continue to show they want the flexibility to consume content on multiple screens,” according to Anthony Christie, CMO, Level 3.
“To keep pace with this shift, content providers need more than pure-play CDN solutions. They need high-performance network solutions that can scale as their customer base grows in size and geography to deliver a consistent, reliable experience – whenever they want, wherever they are and on any device they choose.”
The report finds that the OTT industry is booming. More than a quarter of participants expect OTT year-over-year revenue growth 2016 to 2017 to increase as much as 25%, and about half of respondents anticipate growth of anywhere between 30 to 50%.
Over the next three years, OTT-related services will account for more than a quarter of their overall business, according to nearly two-thirds of respondents. In a change from prior years, the 2017 study found bandwidth limitation challenges are giving way to concerns around quality of service and quality of experience.
Almost 70% of respondents offer OTT services globally or across more than one geographic region, and, accordingly, about half of respondents employ multiple CDNs, up from 40% in 2016.
While VR-video garnered notable attention in the 2016 OTT Study, this year’s respondents are focused on both higher frame rates (HFR) and high-dynamic ranges (HDR), with almost half of respondents offering or planning to offer both options. An additional 20% are focusing only on HFR delivery, such as 1080p60, which is often used to smooth out sports content.
OTT-provider maturity level affects the type of video content being offered and planned. Less mature providers are most interested in live events and video-on-demand (VOD) content, while the more mature providers with current OTT service offerings demonstrate more affinity for live-linear OTT, either today or as a planned offering within the next two years.