New players (content owners and distributors) are emerging all over the globe and entering the market which is now open not just for the big companies but for the locally oriented ones as well. For some, it is the main and the only channel of distribution for their content while for others like traditional cable or satellite TV providers it’s a new, additional channel of distribution which is recognized as a new opportunity to monetize their content through wider audience reach. OTT content delivery is being recognized as a must-have and no longer as nice-to-have solution for both content owners and distributors alike.

Well, what is expected to be trending in 2018?

Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
We all know the content is the key ingredient to a successful platform. As content availability grows, so does the segmentation of viewers (binge watchers, sometime streamers, OTT service stackers…). However, with more and more content being added on daily basis combined with overwhelmed viewers who expect more personalized content suggestions according to their viewing preferences is creating pressure on the OTT platforms to fit everybody’s needs and wishes. That requires a tremendous amount of data to be analyzed. “More video content is uploaded to the web every 30 days than the three major U.S. television networks have created in 30 years.”, as reported in Forbes.

This is where the AI steps in with in-depth analysis of the accumulated data. Information about what is viewed, when, how often, and other viewer’s activities that gives you a ‘user behavior profile’ enables the platform owners to provide the user with the best viewing experience. Not only that, but it will also provide valuable information for a more focused and personalized ad campaigns for those platforms that opt out for that mode of monetization.

The AI/Machine Learning enables analysis’ which are becoming an invaluable tool that will steer further development of new features within the OTT platforms.

Original Content
After constant threat of losing the rights to distribute certain content, the big players like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu have ventured deep into the production of original content. That has proven to be a bold but definitely a move in the right direction. The trend is to continue in 2018 especially with production of original localized content.

The popularity of the local original content just goes to prove that there is a good chance of success for smaller, local oriented content providers whose localized content will ensure their “piece of the growing OTT pie”.

Live video streaming
According to Facebook, live streaming attracts three times more viewers than an ordinary video. YouTube had huge success with live stream of the 2016 U.S. presidential debate. Twitter and LinkedIn are following the trend as well. Viewers like live experience which translates into a must have on the platform, if you wish to have more viewers of course.

Also, OTT is entering into a sports arena, literally as the next big trend will be providing viewers the sports’ content which has long been the staple of linear TV and satellite broadcasters that was keeping the viewers from ‘cutting the cord’. Definitely, exciting days are ahead of us.

4K Streaming
With the rise of 4K quality content plus more and more 4K-enabled devices which is slowly becoming the standard for what is considered high-quality, we might see a bigger push of 4K streaming via OTT platforms.

VR and 3600
While virtual reality has been predominantly present in the gaming industry from the looks of things it is picking up the pace in the movie industry as well. Although many are still on the fence regarding the success of the VR, AR and the 3600 videos the fact is that money is being invested into development of both the hardware and the software. That means that OTT platforms will be adding their VR apps in the near future. We have yet to see what happens with the VR in the 2018.

In conclusion, 2018 will be exciting. Different advancements are on the horizon. There will be plenty of new content; new players in the OTT arena; OTT experience will be even more personalized; monetization of content will be even more refined and in focus… All in all, like with any other fast growing market, there are plenty of opportunities for success but the need for constant upgrade, development and evolvement is a prerequisite for a long-term success. @AVIION we have been continuously working on developing and adding new features to our end-to-end AVIION HS5 OTT solution for the past 9 years. We are confident we can exceed our clients’ expectations. If you would like to take AVIION HS5 for a test flight click here.