With the rapid rise in internet accessibility along with OTT (over-the-top) and SVOD (subscription video-on-demand) services, watching scheduled programs on televisions is soon becoming a thing of the past. It has been estimated that the OTT market with its digital media platforms will entirely replace televisions within the next five years.

Around 146.5 million streaming video subscribers reside in the U.S. alone and even that number is forecasted to reach a colossal 236.6 million by the end of 2023. OTT global giants are making good use of these numbers. It has been found that most of the U.S. households spend more on on-demand video services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime as compared to cable TV subscriptions.

But there is a lot more going on in the OTT space. Let’s find out the upcoming key trends in the OTT market that will gain the public eye for the years to come.

AR, VR and 360-degree View:

To say that ‘one-dimensional’ experience of streamed content is ungratifying would be an understatement. It’s a lot like reading fiction, only worse: where at least you can conjure up your own “fictional reality”, ‘one dimensional’ streamed content is a reverse route where you’re compelled to treat reality as fiction. When it comes to watching live sporting events, one is deprived of the feeling of actually being present, even partially. This takes away from the excitement of the match.

But, thanks to the emergence of technology incorporating 360-degree view, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality; watching a highly anticipated live event from multiple views will now be a matter of a finger’s touch. In a study conducted by Stable Research and commissioned by OTT streaming company, Switch Media technology surveying over 1000 consumers on their streamed content behaviors and future steaming expectations, it was discovered that almost 70% of respondents said that streaming content in either 360-degree view, Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality would be their most preferred mode.

Therefore, with the changing OTT trends, 360-degree view, AR and VR will no longer be exclusive to gaming but will gain footing in live streaming and movie making as well. The first of its kind VR center opened by IMAX in Manchester, England is a classic example to this.

4K Streaming:

“Less is more”; except when it comes to video quality. Several studies have delivered the common result that even a small lapse in videos can cost you, viewers. With UHD or 4K making the resolution of up to four times that of HD possible, there ought to be little doubt that 1080p is no longer considered high quality and 4K broadcasts are the most valuable content trending in the OTT market. According to a study carried out by Strategy Analytics, the cost of 4K has been on a rapid decline mingled with a 70% rise in 4K shipments; from 83 million 4K devices in 2016 to an estimated 1.2 billion in 2021! Streaming media adapters, Blu-ray players, game consoles, smartphones closely follow flat panel TVs which still constitute the largest segment of devices supporting the 4K format.

Ad–Supported Offline Viewing:

With the rapid rise in OTT platforms, services and users, it’s quite natural for marketers and advertisers to make the most of such opportune times. As a result, the OTT market will witness a constant growth in digital advertising in the upcoming years. According to a study, 49% of Gen Z and 48% of millennials spend a large portion of their time in online streaming, giving advertisers a seamless avenue for reaching a wider range of audience. Streaming platforms with AVOD (Ad-based video-on-demand) model can either make their streaming completely ad-free by charging more or they can lower the price, increase the user base and continue to earn through digital advertising.

Hybrid Video Streaming:

The impact of Omni-channel is being exerted into the realm of video streaming as well. Gone are the days when linear TV was the only way to reach a large audience. The steady rise of the Internet has led to an evolution in viewing habits, and viewers now like to choose the type of content they consume. The innovative hybrid video streaming platform has emerged as the ideal solution to this demand by offering a combination of OTT and direct-to-home (DTH) content distribution systems.

The hybrid solution offers the possibility of combining everything into one and can be customized based on viewers’ consumption and device preferences. The platform provides an end-to-end package from satellite to OTT and from linear channels to Video-on-Demand services. Moreover, consumers can access the content on any screen, and in any resolution.

Hybrid video streaming that sells DVDs is also gathering momentum, with Amazon’s movie DVDs being a typical example of it. This type of hybrid video streaming will lead to a revival in the OTT video market trends. As content owners focus on selling their content merchandise alongside online video playback, cable TVs will be forced to take the backseat.

Finally, there is little doubt that digital media platforms will continue to rise in the upcoming years and extend greater opportunities to expand audience growth and viewing, thereby paving the way to increased revenue both in the local and global market. And companies are working their fingers to their bones to cater to the evolving need of the OTT market and the satisfaction of their audience.

Author's Bio: 

I, Jimish Shah am a Professional Blogger, Digital Marketer, Content Marketer & an SEO expert with a 5+ experience. I work with new startups, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and bloggers. The main motive behind my concept is to disseminate more knowledge about various topics to present – day youth.