Skip to Content

OTT Streaming Wars: Raise or Fold

With OTT services, the media and entertainment industry has truly entered the age of data.

Remember when streaming services were only a bet placed by young techies? Well, Subscription Video on Demand services are running the table, now poised to outdo pay TV in over 30 countries by year’s end. In the U.S. and parts of Europe, Over the Top (OTT) streaming media services have the largest share of video consumption for all age groups up to 50 years, and COVID-19 has only enhanced consumer reliance for OTT.

The sheer number of new OTT streaming launches have changed the game for the media and entertainment industry.  The new OTT include broadcasters, telecom operators, right holders and others, on local and international levels, all aiming to capture direct-to-consumer relationships.

The battle for subscribers, as well as advertisers, is flourishing as local players whose audiences on traditional TV are declining, launch their own OTT models. The ongoing service and content fragmentation inevitably call for a new industry reshaping.

Our recent study aims to better understand how data unleashes differentiation and competitive edge across strategic dimensions for media companies such as content sourcing, customer acquisition, customer loyalty and lifetime value.

For OTT, content is paramount, followed by user experience and brand. These necessities do not exist on their own. Nearly 70% of the 40+ media executives we interviewed for our research, declared data to be business critical for survival. If content is king, data is now the ace.

Data must be understood as the combination of big data, enriched with thick data and human intelligence, and must fall across multiple fields of business application.  We found media companies individualize on their level of data application maturity, and that two out of three of them meet only the basics.

Moving up to full maturity will require to leverage leaders best practices: (1) decide to set data at the core of the strategy, (2) build an environment of trust, (3) address users and not audiences, (4) work on skillsets to close gap between business and data, (5) build data-in-motion cloud-based architecture, (6) become algorithms-centered, (7) balance and control  algorithms by humans and foster creativity, (8) align data governance to enable democratization and agility.

With OTT services, the media and entertainment industry has truly entered the age of data. Only media companies able to extend their reach and personalize experiences will have a place at the table.