The year 2022 has flown by so fast, that it’s already time again to look forward to the next year. While this year has been incredibly busy, in 2023 things are definitely not looking to cool down. In this blog, we’ll take a look at what I think we can expect to happen in the world of OTT for the upcoming year.
In my opinion, the biggest task ahead of us in the next year is going to be trying to save costs. We’ve all seen the massive rounds of layoffs across the tech sector in these recent weeks and months. Let alone the fact that a recession is looming, or might even already be here; OTT is expensive (although profitable) from many aspects.
With smart solutions for scaling, just-in-time streaming, and improved and newer video codex and formats, companies will aim to reduce their costs while still trying to maintain the highest standard of quality. As you can’t simply make savings at the cost of reducing quality — that’s only going to give you high churn, in turn costing you even more.
FAST and AVOD
What the year has ended with will definitely continue to be all the rage in 2023. As we’ve seen Netflix, Disney, and others announce their AVOD models, many are likely to follow suit. It’ll be interesting to see this unfold, as we might end up with advertisement-fatigue, next to the already existing subscriber-fatigue that many consumers are experiencing at the moment.
Speaking of advertisements, I’m expecting FAST channels to continue to be a main playing field for many companies alike. To actually try and combat the subscriber-fatigue of users a bit while still being present for consumers, introducing a FAST channel is actually not a bad choice to make. With the FAST platforms from LG Channels (powered by Xumo), Samsung TV Plus, and The Roku Channel, it’s incredibly easy to step into the market. Oh, and let’s not count our platforms like Pluto TV either!
AI/ML-driven user experience and workflows
As you might have seen from my previous blogs about AI and ML, a lot is happening in this space as of late (with the most obvious recent one being ChatGPT from OpenAI). And that of course translates to the likes of OTT as well. One of the more interesting developments in this area has been the use of AI for adjusting the user experience in our apps. Whether that’s through the means of personalized recommendations, improved metadata, or even topic discovery in live streams; AI and ML technologies are going to play an ever-increasing role in the way our OTT applications look and feel.
And let’s not forget the use of AI/ML for some of our workflows either. Because there are a lot of tools currently available for use, even today! From start- and end-credit detection, generating and translating of subtitles, all the way to automatically creating posters for your UI. AI and Machine Learning techniques are here to improve our workflows, and will continue to make an increasingly positive impact in the year to come.
Seamless viewing across devices
Something that’s always going to be important is your users viewing experience. With the looming recession and less spending money, there’s going to be a high chance your users will spend even more time watching content to save a buck they would otherwise spend on other adventures. That automatically means your users are going to be using your services across different devices. For that, I always really like to refer to the image below, which perfectly explains the different types of devices used at different times of the day.
You can clearly see that users never use a single device for viewing. They’ll switch from mobile and tablet to desktop for personal usage, only to end the day with the big-screen television in the middle of the living room to watch a cozy movie with the family. With the outlook of increased viewing hours, offering a seamless experience across all those devices will continue to be key, also going into 2023.
While most of those in the OTT space will continue to look at the likes of Netflix and Disney, mimicking or at least taking inspiration from their moves, could 2023 become the year where they get overthrown by a Web3-supporting business? Okay, fair, that’s likely not going to happen — especially not with the crypto winter of these past months. But we definitely shouldn’t sleep on it, either. If anything, there are even some companies out there already trying their luck at this, to name some: Beem, LBRY (Odysee), and Chainflix.
Web3, and blockchain technologies in general, have definitely earned a place in the OTT ecosystem, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there will be some great innovations taking place in the year ahead.
Last on my list has to be something that certain companies have already looked at jumping into, and actually have so very successfully. I’m speaking of seeking out regions where streaming has not really grown as much yet in these recent years. Especially most Western markets are full of streaming services, and it’s very hard to grow a bigger user base (Unless you have deep pockets and an already existing library like companies like Disney). That is however not the case in, for example, African countries.
The amount of streaming services is relatively small compared to other Western countries. And that’s exactly where some emerging streaming services, like Wi-flix, have looked for quickly growing a big user base. And with success! It’s a recipe for success that certain streamers will likely aim to follow.
The world of OTT really never stands still. Honestly, the world of technology never stands still, and that’s honestly the takeaway here. We live in a technology world, and there’s a lot happening at the moment that will continue at full force in 2023. AI and ML technologies will make our lives easier, and possibly even introduce things into our OTT workflows that we wouldn’t think of right now. And new technological advancements, like newer codecs, should have a positive impact in trying to save costs, too.
OTT is an ever-intriguing world, and I cannot wait for 2023 to show some of the tech advancements come to life that we are now working on!
Interested in some of my other blogs? I write about all things OTT, with a strong focus on SmartTV development. You can find some of my blogs down below, or visit my page for a full overview!