With annual revenues for over-the-top (OTT) video streaming platforms projected to reach €427 billion by 20261, competition for customers is fierce.
At a time when energy costs and inflation are putting a squeeze on disposable incomes, having the right streaming product with the right content at the right price, is crucial.
Even Netflix, the clear market leader and home of huge global exclusives Bridgerton and Squid Game, has revealed a significant slow down in new customers, missing its forecast and admitting that competition from the likes of Disney+ is likely to impact future growth.
UPDATE 20/4/22 – This week, the streaming giant reported that in the first quarter of 2022, it lost 200,000 subscribers — its first subscriber loss in over a decade. These losses are expected to continue, as Netflix forecasts a global paid subscriber loss of 2 million for the second quarter. Shares declined by 23% in after-market trading, eliminating $30 billion in market value.
Having seen customer numbers soar during the early lockdowns, Netflix’s ability to continue growing at the same rate was always going to be a challenge. It is reported to be considering a firmer stance on password sharing among its premium tier subscribers, having looked the other way until now. Converting those friends and family benefiting from a shared login into paying subscribers could be its biggest growth opportunity.
Even more competition?
By the end of 2020, US consumers subscribed to four streaming services on average and paid $47 monthly.2 Along with the mainstream providers, more services are trying to compete by offering niche content (e.g. Indie movie focused MUBI and Crunchyroll with the world’s largest library of Japanese Anime) along with ad-supported platforms delivering free content or ad-free versions for a low monthly fee.
Niche players and global expansion
Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT) recently announced it had secured a number of live sports rights deals to support the UK launch of its subscription streaming service Viaplay later this year, continuing its expansion outside its home markets.
Although the focus for now is on sports with a Nordic connection (Ice Hockey, speed skating and handball among the rights picked up), NENT has shown its ambition in other markets by picking up more mainstream sports. Viaplay is the home of Formula 1 in both Finland and the Netherlands for example.
Viaplay’s UK launch will mean the service is available in 12 markets in total, and NENT expects to add at least four more by the end of 2023.
As well as clamping down on password sharing, Netflix is exploring lower-priced, ad-supported plans after years of resisting.
Google recently announced that it is making full seasons of ad-supported TV shows including Hell’s Kitchen available to stream free on YouTube, promising up to 100 new titles each week.
In the UK, Channel 4 allows All4+ users to stream 1,500 shows ad-free if they’re willing to pay £3.99 a month. ITV is set to follow a similar concept with the launch of it’s own ITVX in the second half of 2022, bringing together curated themed channels and access to BritBox all in one place.
With all this competition and so much revenue up for grabs, OTT video providers have to plan carefully or risk making expensive mistakes.
The OTT space is evolving quickly and presents huge opportunities for brands and broadcasters when they get it right.
Nepa has already helped decision makers get a better understanding of…
- Market opportunity sizing
- Consumer demand and willingness to pay
- Go to market strategy
- Optimum price and package tiering structure
- Promo testing
- Script concept testing
- Willingness to pay to watch ad-free content
- Continuous brand tracking
- Customer experience and NPS monitoring
By Sam Richardson, Account Director Nepa UK
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