The term OTT or over-the-top streaming basically means the delivery of video and audio content via Internet to the users, without the need of them subscribing to any conventional satellite service. Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix etc. are some of the well-known examples of such video streaming services. In the audio streaming domain, names like Spotify and Apple Music are the ones that immediately come to the mind; while platforms like WhatsApp, WeChat, Skype and Facebook constitute the examples from messaging platforms. Please note, casino streaming is another term that is often talked about in this context, however, that is more about online casino players live streaming their gaming action for other people. Getting back to the OTT video streaming services, these are being considered a huge threat to the conventional television industry owing to their continuous adoption by the masses everywhere.
As per eMarketer, a well-known market-research firm, over 55.1 million people residing in the United States will completely switch over from the conventional Pay TVs to these OTT platforms by the year 2022.
Why such a shift?
As majority of the OTT users belong to the millennial or the post-millennial generation, this expected shift doesn’t come as a big surprise. Both these generations are ardent users of technology. In fact, more than 85% of all US millennials who have broadband connections, have already subscribed to at least one such OTT video streaming service.
As per Business Wire, the OTT users in United States will reach the 915 million mark by the year 2023, majority of whom would have subscribed to minimum one Subscription-based Video-on-Demand (SVoD) service by then. Such gradual increase in viewership of the OTT content can be majorly attributed to the below-listed reasons:
- These OTT streaming services can be subscribed and unsubscribed fairly easily
- You get unlimited video and audio content
- These services can be accessed on the move through all kinds of devices like tablet PCs, smartphones, wearable devices, smart TVs, desktops, set-top boxes and laptops.
- They feature flexible and affordable pricing models based on subscription, freemium (limited free content access) or pay-as-you-go.
- Content is available on demand instead of having to wait for a movie or show to air on the television
- Instant access to original videos like the latest movies and web series
OTT Video Streaming – The future
Year 2019 saw steps towards adoption of 5G network already being taken. In the near future, 5G is expected to majorly disrupt the different ways in which video and audio content is consumed throughout the world. OTT operators are preparing well for this next generation technology.
Very soon, people everywhere will be able to smoothly stream 4K videos on 5G networks, receiving 100x the speed of 4G networks that are in operation right now. The increased bandwidth will also expedite the adoption of VR and AR technologies in OTT, and reduce latency. Although original content will continue to remain the king, there will be drastic changes in the content distribution systems.
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