s Finley clients can attest to, the growth in OTT video traffic has been meteoric. According to new research from Juniper, it’s only going to get worse, and quickly.
Subscribers to OTT TV services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime will more than triple in coming years, rising from 92.1 million in 2014 to 332.2 million worldwide by 2019, according to the market research firm. With growth continuing North America will continue as the world’s leading market in terms of OTT video subscribers.
In the Far East, the number of OTT video subscribers will follow that for North America closely as consumer uptake increases and new OTT video services are introduced, Juniper forecasts in its “Mobile & Online TV & Video: OTT, IPTV & Connected Markets 2015-2019” report.
Other key takeaways include:
- Ad spend on ‘Video on Demand’ is to grow almost fourfold by 2019, with the Far East and China dominating the market by the end of the forecast period;
- IPTV subscriber numbers are forecast to grow by over 70% between 2014 and 2019.
Juniper says that viewers of TV programs and movies “will favor connected TVs as their primary screen, especially when one considers the trend for watching long-form video on OTT subscription services.”
Researchers note that given ‘dumb’ TV sets’ long life cycles there will be “an upsurge” in owners converting those devices into ‘smart’ TVs using cost-effective devices such as Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick. There also will be a strong uptake of game consoles and set-top boxes that provide preloaded services. The operating systems and user interfaces in those devices are superior to those of smart TVs, according to the researchers.
Incumbent cablecos and telcos are being forced to respond to the rise of OTT video services, Juniper continues. “Traditional service providers cannot afford to cower behind the sofa,” the market research company states.
Juniper cites the example of Verizon, which has been forced to bundle cheaper packages that omit sports channels. This has led to incumbents arguing amongst themselves, as well as enraging the sports TV providers ESPN and Fox Sports.