Streaming video in 2022: 5 trends to watch

1. Local content to fight churn. 2. Bringing back classic titles. 3. Fighting subscribers churn with good recommendations. 4. Standardisation of software, technologies and even suppliers. 5. BVOD is increasing.

Vimond Media Solutions

March 29, 2022

In this article

The OTT industry is booming, and keeping up with the latest streaming trends can be difficult. Not only is there new technology and players surfacing constantly, but the consumer's viewing habits are also rapidly changing.

These are 5 video streaming trends for 2022!

1. Local Content to Fight Churn

We believe we will see an increase in focus on local and homegrown content in 2022. The global giants will reach further into the local content production markets to compete with the local players as a strategy to fight churn. The local players will also further strengthen their spending on locally produced content and content based on local cultures to ensure their market share is retained.

"Consumers want local content", states the How Homegrown Streaming Video Can Take On the Global Goliaths report from BCG. But it also points out the importance of understanding what business models (SVOD, AVOD, Freemium), right partnerships, pricing and bundles will work in the local market. But the players need to move quickly. The advantages will not be available forever, and global competition is not standing still.                          

Additionally, according to the Egmont Strategy for 2025, Egmont will make a 50 billion Danish Kroner (DKK) investment in content, making a huge commitment to storytelling and local media. The goal is to double their business in TV streaming, investing also in technology to make the content available on the platforms consumers prefer. Being in fierce competition with the global giants, the response is to produce strong content based ion local cultures. 

Egmont-owned TV 2 is making new investments in Norwegian sports, where they have acquired Norwegian football, ice hockey, handball, basketball, football  and more - both top leagues and broadly. Their goal is to reach a broad audience, based on this local content. They are also ramping up their focus on comedy shows and will invest heavily in projects within Norwegian quality comedy.

They are not alone. Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT) recently announced that Viaplay will partner with Mikael Håfström to produce the ambitious historical feature film “Stockholm Bloodbath”. The project is the latest in Viaplay's commitment to producing two major English-language films every year about Nordic events and figures.

2. Bringing Back Classic Titles

While the great expansion of streaming may be over, the discovery of old content is not.  In the rights war over content, classics can be an unearthed treasure, if it hits a nerve with audiences.  Libraries that were rarely viewed on one platform have proven to be goldmines on others.  

Data science company, Parrot Analytics, noted that viewing of the US version of the Office jumped 39 per cent when their Netflix rights ran out and it was picked up on Peacock.  

It leads to a question of where additional idle capital may be lying around.  How can services monetize classic libraries of obscure or once-popular shows on linear that bring nostalgia or comfort to viewers on streaming services?  

There is also a generation of viewers that are seeing these classics for the first time.  Those that heard their parents talk about shows are now binging seasons of episodic content with a fresh perspective.

But what libraries are worth the time and money of digging through archives and even in some cases, digitizing volumes of titles?  MGM has a massive content library that was purchased by Amazon, and they have over ten thousand titles they now own that are not being streamed.  

3. Fighting Subscribers Churn with Good Recommendations

For most services, we expect churn rates to continue to rise in 2022. One reason is that consumers have too much choice, and when humans are given too much choice, we usually find it hard to make a decision - especially when it comes to choosing something as simple as a show or movie to watch (commonly referred to as “Netflix Syndrom”) A good overview of subscriber churn and what this can mean for your service is detailed in a recent article by Deloitte.

How to solve subscriber churn

One way is by using the vast amount of data available in an OTT system, as well as data from readily available sources to create recommendations for their viewers.  

Now, this concept may sound simple and be considered the “norm” for any streaming service, but creating recommendations from simple datasets such as genre and rating will no longer deliver users the recommendation experience they now expect.  

As an example, a simple recommendation system based only on genre and ratings will in most cases, fail to represent exciting content for a user who prefers visually appealing and action-packed content (ie. any Bruce Willis movie ever made 😁) or content based on real-life stories (ie. any Bruce Willis movie ever made 😁).

The question that arises from this thinking is…. How do we give the people what they want?

Answer……data, data, data and… more data.

Being smart with the information you hold on your customers and enriching your content with readily available tools such as IMDb Data or Rotten Tomatoes Data are core to building powerful and data-driven recommendations that will give your content the kick-start it needs. Then, overlaying this information into a purpose-built OTT-CMS gives you the flexibility to create and manage viewer profiles with specific content catalogues.

4. Standardisation of Software, Technologies and Even Suppliers

When streaming services first emerged, a lot of rapid innovation and experimentation was needed, and many organizations used a mixture of technologies and software from different vendors, for different audiences and viewer facing services. But having many different tools is challenging when you need to keep up with the speed of the market. In particular, running and managing a channel or service becomes complex and profitability elusive when multiple workflows are involved.

The challenges with separate OTT tools

Early choices to spin up new channels, or new services, often meant spinning up separate infrastructure for each channel.  Many organisations have combined departments, bought up subsidiaries, and now have a pile of teams, suppliers and vendors managing a plethora of varying technologies, this can make ongoing running and management of a channel or service  complex and profitability elusive.

Having multiple infrastructures, especially as organisations move to the cloud, gets pretty expensive.  It´s not just a case of slinging up another physical server in a dark basement anymore, where the additional cost is negligible after the hardware, covering only a few more packets of biscuits for the devoted techie with his desk in a gloomy corner down there.

Consolidating technology

Today we are seeing OTT services consolidating their technology and their services. One team for many channels, one library for multiple viewer facing services. One supplier, one operational model, one invoice, one consistent support avenue. Individuals and teams may work across one library, but several services, or even only have access to parts of a library, publishing to one, or more, or many channels.

There is a mantra across many industries, and it is in part the purpose of technology.  How do we do more with less?  The use of technology to increase output or productivity has always been a big driver and a measure of cost-efficiency.  With the competition in OTT and the current challenges with technology trends, we see a stronger and stronger emphasis on this.  Budgets are combining, departments are merging, editorial teams are working across multiple channels or audience facing services.  Content is being licensed across more than one streaming service.  

Editorial teams are shrinking at a time when they need to curate and promote an ever increasing volume of content across an increasing range of OTT services.

Content is being duplicated and double-handled, from the technology that sits underneath one OTT channel, to the software that runs another digital service.  

This trend will continue, and to stay relevant, suppliers will have to build in the flexibility demanded by organisations trying to keep costs and processes lean, focussing their spending on content, where it counts the most to woo viewers.

5. Broadcast Video On Demand (BVOD) Is on The Rise

First of all, broadcast video on demand refers to content created by broadcast media companies available via an online video service (usually funded by advertising).

The benefit for audiences is high-quality content (that is delivered either Live or via Video on Demand) that consumers can watch when they choose.

BVoD, during the past few years, continues to set new viewing benchmarks. Especially in Australia, where more people tune into quality, broadcaster-driven content. According to PwC, BVOD in Australia experienced a 38.8% growth in revenue, hitting $229 million in 2020.

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