Technology is innovating and improving constantly. This fact hits home the hardest when the resources we commonly use are upgraded, connected and made infinitely more accessible. Take the television for instance. The television industry has been at the leading edge of this constant digital disruption. The digital transformation of the media and entertainment industry has given rise to a gamut of OTT streaming services to rival the traditional pay-TV powerhouses.
The number of players in the worldwide OTT streaming market is steadily rising. Participants include global biggies such as Amazon and Netflix as well as independent platforms like TVF Play and Spuul. Consequently, the global Over the Top (OTT) market is getting competitive and congested. And, this trend will continue well into 2018, and beyond.
Top 12 global companies dominating the OTT streaming market in 2018:
Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing arm of e-commerce giant Amazon, made inroads into the OTT streaming market with its strong data analytics and cutting-edge artificial intelligence platform. The company is enabling content owners and broadcasters to streamline content distribution, automate media supply chains, and cost-effectively build OTT and direct-to-consumer streaming solutions across linear, non-linear, live and on-demand (AVOD, SVOD) programming.
Amazon’s growth in digital video viewers is driven by a two pronged strategy: the success of its Fire TV streaming devices, and the roll-out of a standalone streaming video service named Amazon Prime Videos.
For many people across the world, the transition from TV to OTT streaming began with a subscription to Netflix. Based in Los Gatos, California, Netflix’s business has moved beyond the US borders to include the rest of the world. Over the last few years, the company has been radically expanding its footprint worldwide, and now operates in 190+ countries. Netflix strikes deals with TV and movie production studios, producers, and others for the rights to distribute their content.
Since its entry into the market, this disruptive player in the OTT streaming domain has wooed the internet-savvy generation, esp. the millennials, with its expansive content library. Its OTT platform continues to upgrade the standards for delivering high-quality content and a great user experience. A recent study indicates that the company garners, on average, 12% market share in developed countries like the U.S, where it is the 2nd largest OTT operator.
For more information about the global OTT market size, top OTT service providers, and future trends in the market, check Technavio’s Global Over the Top (OTT) Market Report 2018-2022
Hulu, an American OTT streaming service provider, is owned by NBCUniversal, Fox, Time Warner, and Disney. The company operates an ad-supported application that allows viewers to watch video content including TV shows, clips, and movies online for free. Like Netflix and Amazon, Hulu is growing at an unprecedented rate, as demand for its original series has grown by over 230% since 2016. Much of this can be attributed to the runaway success of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ one of Hulu’s premier original series.
As per a company press release, Hulu is projected to have spent more than US$2.5 billion on content last year and added over US$1 billion in revenue, while growing its viewership to 54 million unique viewers. In April 2018, Hulu announced a partnership with Spotify that allows users to purchase their OTT streaming services for a discounted price per month.
Apple, world’s leading tech giant, has always been on the cusp of revolutionizing the television industry. The company has been tiptoeing around the OTT streaming game for a while now and is making serious inroads to become a leading OTT service provider. A recent iOS update turned the Apple video app into a TV application, and it now broadcasts television shows from popular broadcasters like ITV, BBC and many other channels
However, Apple has had a very inconsistent past when it comes to TV. Therefore, it has a lot to prove if the company wants to compete in a market that is already being dominated by popular brands like Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix as well as a surge of other brands across the world. On the positive side, Apple has a lot of money to spend, which is good because Netflix, the largest OTT video streamer, is planning to shell out US$6 billion this year on its own content budget.
Social media giant Facebook entered this crowded and increasingly fragmented market with Watch last year. Watch is Facebook’s most significant innovation in recent times that not only challenges online video platforms like YouTube but also takes on OTT streaming services like Amazon and Netflix with original content from publishers and media entities. Facebook’s Watch will include a ‘watchlist’ to help users configure their favorite shows, and connect with friends and comment during shows.
With millennials subscribing to digital content over TV, the newly-launched Facebook OTT videos may affect the performance of other OTT platforms. Factor in the popularity of social media around the world and Facebook stands a real chance in the super competitive OTT streaming market.