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2015 OTT Video Predictions From the Experts

2015 is sure to be an explosive one for over-the-top (OTT) video, but what exactly will we see? To find out, we tapped a few industry experts.

Greg Clayman
GM, Audience Networks, Vimeo

"We are looking at 2015 to be a breakout year for premium online video content, SVOD, and 4K content. In 2015, we believe there will be a mass migration to premium content with fans who are willing to pay creators directly for their content to support their craft, much akin to crowdfunding platforms. "

Dan Goodman and William H. Masterson III
Co-founders, Believe Entertainment Group

“OTT video companies are looking to define their services through content, so that’s where we’ll see further development in the space in 2015. Just as HBO, Netflix, Showtime, Discovery, AMC, etc. have defined their platforms on creative excellence, so too can the OTT services. That will make the kind of original content through digital distribution we know even more valuable and help add scale to the industry.”

Michael Fay
Vice President, Product Management and Operations, Media, Akamai

"Online video has been broadly adopted by consumers. With more content providers and networks planning to introduce OTT services in 2015, consumers are untethering from the couch and binging on content via various screens and devices. Content owners and providers must remain relevant in this on-demand world and evolve their OTT offerings. This will only become even more prevalent as 4K becomes more readily available and OTT is the mechanism for delivery of that content. As a result, content owners and producers must provide outstanding user experiences and overcome technical streaming challenges like last-mile delivery and ad insertion consistency."

Ziba Kaboli-Gerbrands,
Director, Content Acquisition, Roku

"2015 will be a pivotal year in the OTT content space. Coming on the heels of a successful CBS All Access and Showtime OTT offering, at least one more broadcast channel and two or more premium cable channels like HBO will launch their direct-to-consumer service. 

"Another trend that will pick up momentum in the new year is celebrity-branded SVOD services like the Sarah Palin channel. The growth will be on these niche, targeted services with a dedicated, loyal audience. "

Jim O’Neil
Principal Analyst, Ooyala

"Mobile devices are changing our world, and nowhere have they had a greater impact than on the video ecosystem. With reports of $65 smartphones on the horizon and recent research that shows sales of tablets are growing at a faster clip than any other connected device in the United States, there’s more change coming.

"We believe mobile viewing on smartphones and tablets will make up half of all online viewing by the end of the year—compared to 30 percent today. New, premium, direct-to-consumer OTT offerings from top-tier broadcasters are rolling out steadily, and all say they’ll be available on mobile devices. Service providers are expected to hit the market with more aggressive mobile plays, looking to gain traction with consumers—especially disaffected millennials—who already embrace smartphones and tablets as their screens of choice."

Andy Schuon
Co-Founder, President, Revolt Media & TV

“The time is now for OTT. Brands like Business Rockstars in business, and Planes Trains and Automobiles in travel will emerge as credible sources of content and entertainment alongside established brands through innovative OTT programming. The content pyramid with broadcasting networks at the top, cable in the middle, and OTT at the bottom will flatten more rapidly.”

Jim Spencer
Founder, President, Newsy

"Needless to say, 2015 will be a year of significant growth for OTT video. There will be a consolidation of platforms and some will become more dominant and powerful. Channels will become more interactive. Casting will go mainstream—phones and tablets become the remote; beaming content to the big screen will get easier.

"Advertising dollars will begin to move from traditional TV to digital OTT platforms. Cable companies will be threatened as content companies find another viable channel to reach customers. Opportunity for new video brands to establish themselves will cause greater splintering of the audience and viewing habits."

Dounia Turrill
Senior Vice president, Insights, Nielsen

“Our goal is to create a total measurement of all content and all ads, regardless of how they are accessed and the ad model that they are supporting.”

Adam Ware
Head of Digital Media, Tennis Channel

"1. ABC, CBS (already), FOX, NBC, Telemundo, and Univision will offer a distinct subscription OTT-TV service.

"2. Sports media brands will leverage their existing digital video audience relationships to offer a wide array of new services in the wearable market (instructional, wellness and fitness)."

David B. Williams
Chief Content and Technology Strategist, Endemol Beyond USA

"In 2015, the firewall between OTT and linear video will stand strong. For many pay TV customers, linear and OTT video streams literally enter the home as digital bits through the same wire and often sit next to each other on the same box. Yet, the user experiences stand apart as distant islands. Finding programming across the two services often requires herculean hops between remotes and video inputs. Even finding programming across apps on the same platform requires strenuous app switching. Despite nascent efforts by Microsoft with Xbox One, Sony with PlayStation Vue, and FanTV (recently acquired by Rovi), for the vast majority of viewers, the situation next year will remain unchanged.

"Also, no Apple television or any radical reinvention of the TV experience. The dream of the personalized cross-platform video feed is alive and well, but 2015 will be a year of incremental evolution. For the real revolution, stay tuned to 2016 and beyond."

Bill Wise
CEO, Mediaocean

"In 2015, we will see digital video ad spend double as TV consumers continue to shift from traditional TV viewing and adopt smaller screen viewing habits. In fact, I think it will move faster than everyone expects as TV buyers realize that OTT video is a successful way to tap into both upper funnel and lower funnel marketing channels, and will allocate their budgets to reflect this revelation.”

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