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Top OTT Trends Coming in 2021

Learn more about OTT trends at Streaming Media East.

See complete videos and other highlights from Streaming Media West Connect on Streaming Media's YouTube channel.

Read the complete transcript of this video:

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: What do you see the future holding and how has COVID impacted the trajectory of that future?

Peter Wharton: For a lot of linear channels, live television is what really drives them. So we're seeing more and more the ability to do live television in the cloud and through remote production. When sports comes back, that's really going to transform that, especially. So I do think there's going to be a big change. And honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if, down the road, we see somebody like Amazon Prime Video and the bidding on Olympics, because with their much higher PBE ratio, their cost of acquiring some of that content is going to be very competitive against the traditional companies that are fighting.

So I think we're going to see some really interesting changes. The other thing I think is interesting is that we're now building systems where we're much more aware of who's watching what, when and how, and we'll see more interactive content where with the viewer responses or engagement we'll be able to use those metrics and interactions to actually change the content while we're producing it. We haven't really seen that really take off yet, but gamers are used to being involved directly in what the content looks like on screen, and television has been primarily passive. And I think we're going to start seeing a middle ground emerge where the viewers are actually going to affect the content as it's being delivered. I don't know what that looks like yet. Somebody far more creative than I is going to come up with that, but that's now possible.

Jon Giegengack: People are going to be used to consuming content from lots of different sources, the way that they were before and the way that the pandemic has accelerated that. The biggest opportunity right now, and the most important priority for lots of companies is to bear in mind that what consumers really need the most is simplicity. So their TV as a product has never been more compelling, which is really good, because it's facing a lot of competition from things like video games, for example. But their biggest frustration--if you can call it a frustration, it's a first-world problem--is managing all of these different options and making it simple to find the next thing they're going to watch, and making it simple to ideally access lots of these different platforms without having to change the remote control or without having to manage lots of different passwords. And if that problem is solved, consumers are happier. They watch more, they consume more, and the brands get bigger audiences and the best content wins this way to the top. So I think that's going to be the biggest competition for people's eyeballs and people's time in the future is who can deliver the simplest experience and make it so their content can be found that way, too.

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