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Seeing 2020: Online Video Executive Predictions

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I’d love to have been a fly on the wall through the last decade or so of a major network’s annual brainstorming meeting when this OTT fuss all began. Imagine the conversations …

2008 

Junior Executive: Hey boss, we’ve really got to get our video online! Hulu just launched, and it’s going to put us out of business. People don’t want to wait to see their favorite programs. They want to watch when they want, on demand.

Boss: I guess …

2014

Junior Executive: Hey boss, we’ve really got to launch a second-screen experience so people can play along on their devices while they watch their favorite shows.

Boss: I guess …

2016 

Junior Executive: Hey boss, we’ve really got to release entire seasons at once so people can binge watch. People are done with the idea of appointment TV.

Boss: I guess …

2019

Junior Executive: Hey boss, Disney+ and Apple TV+ are launching original content that follows a weekly release schedule. We’ve got to …

Boss: You know …

By now, that junior executive is either the boss or he’s flipping burgers somewhere. Don’t get me wrong: This industry has always thrived on innovation. But it seems that what people really want may be what they had all along—seeing stories unfold an episode at a time, waiting eagerly for the next one. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Would you like to watch an entire hockey or football season in one long sitting? Heath concerns aside, it’s actually quite boring. After pacing ourselves during the first two seasons of Stranger Things, my family felt ripped off when we binged season three. It wasn’t half as fun without the anticipation and discussions about what will happen in the next episode.

Another case in point? I enjoyed Watchmen, and I couldn’t wait to see it every week. That wasn’t always when it aired, and it was mostly on my iPad, but I got my carefully measured dose doled out to me, which was exciting and addictive. Good content will always be king, and it’s always worth the wait, whether in theaters, on network TV, or on an OTT platform. 

I know this hasn’t followed the format of my annual predictions; I usually talk about the technology changes we’ll see tackled in the upcoming year. Rest assured, we’ve already planned our coverage of the most important topics in our 2020 editorial calendar, webinars, Solution Series, and of course Streaming Media East and West. Come along with us and you will stay on the bleeding edge of OTT and everything else related to online video. Now, I’m going to let the executives who are building this industry guide you through what they see every day with their own eyes and through the eyes of their customers in this year’s Executive Predictions (PDF).

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