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Research: OTT Services Expect to Grow 26% by End of 2022

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The market for over-the-top (OTT) delivery keeps expanding, and findings in a recent Unisphere/Streaming Media survey show just how much growth can be expected in the 18-month window from mid 2021 to late 2022.

Sponsored by Tulix and crafted by the team at Help Me Stream Research Foundation, the 2021 OTT Trends survey had more than 350 responses, from respondents in companies representing traditional broadcasters, content owners, pure-play OTT providers, and a variety of vertical markets ranging from education to finance to medical to news organizations.

Several key takeaways from the survey report, published today and available here, show just how the overall OTT market is growing, but also experiencing growing pains. 

"Interestingly, since the survey was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to gauge whether anecdotal evidence about OTT's growth was accurate or misguided," says Tim Siglin, founding executive director of Help Me Stream Research Foundation.

Siglin notes that responses clearly showed a mismatch between viewership growth and revenue growth.

"Overall, while OTT viewership remains high, revenues remain stubbornly low," says Siglin.

About one-third of respondents noted their OTT content has more than 10,000 monthly viewers, but an equal amount also noted that their annual OTT revenues fall below $100,000.

The good news is that growth in OTT is expected to continue through to the end of 2022. 

"More than half of respondents told us they’re expecting at least 26% growth," said Siglin. "And two-thirds of respondents that reported higher-end tell us their revenue expectations exceed 25% CAGR growth rates until the end of next year."

On the resolution and data rate front, responses showed there’s still a significant room for growth—especially on the 4K OTT delivery side—coupled with a larger than expected number of respondents stating that 720p content delivery remains a large portion of their overall OTT delivery.

Attracting new subscribers/viewers is one of the key compelling driver for using OTT services, and the pandemic cemented the use of OTT platforms as the medium of choice for distributing new content, but respondents were split when it came to pricing around what they’d consider a "reasonable price" for delivering live-linear OTT streams.

More data on all the points above, as well as additional information around data rates, types of niche OTT content, and more can be found in the survey report, which can be downloaded here.

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