Save your FREE seat for Streaming Media Connect this August. Register Now!

How Gamification, TikTok, and Niche Content Are Changing OTT

With the rise of TikTok and even premium content companies like Netflix embracing gamification, interactive media and gaming are on the ascent in streaming video. Chris Pfaff of Chris Pfaff Tech Media leads a discussion about this topic at Streaming Media West 2022 with 47 Games Inc. Founder & CEO Ben Hoyt and Eric Smith, US Head of Verticals, Gaming, Auto, Tech & Entertainment, Roku.

Pfaff begins the talk by noting that the industry has entered relatively uncharted territory with the swift rise of gamification in the metaverse space. He asks Hoyt, “How do you see interactive gaming – and gaming in general – playing in this broader streaming OTT space?”

Hoyt notes his long career in interactive content development, the ways he has seen interactive trends develop, and the insights he has gleaned from his professional experiences. “The thing that I really started to believe about 12 years ago, during the stint that I spent at Paramount Pictures, was that all of these different formats become irrelevant to the audience,” he says. “They're excited and passionate about an IP, and what we've seen over the course of the last decade is that IPs…have begun to sort of have extensions in every format that users interact with."

From Hoyt’s point of view, what general audiences mostly care about is where they can go to find exciting content. “Obviously, it's natural then to find companies like Netflix, which have their own IPs that have big, passionate followings, beginning to branch out from the traditional formats they may be known for,” he says. For Netflix, which has always been known primarily for streaming video, he says that it is only natural that they would begin to have extensions and games that must be coordinated across their company.

“I think you nailed it,” Pfaff says. “One of the things that I see happening in this ‘Silicon Beach Hollywood scene’ is a much greater…’one-to-one,’ or at least finding a strong vertical. It could be a niche. I think Kevin Hart, who literally has cloned himself, he is everywhere! He is our de facto pitchman, and we bow to him. But Hartbeat, and as an extension of that, Laugh Out Loud Network, is Kevin's world. It's his thing, and people will follow that. And I think Netflix…they've really captured a bit of that zeitgeist too…recognizing what people want to watch.”

Pfaff observes that, in general, younger audiences are leading the way toward new trends in streaming consumption, especially with the proliferation of short-form content on platforms such as TikTok, which he says has “become something like a verb now.” He asks Roku’s Eric Smith, “Do you have meetings where people are presenting ideas to Roku and advertising for TikTok-like extensions?”

Smith first agrees with Hoyt’s insight that IPs are now “cross-media,” and users are primarily concerned about where they can find the content they want more than anything else. He then says to Pfaff, “I think advertisers, to your question, are trying to figure out how to find those consumers wherever they may be, and so trying to understand the ways in which Roku can be a part of that in conjunction with these other platforms [that] are social or mobile extensions, for sure. We definitely have conversations with people about that. I think in terms of the one-to-one connection, that's where being at Roku, with logged-in identity and sort of a one-to-one connection with consumers via the television screen…the biggest screen in the home is really an advantage for us in those conversations and really a way in which we can differentiate. We can be a true partner in terms of helping people find the audiences they're looking for.”

Learn more about gamification and interactivity in OTT at Streaming Media East 2023.

Streaming Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

SMNYC 2024: Fremantle's Laura Florence Talks FAST Gamification and Beat the BUZZR

Streaming Media's Tim Siglin interviews Fremantle's Laura Florence at Streaming Media NYC. She discusses how Fremantle seeks to engage audiences with older content by incorporating interactive elements, such as trivia and fun facts, into the viewing experience, allowing users to interact with the content through a mobile app. She also discusses the use of restorative AI to improve the quality of older content shot on tape for modern viewing platforms.

SMNYC 2024: Microsoft CTO Andy Beach Talks Gamified FAST and Leveraging AI to Make Old Content Feel New

Streaming Media's Tim Siglin interviews Microsoft CTO Andy Beach at Streaming Media NYC 2024 about gamification ideas for FAST. Beach discusses the concepts of creating trivia and interactivity through a second-screen app that allows users to connect and compete with each other. He also talks about the technical challenges of bringing old content into 2024, the potential of generative AI, and integrating physical events into the gamification process.

What Can Broadcasters Learn from Niche Streamers?

With streaming demonstrating time and again that there are "riches in the niches" and the advantages of developing the agility to pinpoint narrower markets and superserve them with targeted content, how can broadcasters benefit from learning to think like streamers, and what strategies can they adopt to leverage that thinking? USA Today/Gannett's Michael Nagle, Paramount's Corey Smith, Boston 25 News' Ben Ratner, Agile Content's Jonah Bolin, Straight Arrow News' Rob Dillon, and Manatt's Eric Bergner offer their insights in this clip from a recent panel at Streaming Media Connect 2023.

How to do Interactive Streaming at Scale

What are some of the biggest issues encountered when handling interactive streaming at scale? The widespread increase of highly interactive streaming such as auctions, sports betting, and gaming has put pressure on networks while increasing the need to integrate interactivity into more traditional methods of OTT content delivery.

Engaging with Esports Audiences--What Brands Need to Know

NBA 2K League Head of Content & Media explains where esports audiences are coming from and why and how they need to be approached differently by brands looking to reach the esports audiences while crossing over from other streaming verticals in this clip from Streaming Media West Connect 2021.

How to Add Interactivity to Hybrid Events

Sage Event Management Creative Producer Blue Melnick explains his approach to enhancing the viewing and engagement experience for in-person and remote audiences at different types of hybrid events in this clip from Streaming Media West Connect 2021.

How to Personalize Sports and eSports Streams

USA Softball's Codi Warren and Maestro.io's Ari Evans discuss how brands meet more and less knowledgeable sports and eSports viewers where they are in this clip from their panel at Esports & Sports Streaming Summit at Streaming Media West 2019.