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The dominance of software in the media and entertainment industry continues to percolate into the areas where hardware devices and control surfaces have dominated in the past, bringing us closer to a reality where all-COTS and all-software-defined environments are possible. We are tantalizingly close to this thanks to uncompressed media over IP being a practical alternative to SDI, and the advances in products for ingesting, graphics, switching and playout being available as software solutions that run on COTS hardware. Channel-in-a-box products were the catalyst for this over a decade ago, and they are well established as the norm for what we use in playout applications today.
The number of video streaming devices used per household is growing steadily. Recent research states that 31% of adults watch video via a connected TV device daily. And about three-quarters of all TV households in the U.S. today have at least one connected TV device, with an average of 3.9 devices per connected TV household. But also, outside of the US, there is a global trend of watching video on multiple screens. One report found that more than 75% of worldwide video viewing is mobile. Due to the rise in mobile viewing, video transcoding has become a critical task for broadcasters, pay-TV operators and content providers.
Online services like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu have fundamentally changed the way we view our TV shows, videos and sporting events so much so that 70% of consumers now believe streaming subscriptions offer better services than traditional TV. In fact, streaming is now mainstream behavior in the United States, with VOD households growing by more than 25 percent in the past two years. The term coined to represent this era in entertainment and media is video-on-demand, or VOD.
The media industry is moving to All-IP infrastructures, and it’s a progressive process. Whether due to budget or workflow constraints, switching to all-IP overnight can pose challenges for many broadcasters. However, Hybrid SDI and IP solutions help bridge the gap. Hybrid solutions let broadcasters keep a foot in both the SDI and IP environments until they’re ready to make the leap to a complete, all-IP infrastructure.
We’ve entered the golden age of video streaming, and OTT video consumption is flourishing. In fact, research shows that global OTT revenues will more than double by 2024. The popularity of OTT video services has placed a renewed focus on primary distribution. Primary distribution refers to the delivery of a fully originated channel by a programmer to distribution partners. These include pay-TV operators, free-to-air broadcasters and OTT platforms.
Demand for OTT channels is growing, consumer habits are changing, and it’s creating a clear impact on the OTT market. A recent report found that the global OTT market is set to grow by $77.73 billion between 2019 and 2023, increasing at a CAGR of over 13% during the forecast period. Whether you’re a pay-TV operator, a video content provider, broadcaster, or even a newcomer to the market, OTT channels represent an opportunity to expand your global footprint. An OTT channel can help you increase revenue and reach new viewers, including cord-cutters. In fact, it is predicted that by 2023, the number of pay-TV households in the U.S. will stand at 72.7 million, with cord-cutters estimated at 56.1 million.