The landscape of video streaming and content delivery is evolving rapidly, with 2024 poised to be a pivotal year for the industry. This transformation is driven by a convergence of technological innovations, changing consumer behaviors and a strategic shift in the industry's focus from growth at all costs to profitability and sustainability. Let's delve into the state of the industry and the significant trends shaping the future of video streaming, technology and content delivery.
Video technology and the state of the industry
The OTT video industry is undergoing a significant transformation. Technological advancements in AI and machine learning are reshaping content creation, distribution and consumption. In parallel, the industry focuses on achieving profitability while ensuring viewer engagement and retention. Companies leverage technology to optimize their operations, enhance content personalization and explore new revenue models, such as hybrid video on demand (HVOD) and targeted advertising.
As we delve into the state of the video technology industry, it's crucial to reflect on the noteworthy developments that unfolded in the streaming landscape between 2021 and 2023. The pandemic accelerated the shift towards digital platforms, with an increased demand for diverse and on-demand content. Watch together services emerged in response to COVID-19 constraints.
There was a rise of AI and machine learning in content curation and viewer analytics, leading to more personalized experiences. A notable increase in the adoption of 4K and HDR technologies could be observed, enhancing the visual quality of streamed content. The industry improved connectivity and reduced latency, critical for live streaming and interactive content.
A growth-at-all-costs mentality defined the period between 2021 and 2023 in the video streaming industry. Service providers and content creators pursued user base expansion, often prioritizing market reach over immediate profitability. This phase saw significant investments in content libraries, technological enhancements for improved streaming experiences and expansion into new markets. However, this rapid growth also brought challenges, including market saturation and increased competition, setting the stage for a strategic shift in the industry.
Top video industry trends to look out for in 2024
Trend 1: Hyper-personalization of content
The concept of hyper-personalization in video content is reshaping the streaming industry. In 2024, we'll continue to see unprecedented personalization driven by sophisticated data analysis and viewer insights. This trend is vital for retaining viewer interest and enhancing engagement in a saturated market.
Now, let's delve into the key aspects and business implications of this transformative trend.
Tailored viewing experiences: Streaming platforms leverage data analytics to create highly personalized content recommendations, ensuring viewers are presented with shows and movies that align closely with their preferences.
Non-intrusive, targeted advertising: Advances in data analysis allow for the integration of advertising content that resonates with individual viewer interests. This increases the effectiveness of advertisements and enhances the overall viewer experience by ensuring that ads are relevant and less disruptive.
Content strategy optimization: By understanding viewer preferences, streaming services can make more informed decisions about content acquisition and production, ensuring they invest in content their audience will love.
Trend 2: The rise of artificial intelligence in video streaming
In 2024, artificial intelligence (AI) stands at the forefront of operational efficiency, content creation and quality enhancement in the video streaming industry. AI's role has expanded beyond content recommendations to a broad spectrum of applications, reshaping the streaming experience.
Now, let's explore AI's significant capability to impact video operations and enhance the viewer experience.
Optimized video workflows: AI can be implemented at different stages of the video workflows for automation and optimization. Content-aware encoding, automated channel scheduling and dynamic brand insertion are some areas where AI is improving video workflows.
Automated video editing and production: AI tools can handle complex editing tasks, generate summaries and create content based on specific themes or scripts, dramatically reducing production time and costs.
Enhanced streaming quality: AI algorithms optimize video streaming quality in real time, adapting to varying internet speeds and device capabilities. This ensures the best possible viewing experience.
Streamlined predictive analytics for maintenance: AI is crucial in predicting and preempting technical issues within streaming infrastructure, thereby maintaining consistent quality of service.
Amplified audience insights: Beyond content recommendations, AI provides deep insights into viewer behavior, helping businesses develop effective strategies for market expansion, content planning and customer retention.
Personalized viewing experience: AI's capability to offer personalized viewer experiences is critical in solving the persistent content discovery challenge. Sophisticated recommendation algorithms and tailored content powered by AI ensure each user's journey is unique and engaging.
AI is also revolutionizing content discovery, protection and delivery, enhancing user engagement and opening new avenues for content creators and distributors. AI-driven localization and content customization enable platforms to engage with a broader audience without language or cultural barriers. Moreover, AI plays a significant role in content protection, swiftly identifying and eliminating pirated streams and effectively defending intellectual property rights.
In summary, the rise of AI in video streaming is a game-changer, encompassing a range of applications from enhancing operational efficiency and content production to transforming viewer engagement and content strategy. As we move into 2024, AI's integration into various aspects of streaming services is central to retaining viewer interest and ensuring the profitability and sustainability of streaming platforms.
Trend 3: The emergence of hybrid video on demand (HVOD)
2024 marks a significant evolution in the streaming landscape with the emergence of hybrid video on demand (HVOD), an innovative model intertwining the strengths of subscription video on demand (SVOD), advertising-based video on demand (AVOD) and free ad-supported TV (FAST). HVOD services typically provide various access options to viewers depending on the platform. This multifaceted approach signifies a strategic shift, transitioning from a singular focus on growth to a more balanced pursuit of profitability and audience engagement.
The rise of hybrid business models in video streaming reflects this trend. With platforms like Netflix and Disney diving into the HVOD trend in 2023 and Prime Video and TelevisaUnivision following suit in 2024, a clear trend towards hybridization is evident.
As consumer preferences diversify and the market landscape becomes more competitive, streaming platforms are adapting by offering a blend of different content monetization strategies. This hybridization is not just about combining different revenue streams; it's about creating a viewing experience that caters to the varied demands of a global audience.
Examining HVOD's key aspects and industry impact reveals a transformative shift in streaming, including:
Comprehensive revenue model: HVOD's integration of subscription fees, ad revenue and free ad-supported content offers a robust and diversified revenue stream. This model caters to a broad spectrum of consumer preferences, from those willing to pay for ad-free experiences to viewers who prefer free, ad-supported content.
Consumer choice and flexibility: HVOD caters to various consumer needs and budgets by offering a mix of paid, ad-supported and free content. This flexibility is crucial in an era where viewers are increasingly selective about their subscriptions due to budget constraints and the abundance of streaming options.
Enhanced content accessibility and variety: The HVOD model facilitates a wider range of content offerings, including exclusive and premium materials, without necessitating higher subscription fees. This approach is vital to maintaining competitive differentiation in a saturated market.
Adaptation to market dynamics: In response to market saturation and subscription fatigue, HVOD provides a versatile solution that appeals to diverse viewer segments. It's a strategic adaptation to the evolving market dynamics, balancing growth objectives with the need for sustainable revenue models.
The rise of HVOD and hybrid business models in video streaming are central to the industry's efforts to retain viewer engagement and ensure financial sustainability. As platforms strive to meet the diverse needs of their audience, these innovative models are reshaping the future of content consumption and distribution.
Trend 4: Rights enforcement against online piracy in sports
As we move through 2024, the sports broadcasting industry is intensifying its efforts against online piracy, recognizing the significant financial and reputational damage caused by unauthorized streaming. The approach is multifaceted, combining advanced technological measures with robust legislative advocacy.
Let's delve into three pivotal dimensions of this intensified battle against online piracy in the sports broadcasting realm.
Enhanced technological measures:
Forensic watermarking: This technology is becoming increasingly vital, embedding unique, invisible marks in video streams to trace pirated content sources. It acts as a deterrent by enabling accountability and legal actions against piracy.
Improved monitoring and detection: The deployment of AI and machine learning for monitoring online platforms is becoming more sophisticated. These technologies swiftly identify and flag unauthorized content, leading to faster responses to breaches.
Secure content delivery: Enhancing digital rights management (DRM) systems ensures secure content encryption, limiting access to authorized viewers and making piracy significantly more challenging.
Legislative advocacy and global initiatives:
EU Commission's recommendation: The EU Commission's call for efficient and rapid actions against sports piracy in April 2023, including acknowledging forensic watermarking as a viable solution, indicates a strong policy-level commitment to this issue.
US initiatives: In August 2023, US sports leagues, such as the NFL, NBA and UFC, called for updates to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to enforce instantaneous takedown of pirated streams, showing a proactive stance against digital content theft.
Global efforts: The issue of sports piracy is being addressed globally, with various countries considering measures for international cooperation and harmonized legal frameworks.
Business impact and industry outlook:
Revenue protection: Effective anti-piracy measures are crucial for safeguarding revenue streams and ensuring sports content investments are financially rewarding.
Brand integrity: Protecting content from piracy upholds the brand value and reputation of sports leagues and broadcasters, which is essential for long-term audience trust.
Fan experience: These measures benefit legitimate viewers by ensuring high-quality, uninterrupted streaming experiences, contrasting with the risks associated with illegal streaming sites.
The year 2024 is pivotal in the evolution of sports broadcasting, with a more aggressive and technologically advanced approach to combating sports piracy. Backed by legislative support and cutting-edge technology, the industry is well-equipped to protect its content and uphold the integrity of sports broadcasting.
Navigate the future of video streaming
The video streaming industry is continuously evolving. The trends and technologies indicate a dynamic and evolving industry poised to address market challenges and opportunities in 2024. Staying ahead in the dynamic video industry requires agility, foresight and the right technological partners. For those seeking to leverage these trends and elevate their video streaming capabilities, Harmonic offers cutting-edge VOS®360 SaaS solutions designed to empower media companies and broadcasters in this new streaming era.
Contact us now to take your video streaming to the next level.
What is the HVOD model and its significance in 2024?
HVOD or hybrid video on demand, combines subscription-based, ad-supported and free content. It is significant for offering diversified revenue streams and catering to varying consumer preferences, reflecting a strategic shift towards more balanced monetization.
What other significant trends will impact the video industry in 2024?
In 2024, the video industry will be impacted by other trends such as the dual approach to content i.e., balancing between original and licensed content, emphasis on energy efficiency and cost savings and increasing interest in foreign-language content.
What trends drive the focus on foreign-language content in streaming platforms?
The global reach of streaming platforms drives the surge in foreign-language content, the appeal of cultural diversity and the success of international content. This trend reflects a commitment to catering to a multicultural audience.
How do streaming services balance original and licensed content?
Streaming services adopt a dual approach that balances keeping certain content exclusive to attract subscribers while licensing other content to expand audience reach and generate additional revenue streams.
What role does sustainability play in the streaming industry?
Sustainability, particularly in energy efficiency, is becoming increasingly important. Driven by consumer expectations and regulatory pressures, streaming services are implementing eco-friendly practices, both for environmental responsibility and economic benefits.
What challenges are the streaming industry facing in combating online piracy?
The industry faces challenges like sophisticated piracy methods and widespread unauthorized access. Streaming services employ advanced technologies like forensic watermarking and AI-driven monitoring to combat this and advocate for stronger legislative measures.