An Explosion of Great Programming + Continued Proliferation of Connected Devices = Major Leap in the Reach of Streamed TV Content

by Jacqueline Corbelli, Founder, CEO | June 02, 2017

OTT viewership growth has been nothing short of dramatic. In just two years, the growth of streaming activity has been huge, with over 70% of US households streaming at least one OTT service.

From major networks to third party content providers, media and tech players are now vying to dominate the OTT market. To date, there is a clear divide in our players. The organizations that are doing it best are, no surprise here -- Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. They currently corner the premium content market across US households that are streaming video from a Roku, Amazon FireTV, AppleTV, Chromecast, PlayStation, XBox, or smart TV.

Sports moved into the connected TV space, too. Disney announced ESPN’s OTT service, joining HBO, Showtime, Discovery, A&E, AMC and all other major cable networks with apps across that same device footprint.

And 2017 is the year we’re also watching legacy cable providers (aka the “MVPDs”) and “virtual” MVPDs make bold moves to IP/connected content delivery as well, unleashing another surge in the amount of TV content now available for streaming. Hulu, the current leader in ad supported TV streaming, launched live programming this spring, joining DISH’s SlingTV and AT&T’s DirecTV Now; along with legacy cable providers Comcast and Charter, who are quietly increasing their streaming options. YouTube has just launched their “TV” service, too.

This growth in IP-delivered TV content is simultaneously reshaping distribution models while substantially expanding the amount of TV programming viewers can stream – the combination will generate major leaps in the “reach” of this content.

I mentioned in a prior blog the challenge to the bottom line of sustained competitive pressure to continually grow the amount of original and other premium content produced year to year. I believe this will prove especially true for services that generate revenue from subscription fee-based only models, particularly Netflix.

Regardless, the systemic shift of major network TV programming toward IP delivery, on its own, will inevitably cause the absolute amount of ad supported content to grow tremendously and bring significant new advertising revenue potential with it.

That’s great news for brands, as an ad that’s streamed to a TV provides significant advantages in targeting, personalization, optimization, measurement, and engagement, not to mention the ability to apply digital attribution to TV spends to optimize buys and creative.

The size and value of this opportunity is inarguable, as long as TV can maintain clutter free, premium, max-attention and scale. If so, TV expands from being what the market broadly acknowledges to be the most effective way to advertise, to becoming the most effective form of digital advertising, too. Not bad for a “dead” medium.