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Streaming 2022 and Beyond

Where it’s Going and How to Benefit

Fifteen or twenty short years ago, “streaming” was a technical term used by software developers and tech advisors. It was exciting, but it was niche.

Fast-forward to the end of the first decade of this century, and streaming services like Netflix and Prime had replaced the video store and were fast supplanting the DVD player.

Pay-per-view (PPV), transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), and subscription (SVOD) film and TV services have since become the norm, extending streaming to include the likes of Sky Now, HBO Max, Apple TV, Disney Now, and Peacock (NBCUniversal).

But as the most recent decade unfolds we are starting to see something more interesting happening, with 2022 a potentially pivotal year; the democratisation of video across the full sphere of the entertainment genre. Content owners using streaming to take back control of their content and build their own direct relationships with consumers.  

That’s great for the consumer and it’s great for businesses and organisations. It’s a great way to increase the reach of your brand, generate additional revenue streams, and appeal strongly to audiences who, inexorably, will become more and more virtual as they travel less and less in the wake of Covid and carbon footprint concerns.

Getting in on the streaming act

The opportunities are certainly there.

Streaming will become far more democratised, enabling theatres, sports clubs, concert and festival organisers, art and exhibition galleries, and many more to operate virtual venues in themselves. Streaming content providers ushering in a new era of virtual ‘live’ events and dedicated immersive experiences for communities, fans and followers.

There are already many venues successfully monetising their streaming services, including, as just one example, Soho Theatre.

Will having too many individual streaming services eventually work against both the user experience and each service’s ability to attract users? Perhaps; lots of disparate services, lots of apps to find, lots of users having to navigate between the streamed offerings.

This is why this decade we’ll almost certainly also see the rise of more streaming aggregators – services that act as hubs for many different streaming providers and the amalgamation of streaming content within market genre hubs.

So, there might be one authoritative streaming destination for, say, music concerts, festivals, different types of sport, celebrity chefs and cooking, cars or boat shows – and whatever else besides.

Having a streaming content presence within these thematic virtual venues is likely to be a far more effective way of attracting, retaining, and monetising audiences, as all the consumers within the hub are, by definition, broadly interested in your offering.

And these audiences often exist as ready-made communities of interest on social media –so promotion of the hub through these networks has the potential to essentially“lift and shift” those audiences in the direction of the hub, and, by extension, your service.

Ultimately, you will be able to connect with communities that will part with both money and data in return for a compelling, satisfying, on-topic streaming experience.

And data, of course, is all about a better understanding of how to engage ever more profitably with your audience.

Which leads to my next point.

Keeping both the customer and content owners satisfied

What we’re definitely going to be seeing more of is a data-driven approach that empowers not just consumers but also the content owners to define streaming experiences, for markets, brands, products, communities, as well as individuals.

This is a far-ranging topic that we touched on in another post, but to summarise, what we are talking about here is something more powerful than just personal data recommendation engines. Instead, data will be gathered more widely to shape a more nuanced, engaging and segmented approach to the market, allowing for more refined user experience (UX) strategies across the board.

For example, registration data might be used to automatically show a children’s version of the service, or determine a different language version, but it’s not just about the content; service interaction data, for example, might also inform who the service comes from .e.g. dynamically branded menus, navigation, and user interfaces as well as content.

Market segmentation tools will play a more important role. Consumer driven outcomes are exciting, but market driven ones will prove just as valuable. Imagine starting a thematic health & wellbeing channel and white labelling it to different companies in different countries; it’s the Boots Health & Wellbeing channel in the UK, Phoenix Health & Wellbeing in Europe and Walgreens in the USA, all administered and editorially managed from one managed service provider. Or, to use an example from a previous post, if a Hollywood studio has its own streaming service, it could also white-label that to a car manufacturer, e.g. BMW, for a BMW in-car entertainment service. Market segmentation tools make it possible to support these different branded versions of the same service, but also to segment features, content and UI and UX outcomes within each.

In short, it’s about tailoring what’s on offer - and the business outcomes this drives – at both a segment and an individual level.

2022: streaming at the next level

In summary, then, this decade is set to be a defining decade for streaming services and 2022 a pivotal year – both for those who consume and provide them.

Streaming was always destined to break loose from the shackles of the “one size fits all” entertainment service, but the potential now to target content accurately and affordably to support revenue-boosting business outcomes is becoming truly inspiring.

And best of all, we can help you get started with it.

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