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Video on Demand (VOD) has picked up massive steam across the world. In the last seven years, total on-demand consumption, including streamed television series, movies and platform originals has grown by 50%. But it doesn’t end there. VOD has birthed curious new phenomena. Binge-watching, a term used to describe the consumption of two or more episodes of a show at one go, has 37% of VOD users hooked. Users shell out 60% more on VOD today than they did five years ago. This increase in consumption is primarily fuelled by the device fluidity that users enjoy. On-demand services on the smartphone are something that millennials take for granted today, curating their preferences on a platform that can be accessed from anywhere.
The rise of on-demand mobile video consumption is attributed to five key factors:
1. The Advancement of Mobile Data Technology
Mobile Data is continually evolving and the 4G data ecosystem has induced a tremendous rise in mobile video demand, with studies suggesting that a 4G mobile user is one and a half times as likely to view an online video than a 3G user. Everyday, one-fifth of mobile users across the globe stream videos from on-demand sites such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu. What’s more, video constitutes 42% of data usage on an average mobile network. Since 4G offers a far better viewing experience than other data generations, reducing buffering, augmenting resolution and providing a better experience, there has been an organic growth of video viewing amongst 4G users.
2. The Advancement of Software Infrastructure
Video on Demand isn’t a sector reserved for bigwigs like Amazon Prime and Hulu anymore. There has been a torrent of new entrants in the VOD market, each with their own quality portfolio of video content. It’s no wonder, really. With solutions like Streamhash taking the market by storm, setting up a Video on Demand software has never been easier. Many well-known companies have meshed Streamhash with their own website. A ready framework that allows you to set up your own VOD software in a matter of days, Streamhash has you covered as far as technology is concerned. So, whether you want to create your own niche YouTube for cooking, sports or fashion, Streamhash already has you sorted. The bonus is that the technology is so reasonably priced, that even novices at the entrepreneurial game can afford to buy it.
Watching a movie while you’re on your way home in the subway is so much better than watching the person opposite you take a snooze. The ability to access on-demand content from anywhere, coupled with ubiquitous high-speed data, has enabled users to seek entertainment from anywhere. A research revealed that television shows and movies are the most popular forms of content today, trailed by user-generated content. Linear broadcast television faired the lowest, and it is predicted that television consumption over the next five years will slide, replaced by a new generation of on-demand services.
4. The Ubiquity of Smartphones
With low-cost smartphones available in abundance in most world markets, these clever devices have found a place in almost every pocket. Although smartphone sales stagnated in 2016, numbers are expected to bounce back this year, with shipments containing 1.53 billion units forecast to be sent out. This number is predicted to reach 1.77 billion units by 2021. The growth of smartphones and the advancement of mobile data are both directly proportional to the growth of VOD in the future. This means that there is a host of opportunities available for hopeful business owners. All you need is a capable technology like Streamhash and a little imagination!
5. The Role of Telecom Companies in Video on Demand
Telecom revenues worldwide are bleeding from the downslide in voice revenues for the past few years. And with the data infrastructure shaky in many countries, thanks to governmental, economic and financial bottlenecks, many telecom bigwigs are being forced to broaden their service portfolio to spread the risk. We’ve spotlighted two geographies, to understand the symbiosis between telecom and VOD better.
Several telecom companies in Africa have decided to add on-demand entertainment and infotainment to their repertoire of services. Research suggests that smartphones are the next big thing and that the on-demand phenomenon is just about to take off in Africa. As the network landscape becomes smoother, VOD software usage is expected to soar, with predominant usage occurring on smartphones. In a surprising revelation, sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to demonstrate the highest growth amongst all global geographies, reaching 525 million smartphone users by 2020. In addition, the smartphone is expected to become more than just a phone, forming the centrepiece of entertainment and connectivity. Smartphones will become the technology of choice for millennials, a foreshadowing of the fact that broadcasters will become obsolete if they don’t adapt to smartphone broadcasting in the next ten years.
India is a mobile-heavy market, with a sizeable population dependent on the internet on their smartphones. The number of smartphone users is expected to touch 500 million by 2020. Interestingly, the telecom climate in India is extremely competitive and data price points are heavily discounted. This is likely to push VOD consumption even higher. India presents a unique phenomenon; 9 in 10 households own only one television set, so any member seeking custom content needs to access it on another device. Enter, the smartphone.
Netflix announced in March 2017, that it had formed separate collaborations with three telcos; namely Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Videocon d2h. The alliances are set to give rise to enhanced distribution for Netflix, giving it access to potential customers via prepaid mobile offers and set-top boxes. Netflix wants to be accessible everywhere. And telcos are a great route to reach that goal. Likewise, Amazon has inked a deal with Vodafone India, intending to lure 4G users onto its platform. India is an ideal ground for partnerships like these, because few households are fitted with high-speed internet connections.
With a crop of new enablers such as Streamhash all set to take the VOD sector to a new level, mobile consumption is only going to grow. The small screen is the next big screen, and it’s never been brighter. Seize it while you can!