The year 2020 has ushered in a new era for subscription-based over the top (OTT) video streaming services. It is estimated that the revenue generated by OTT services will touch USD 158.84 billion by 2024! Sensing these Over the Top (OTT) Trends for 2020, new players such as HBO Max, Disney+, Discovery, and Peacock are entering the market. However, service providers like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video continues to dominate the market.

As these companies battle it out, what does the future hold for the OTT industry? Let’s review the over-the-top (OTT) trends in 2020!

Following are the video streaming trends in 2020 that are worth monitoring:

1. 5G Internet will boost customer expectations

The modern-day consumer seeks instant gratification. Viewers can no longer spare 2-3 seconds as video content buffers.

With the advent of 5G technologies, this impatience will grow. 5G technologies, with its high bitrate, will reduce latency while staying cost-effective. Considering that 5G is nearly 100x faster than leading 4G LTE networks, users can expect high connectivity and reliability while commuting to work or staying at home.

Furthermore, with the widespread penetration of HD, UHD, and 4K devices, the streaming quality and corresponding bandwidth will have to match up. 5G will not only facilitate the buffer-free viewing of such content but will go beyond and deliver 8K videos, VR, AR, 360 live streaming, and more!


2. Need for data analytics to efficiently manage workflow

OTT service providers allow users to access their video content through various touchpoints. At the same time, users connect with brands over social media, customer care, and other interactions. As a result, OTT services have to deal with siloed data present in multiple systems.

Video streaming platforms to ensure data fidelity and reliability will have to create a centralized data integration platform. Through a centralized data repository, companies can grant a uniform customer experience without data mismatch issues. Additionally, the user data captured through these means will make it easier for businesses to analyze data and profile their user for a more personalized experience.

3. AI and ML will keep viewers hooked

As more and more consumers boast about binge-watching shows, OTT platforms are tapping into this segment of users by leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). AI and ML are slated to be the most defining over the top (ott) trends for 2020 and beyond!

AI and ML will keep viewers hooked

OTT platforms are banking on AI and ML-powered content recommendation engines to collect user information and analyze existing data to make relevant viewing suggestions. In this way, players will receive personalized recommendations based on their demographics and viewing preferences. The curation of video content in this manner will get the users addicted to the OTT subscription.

4. Customers will enjoy an immersive viewing experience

A combination of high-bandwidth 5G technology, high-quality streaming, smoother operations, and ML-based content recommendation will grant a seamless and immersive viewing experience to users. OTT platforms are pivoting through digital transformation to offer seamless entertainment across multiple platforms, formats, and devices.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality will unlock more potential for a hyper-immersive content viewing experience. Through these technologies, one can foresee a rise in interactive videos that call for viewer participation, which will change the narrative of the video. Hence, OTT service providers can enjoy greater popularity by making content consumption engaging and experiential.

5. Demand for high-quality, original content

While recycling existing content has worked for several subscription platforms, it may no longer be sustainable enough to continue holding the viewers’ interests. While it has been a reliable strategy to gain a fair amount of traction within the market, there is a marked increase in the demand for high-quality, original content.

AI and ML will keep viewers hooked

OTT platforms offer a unique opportunity for regional and Indie filmmakers to distribute their creations. Partnering with such stakeholders grants wider viewership while meeting the diverse preferences of viewers.

At the same time, service providers can also get involved in the production of new video content. Video streaming providers can test out the audience’s response for a mix of experimental and low-budget content along with blockbusters to target pockets of global and local diaspora.

6. Mobile devices rule the OTT space

Currently, smartphones are the go-to devices for streaming video consumption. It is estimated that the total mobile phone audience will surpass 179 million in the US alone!

Naturally, the userbase will be much larger on the global front. Further, the rolling out of 5G technologies and the introduction of high-end handheld devices will catalyze this growth. OTT platforms may incentivize the mobile subscription model to adapt to this mobile-only trend.

7. Diversification in monetization

As per the Video Developer Report, nearly 33% of OTT companies monetize their content through subscription models. However, as several players enter the market, it can cause subscription fatigue. Due to the diverse range of options available, users will be less reluctant to purchase subscription plans.

Diversification in monetization

Hence, OTT services will have to innovate their monetization strategy. Rather than full-access subscription plans, service providers can opt for an on-demand or pay-per-view model.

Similarly, bundling of subscription services can replicate the channel-based cable broadcast feature that users are already familiar with. For instance, we have seen Disney+ partnering with the likes of National Geographic and ESPN to offer a holistic viewing experience to cater to diverse viewing needs.

Final thoughts on Over the Top (OTT) trends for 2020 and beyond

The above video streaming trends in 2020 highlight its sustainable growth and imminent maturation in the years to come. The introduction of new players will heat up the competition in this sphere. It is highly possible that OTT may go beyond entertainment and make headways in the area of education and music.

Further, technology will boost development and adoption at an accelerated rate. Content hybridization and data integration offer a uniform yet elevated customer experience. With the growth of interactive technologies, one can enjoy a complete and immersive viewing experience that will revolutionize and redefine the way they consume video content.

It is only a matter of time until when the over the top (OTT) trends for 2020 and beyond start bearing fruit!

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