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  • Vibhu Agarwal of ULLU discuses how market and technology will define the ever-changing OTT landscape

    Published on September 26, 2022

    The pandemic has changed the way consumers view entertainment today. What used to be a trip to the multiplex with the family to watch a film on the big screen binging on popcorn is no longer the only option. Similar experience is now available in the confines of their homes with the popcorn delivered to their doorstep. Albeit the experience might not match up to the big screen experience, the traffic and crowd hassles is a payoff for choosing to stay home instead. While this has had a negative impact on many brick-and-mortar players, those operating in the digital space have discovered the potential to be endless. This turn of fortunes wasn’t expected and least of all in the short time frame in which it has taken shape. Vibhu Agarwal the Founder and Group CEO of Ullu & Atrangii examines the top trends shaping the future of the OTT lanscape, so marketers can equip themselves to capture a larger share of the growing audience through use of superior technology such as AI and data analytics.

    Consolidating data from mobile, consoles and web onto a single platform allows brands to aide their ever-growing data intelligence and strengthens their engagement efforts. As a result, they are better positioned to leverage this wisdom and providing users with a smooth and seamless experience. “The global OTT market is expected to be worth $167 billion by 2025, more than doubling from $83 billion in 2019 and it won’t be without its own share of casualties.The ones to spot the trends early are bound to see meteoric growth and the laggards will perish after the initial euphoric growth,” informs Vibhu Agarwal.

    According to a study conducted by media measurement company, daily consumption of online content has more than doubled since the outbreak. “While this figure may appear excessive and unsustainable in the long run, there is no doubt that people have grown accustomed to consuming entertainment at the click of a button,” says Vibhu Agarwal Ullu CEO. He further suggests, “The brand website, which is the primary touchpoint for customers, accounts for a significant portion of consumption. Marketers must capitalise on this by providing a better user experience for website visitors.” This is possible with advanced automation tools. Brands must devote resources to developing personalised and pertinent website banners and messages.

    Marketing initiatives such as rewarding users who frequently visit a specific page, directing users to relevant pages based on demographics, and intent-based optimization are excellent ways to keep the users coming back. “Though a large pie of the consumption today still revolves around shows and movies that perform well on TV (catch up content), there are early trends to suggest the viewership is expanding beyond the traditional content and making way for edgy, enticing, and real-time live content,” says Vibhu Agarwal.

    Furthermore, livestreaming of movie premieres, award shows like the Oscars, sporting events like the Olympics, and live news have all helped OTT platforms gain more eyeballs leading to platform stickiness. Vibhu Agarwal says, “Brands must proactively work on real-time analytics, analyse viewing patterns, and build a prediction system by orchestrating the customer journey to make content more relevant. OTT platforms can create customer cohorts based on metadata such as cast, director, genre, and language leading to personalised communication which can lead to higher engagement and lower attrition.”

    Additionally, the other to keep a close watch on is the growth in connected TV segment, which has seen rapid adoption in the recent times. According to estimates, the number of households adopting this technology will increase by 82% by 2023. According to studies, the proportion of households cutting the cord on traditional cable will increase by 44% during the same time period. This establishes two key takeaways for OTT platforms delivering content via TV, consoles or a plug stick; increasing reach through linear TV extension campaigns that lead to higher levels of engagement and advertisers seeking to earn more viewers’ time.

    It is clear that OTT is changing not only the content viewing experience, but also bringing families and the world closer together. The trend, which began a few years ago, has gained momentum and added many new features along the way – in the aftermath of the pandemic and also supported by new technologies.

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