New Challenges and Opportunities in an Evolving Market
The streaming market in 2023 presented a mixed picture. Looking ahead to 2024, there’s significant room for improvement:
Global streaming platforms are struggling with rather disappointing numbers from advertising revenue from their AVOD offerings so far. Compared to the previous year, subscription numbers are fluctuating. In 2023, a noticeable trend emerged – the big party appears to be over.
There are several reasons for this: The aftermath of COVID-19 and the US strike failed to deliver the anticipated content fireworks in 2023. Moreover, consumers have come under economic pressure and the market is becoming increasingly diversified, forcing consumers to subscribe to an increasing number of platforms in order to access their desired content. This, in turn, is overwhelming for viewers.
Yet, there is potential for the streaming industry to make significant strides in 2024:
1. The National Perspective – BVOD is the New VOD!
They were already declared dead and are now shining bright: the national (yes, the German) streaming services from ARD, ZDF, RTL, and ProSiebenSat.1 up to sky.
For example, RTL+ saw a 31% increase in subscriptions in 2023, and the ARD media library increased its monthly views from 103 million to 143 million. Broadcast Video on Demand (BVOD) scores with an enormous range of content, including films to series, documentaries, news, sport, and shows. And while global streaming platforms are still setting up their advertising departments, broadcasters have leveraged robust advertising partnerships in their portfolios for decades. And there’s another thing they get right: they link their content with that on other platforms.
2. Aggregation – Divide and Conquer!
This brings us to the next big trend for 2024: Aggregation. Gone are the days when services offered their content exclusively on their own platform, believing this was the way to win. Particularly, BVOD aggregates extremely cleverly. The next frontier is now: cross-platform search mechanisms and, above all, advanced cross-platform recommendation systems. The exchange of data will be crucial!
3. The Viewing Experience – the Hidden Champion.
The viewing experience? Right, UHD, HDR that sort of thing. But no! The viewing experience for audiences begins as soon as they access the platform. Display design is crucial in navigating user experience. Do the users just see a film poster tile, or do they get comprehensive information straight away? Can they interact with the content? Are actors and content interlinked during the programme? Can they access further content from within a programme? Can they perhaps even purchase an item related to the content they are watching?
To a large extent, streaming platforms are still lacking in the viewing experience. But 2024 is set to focus on enhancing this aspect.
Here, jay emerges as a game changer – an innovative technology revolutionising the viewing experience with advanced interaction and personalisation features, offering a seamless and immersive streaming experience. It represents an opportunity to make streaming enjoyable, interesting, and holistic, without overwhelming viewers.
Content remains king
But of course: content remains king. So, what happens if content production halts due to strikes in the USA? The German BVOD streaming market must seize this moment to create and present high-quality, diverse content. Broadcasters have this capability. They need to conceptualise and present it appealingly.
Considering the developments of 2023, 2024 is poised to be an exciting year for streaming.