A Case for Distribution Over Content

By: Maria Calabrese, Founder Green Life Media & Larissa Gomes, Contributing Writer for Green Life Media

The undeniable growth of smartphone and internet users has fueled the OTT market, with social networking pushing the trend toward this, we are finding ourselves more connected to our devices than ever before!  The need for content platforms is set to increase in global markets as well.  The rate of OTT is growing by 20 % annually and winning over traditional TV. This requires a swift adaptation. Upgrading current systems for most content services are often met with incredible limitations in terms of budgets or time.  Developing content management systems and discovering a viable video distribution network are just a few of the technical challenges.

There is a lack of support to float all these OTT services that are predicted to gain exponentially in the next few years…62 billion by 2020!

As it stands now, Roku is on top when it comes to holding the U.S. market share for a streaming device (37%), with Amazon not far behind (24%), all the while giants like Apple & Google experience a significant decrease.  The interesting position Roku finds itself in can be attributed to offering a maximum number of streaming video content in one single device.  Not providing its own original shows has also led to its rise.  However, now Roku is getting into the programming game with the launch of its own ad-supported movie channel The Roku Channel, boasting only half the ad load of traditional TV.  As Roku filed for IPO at the end of August, 2017, it revealed that ads and licensing make up 41% of its current revenue.  One big incentive for publishers to license their videos to The Roku Channel, as opposed to launching them on their own channels, is that they will better be able to amass content into their one channel, and Roku offers the consumers that would have otherwise been lost to them.  This Roku model is a clear example of how the engagement factor can be used to drive interest in content.

It is a crowded and competitive market.  In order to stand out, not only does the content of course have to be aligned with targeted audiences, but it is also just as important to have a brand that finds the viewers with its platform.  This is because the issue of audience fragmentation for content creators will require increasingly challenging marketing and monetization efforts.  How this will unfold when we move to content publishers all offering multi-platform plays, whether niche or large (Amazon just launched Video Direct, where anyone can upload content while they provide quality control), is the multimillion-dollar question.

Consider the internet as being the new mass audience, with the expectations being to stream seamlessly mid-content between all devices.  If ‘content is king’ as the saying goes within the industry, owning your own content is a good way to proof against the distribution challenges that are about to come.  However, companies will want to make sure the right eyes are on their platform or they could find themselves lost in the sea of infinite channels.