Ooyala today released its 2015 State of the Broadcast Industry and probably the most salient takeaway is that most of it is about… streaming video.
With reports like these, it’s important to know from what state the authors are coming from — Ooyala’s main business is a platform that enables publishers to do their business online — but even so, it’s easy to argue that the future of broadcasting is not much over-the-air, or via cable.
That’s a point of view that is fully supported in this report, which is more of a synthesis of everything that’s already out there rather than some bold predictions you haven’t heard before.
The major bullet points, however, packaged as they are, seems timely reading as Dish unveils its Sling TV initiative at the CES (though this report was done before Dish announced the Sling TV set-up).
Ooyala’s concluding thought is: “Broadcast’s advertising driven machine is splintering with consumer OTT shifts. Look for the rise of multiplatform ratings and programmatic buying to be game-changers that will drive the broadcast and digital advertising businesses toward integration and consolidation.”
It quotes an Advertising Age report that predicts 36% of all ad spend will be on digital platforms by 2019, compared to just 30% for traditional TV and cable. Everywhere Ooyala looks, things look the same way. Kids TV is threatened by YouTube and Netflix (and I could add, Amazon); and online is gaining ground in live sports (see Sling TV again), which Ooyala notes is a major reason that more people don’t quit cable. Atlantic.com today published an article titled, “It’s Here: ESPN Without Cable” which makes it sound like Dish just murdered cable. We’ll see.
Ooyala also notes that the nascent — very nascent — Ultra TV format is being pushed first and foremost by Netflix, and while I’d say most consumers would put 4K far down on their wish list of electronic toys, that craving will increase specifically with the younger viewers already getting very comfy with online versus their great-grandfather’s TV set. And Netflix stands to gain the most, with potential viewers and as a leader of the bold new age.
That online is gaining while TV is not isn’t news, and isn’t absolutely death for the people who have staked billions on cable and broadcasting. It will just take a completely different form.
This report does seem to signal, to me at least, some caution signs about how advertising fits into that structure as neatly as content does. Measurement still bothers a lot of advertisers and cross platform integration of ratings and analytics is key; mobile viewing is growing by leaps and bounds and more than advertising on mobile has. Programmatic is changing the buying landscape.
The report says, in one portion that “the industry is in a race to mitigate churn and subsequent lost advertising dollars, and create a solid plan for the future. To recapture lost revenue and margins, operators are looking to become true virtual service providers--offering pay and OTT content, along with connected home services, and broadband access all bundled together. The future will likely see consumers favor this mix, with operators perhaps ultimately acting as consumer ‘concierge desks’ to manage authentication and billing, and organize content and service bundles.”