2018 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for over-the-top video. Amazon and Netflix are ramping up their spending on original content, while OTT bundles from YouTube and Hulu are expected to make a big consumer push. Traditional television companies, meanwhile, are building out streaming services of their own.
Live sports, long the linchpin for the traditional television bundle, appear to be finally finding significant viewership online, if early data from this year's Major League Baseball playoffs and Amazon's "Thursday Night Football" simulcasts are any indication.
The video landscape is undergoing sea changes, and a lot of major players with deep pockets are trying to figure out how to compete. It's easy for us media industry folk to lose sight of the fact that roughly half of all TV households across the country have no DVR and half have no streaming services. And the number who have top-tier cable packages is declining. CBS All Access, Disney/ABC, and others are putting down markers, trying to gain a foothold into this new media world. There's more room for them to thrive than many seem to think.
My wife found it infuriating that CBS' new "Star Trek: Discovery" is so good. Having recently seen the series premiere on CBS, we can't watch subsequent episodes unless we subscribe to the CBS All Access streaming service.
On the cusp of the 2017-18 television season, Nielsen released an analysis indicating most of the video ad marketplace growth is coming not from linear TV, but from digital video ad spending. There's a 3.6% increase from the $59.0 billion advertisers spent on TV during the 2015-16 season, while digital video ad spending, by contrast, has expanded 26%, to $9.3 billion during the first half of 2017.