YouTube video consumption in October was up 27% year over year, with similar figures in September and (so far) in November. Pivotal Research group's Brian Weiser crunched the numbers in a recent research report and came to the conclusion that YouTube views are equivalent to 13% of all TV consumption, when monthly viewership hours are compared in a roughly apples to apples fashion.
For consumers, the world of over-the-top video is flush with opportunity: the chance to cut the cord and save a little money, a video experience with an intuitive and simple user interface, and all the content one could want, on-demand and at your fingertips. But the OTT landscape is also incredibly confusing, with a dozen "skinny bundles" like Philo and FuboTV offering pay-TV-like services, and even more services offering single channels, like HBO Now and CBS All Access.
If there was one theme that would sum up the quarterly financial earnings calls of the big television companies this past quarter, it would be "over-the-top is coming, and we are ready for it." Whether these companies really are ready will be up to consumers to decide, but there is no question that just about every traditional media company is now betting big on OTT.
While many large streaming services try to be everything to everyone by having enormous libraries of content, we are now seeing a new wave of OTT startups targeting more niche audiences. Karma, an over-the-top streaming service that founder Karam Hinduja describes as "The Economist for the next generation, on video," officially launches today.