Report Reveals Programmers are Optimistic About Future Video Technology
A new report released from Akamai surveying companies that offer (or plan to offer) “direct to consumer” or over-the-top (OTT) video services reveals an optimistic and rapidly maturing marketplace. Apps like Hulu, HBO Now, and SHOWTIME are changing consumers’ relationships with streaming entertainment and while adoption is increasing, they key watchword among survey participants remains quality. According to the report, these companies are focused on how to offer scalable, interactive, live ultra-high-definition (UHD) quality experiences today while still looking towards what consumers will want in the near future.
As Akamai points out, the quality of video is changing, meaning that standard-definition video is on the decline and high-definition and ultra-high definition are rising fast. The average provider’s video library currently contains 59 percent HD video. Expectations for a year from now are that this will increase to 71 percent. Survey respondents seemed confident that as broadband service capabilities also improve, UHD and other rich experience will continue to become available.
And while virtual reality is still in its experimental phase, 6 percent of the survey participants responded that they already support VR video experiences on their OTT platforms. 20 percent said they plan to support VR in the near future.
Survey participants were also optimistic about demand for interactive features to go along with video services. Features like the ability to share sports statistics, recipes, audience polling, and quizzes within programming are already offered by two-thirds of survey respondents and 86 percent plan to provide these offerings in the next year.
We can also expect to see more live streaming, as it becomes increasingly popular with large sporting events. When asked how they predict video will be delivered in the future, 65 percent of respondents said as live streams, second to on-demand delivery at 79 percent. 47 percent of participants delivering live stream said they plan to offer this service daily, while 17 percent said they will stream live continuously. 47 percent also responded that they would live stream more than one event at the same time, and 18 percent responded they would live stream six or more events simultaneously.
The Akamai survey offers a glimpse into what might be in store for viewers in the years ahead, as media companies work to bring enhanced viewing experience replete with UHD quality, interactive features, and live streaming.