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Report: OTT Providers Believe in VR Staying Power

BROOMFIELD, COLO.—OTT and virtual reality are two of the big buzz topics in the industry, but according to a recent survey they could become a dynamic duo. “The OTT Video Services Market – Today’s Trends and What is Next for 4K, HDR, HFR and VR” study was recently released and it showed that the idea of VR-video becoming a mainstay of streaming video was a popular idea among those interviewed.

Of the companies in the study that are offering OTT services, 67 percent believe that VR is here to stay and at the time of the study 52 percent were researching, getting ready to launch or had launched VR-video content. However, those companies do still acknowledge business and technical challenges currently present, including lack of consumer awareness, interest and fear of competition from free services, user generated content and bandwidth caps.

“When I started the process of crafting questions for this second annual survey on OTT for Level 3, I was VR-video skeptic,” said Tim Siglin, contributing editor for Streaming Media Magazine and principal report author. “But it became clear, during the analysis phase, that a VR-video strategic decision has tremendous mindshare for those companies already offering OTT services.”

Additional findings of the study showed that 45 percent of companies surveyed now offer OTT services, a 10 percent increase over 2015. Of those companies 50 percent have plans for incorporating 4K; 70 percent said they would offer HFR and HDR with HD video; 40 percent of respondents said they had a multiple-CDN approach for OTT services; 87 percent saw OTT as a viable revenue opportunity; and some are expected to begin emphasizing live OTT content over on-demand content.

The study was commissioned by Level 3 Communications and conducted by Unisphere Research, in partnership with Streaming Media. The full report can be read here.