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Broadcasters need to look beyond just VOD services

In today’s rapidly emerging multi-screen viewing environment, the relationship between the viewer and producer has been fundamentally altered. This change, a new study says, has substantial implications for the broadcast industry’s distribution, operations and business models.

In a joint study by Ovum and Avid, researchers found that broadcast and studio executives expect a rapid transition of the multi-screen web delivery model. Among survey respondents, 71.5 percent believe that over 11 percent of average audience viewing time will be delivered by web services by 2017.

More than a quarter of all respondents predict that over 30 percent of audience viewing time will be delivered by web services in 2017, which “is an astonishing predicted increase of almost 10 times in just four years on rates seen in the U.S. and Western Europe today,” the study said.

The market, the report said, is undergoing dramatic change (in terms of how content is distributed and consumed), and broadcast and studio executives see these new web-delivered services as revenue drivers. Ninety-one percent of respondents cited multi-screen delivery as a key source of growth.

To effectively respond to this change, the report said media executives need better insight into patterns of audience behavior, priorities and preferences. Thus, Avid commissioned a second study with Ovum, this time surveying consumers directly to identify patterns of consumer activity and their impact on monetization models for premium video content.

Avid and Ovum conducted a web-based survey of 3011 consumers across the U.S., UK, Germany and Brazil, seeking to better understand issues such as how are consumers discovering new shows, and is there any difference in viewing platform between discovery, engagement and loyal viewing? Researchers asked if media viewing is becoming more personal, more social or a combination and what motivates consumers to purchase content?

The report found that the strongest driver of audience engagement remains quality of content with excellent audio and video. That same content is also a key to advertising engagement. Forty-seven percent recall ads because they are funny.

Delivering shows via online, social and mobile platforms not only allows consumers to personalize their viewing experience, but also lets broadcasters move audiences to the platform that maximizes the value of media assets. Consumers will pay for archived content, but this demands that producers create effective metadata strategies.

Of consumers, 37 percent are prepared to pay for old episodes of their favorite shows when offered in context, which is more than are prepared to pay a premium for news or scheduled entertainment content such as scripted or non-scripted reality. However, most of that archived material is currently inaccessible.