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Ovum predicts OTT explosion

OTT subscriptions will soar over the next five years to nearly 200 million as direct-to-consumer services such as HBO Now and Dish Network’s Sling TV impact the market, according to a report released today.

Ed Barton

Barton: predicts growth phase

Analysts at research group Ovum have predicted that new streaming services will “herald a new era in online streaming” as shows traditionally on pay TV become available online and drive numbers.

Last year saw a flurry of internet-based on-demand services unveiled, with CBS becoming the first US network to launch a streaming option for viewers, alongside similar services such as Shomi in Canada. HBO revealed its own offering just before CBS, while fellow US broadcaster Starz pledged US$20m to develop its service.

Tony Gunnarsson, senior analyst at Ovum’s TV Practice, said the trend of stand-alone OTT services launched by traditional TV players would help counter the likes of Amazon and Netflix, and also drive online streaming subscribers past 100 million in 2015, up from less than 90 million in 2014.

The figures were released in Ovum’s 2015 OTT Video Forecast report, which also predicted that by 2019, a further 77 million customers will have online OTT subscriptions.

The report found that the “already unforgiving competitive environment will intensify” with “much downward pricing pressure,” but also predicted the creation of new release windows, providing some relief for producers and distributors.

Ed Barton, Ovum’s head of TV research and analysis, added: “We are on the cusp of the next major evolutionary growth phase in visual entertainment.”


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