Digital Media Trends to Impact Streaming Services in 2019

Thu Phan

As the digital media landscape continues to evolve in 2019, it will be marked by dramatic changes and digital media trends in the streaming space as new services seek to dethrone Netflix. New ventures launching this year, including those from Disney and Apple, will stiffen competition for the digital media pioneer, but first they must overcome significant challenges if they want to snatch some market share. Here are three digital media trends that we see playing out in 2019 as these streaming media companies battle it out:

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1. Increased personalization in streaming

Consumers already expect personalization when it comes to their retail experiences. Their demand for tailored experiences is now transferring to media and entertainment services, where personalization and curation is among the digital media trends gaining steam this year.

Two-thirds of American consumers believe brands must adjust their products to fit the context present at the point of sale. Millennials are especially passionate about personalization, with 60 percent saying they would be willing to spend more for bespoke media services.

Personalization is not just about meeting consumers’ demands, but it makes business sense for media streamers. By introducing consumers to new content based on their personal preferences, streaming services chasing Netflix can increase viewership, boost their brand value and reduce subscriber churn.

Live TV, Hulu’s live sports streaming service, asks users for their favorite sports teams to personalize their viewing experience. The move has led to a high level of engagement—3 out of 4 subscribers watch sports regularly.

More recently, Dish’s OTT offering, Sling TV, introduced a recommendations feature that suggest content based on a user’s viewing history. However, the live TV streaming service still has a ways to go in personalization since they don’t yet customize content based on a user’s profile.

2. Enhanced access for cross-device viewing

The average American today dedicates six out of the 11 content-viewing hours on watching videos.

More consumers are also conducting their viewing activity outside the home, which is why 53 percent consider the ability to access content on two or more wireless devices important. Globally, 46 percent of viewers have multiple devices on which to view content.

MORE MEDIA STATS: State of Media 2019: Digital Media Challenges and Opportunities

As more consumers watch videos on the go, one of the digital media trends emerging this year will be greater accessibility to cross-device video consumption.

Afterall, six out of every 10 videos are watched on mobile device. At least 80 percent of young people, 17- to 24-year-olds, watch videos outside their house at least once per month and a quarter of them do it daily.

This means streaming video companies will find more ways to support mobile viewing for their customers, from adjusting video lengths to suit different formats to mitigating lag time as viewers switch from one device to another.

3. Shorter ad lengths on mobile

It’s not surprising for many of us to hear that three-quarters of American consumers believe ads detract from the viewing experience and would prefer that streaming companies keep promotional time to a minimum. Past digital media trends have indicated just as much, but what’s changed is how advertisers can now vary the length and frequency across platforms.

Roughly half prefer that one long ad be shown before commercial-free content rather than several shorter ads interrupting the content. Those who tolerate interruptive ads expect three ads for every four video clips of under five minutes each.

In late 2018, YouTube TV deployed “ad pods,” which were blocks of ad clips that were front-loaded ahead of video content.

However, AVOD (advertising-based video-on-demand) service providers will adapt ad lengths and frequency based on device. Since 30 percent of consumers expect shorter promotional clips on mobile devices, it is likely that AVOD companies will comply. Meanwhile, two-thirds of consumers anticipate longer ads when using OTT services or desktop machines.

Find more about these digital media trends by downloading our latest ebook, State of Media 2019: Digital Media Challenges and Opportunities.

State of Media 2019 eBook

About Thu Phan

Thu leads content marketing at Apptimize.

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