December 17, 2019

The OTT Streaming Wars and Their Implications

What a difference a year makes, with 2019 seeing tremendous momentum with OTT streaming. Several high-profile streaming services have launched, joining an already crowded field dominated by Netflix. These streaming video trends have profound implications for broadband service providers and their networks.

New kids on the block include Disney+, which claimed 10 million users shortly after their November 2019 launch, and Apple+, which has an embedded device base of well over 100 million to leverage. There are now over 100 available streaming services, including services that can replace traditional pay-TV packages like Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV, among others.

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Consumers are embracing the trend. Market research firm Parks Associates reports the number of households with multiple OTT video subscriptions has increased 130% since 2014. They estimate 46% of U.S. households now subscribe to multiple OTT video services. As a result, cord cutting is accelerating. Market research firm Leichtman Research Group reports the pay-TV industry lost 1.74 million video subscribers in 3Q19 alone. That’s up from 975,000 lost during the same period a year ago.

Additional high-profile services are coming in 2020 from AT&T/WarnerMedia with HBO Max, and Peacock from Comcast/NBC. All of these new streaming services are driving tremendous bandwidth demands as customers stream video. OpenVault recently reported that cord cutters are using, on average, half a terabyte of bandwidth each month, which is more than double the 275 GB the average subscriber consumes. That can add up quickly, with potentially serious consequences on network performance. Consumers are also using multiple devices within the home to watch streaming video, often simultaneously.

ETI is a trusted partner for our clients to help them better navigate this changing video marketplace. With integrations to popular platforms such as TiVo and MobiTV, ETI can help you bring OTT video to your customers quickly and seamlessly.

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