Trends to watch in 2022
Some months ago, Meta (formerly Facebook) gave us our new favourite buzzword when announcing their plans to develop the Metaverse from concept into reality. For those still scratching their heads, the Metaverse is an internet-based 3D environment where all kinds of stakeholders can interact in real-time, aka a virtual world. This year’s company Christmas parties took place on Zoom – prepare for 2025’s to happen in the Metaverse.
We can expect not only company parties to move there, but also almost any daily activity: from job interviews and grocery shopping to hanging out with friends and enjoying films, series, and more. Our industry moves fast, and when consumption habits evolve, TV and video services will have to migrate to this new reality – and we will be there to help them bring (virtual) viewers all their favourite audiovisual content.
Until that happens, join us for a tour of all we are looking forward to in 2022.
Last year’s multiplication of SVoD services has been slowing down and is set to stabilise in 2022, enhanced by the consolidation of Disney+’s and HBO Max’s position among veteran industry disruptors such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. With all the new exciting content to come, it only makes sense for TV operators and broadcasters to find a way to bring it to their viewers.
More and more players are aggregating content providers into their offering – but does it make a difference if everybody is doing it? How can viewers choose from similar services when the default offering now includes a bundle with Netflix, Disney+ and other popular providers?
According to research powerhouse Omdia, the answer is not the number of aggregated services but the strategic refinement of those partnerships. With the right tech partner, operators and broadcasters can achieve deep integrations with content providers and bring their viewers the ultimate experience – making the most of unified content discovery, universal search across catalogues and much more, all from a single login to access all platforms from the operator’s interface.
Viewers’ tolerance to receive advertising in exchange for content has grown in the past year, especially as households look to access different “must-have” services on their own. Operators and broadcasters wishing to win their hearts and living rooms will have to develop alternative monetisation models, leaning on free and ad-funded access to services that used to be available only on subscription or transactional.
TV & video services must take a page off the book of HBO Max (with AVoD and SVoD tiers) or Disney+ (offering TVoD and SVoD) to ensure their services are flexible enough to support different business models within the same platform, and successfully monetise their catalogues. And most importantly – being able to attract and hook viewers with more options for consumption, encouraging low ARPU users to take up more valuable high ARPU tiers thanks to push notifications and on-platform advertising, among others.
We already mentioned 2022 as the year of booming content, with thousands of new titles to be launched across video, music, and gaming. And it will not stop there, as Ampere Analysis expects content investment to exceed $230 billion worldwide. That is a lot to watch and consume in the upcoming years, and a lot for catalogue owners to manage. Providers with limited budgets must be extremely ROI-focused when acquiring and successfully monetising content. Promoting their content to viewers on their platform is the way to go, but are their current strategies as effective (and efficient) as they could be?
A winning strategy includes the platform’s ever more sophisticated algorithms transforming a viewer’s data into personalised recommendations – and then going further with editorial curation. This fail-safe formula for turning content into opportunities brings in a localised human expert to bridge a catalogue with the reality and current events of its viewers. They are the ones repackaging long-tail content to give it a new life, and the reason why you can immediately find a convenient highlight of all your favourite actress’ films just after she received her Oscar nomination. Happy binge-watching!
Hardware providers have found unexpected competitors in TV & video services. Amazon has announced the launch of its own TV set, joining others like Sky’s Sky Glass, a subscription-style streaming-first TV. The search for further services to integrate into a bundle for their viewers has brought digital TV services out of their way to include devices into their offering.
As much as this trend evolves over 2022, it is still unclear whether the business model will finally prevail and how traditional manufacturers will be able to effectively compete with video service giants ready to offer viewers their hardware for much less.
Our take on all of the above? Everything coming up in 2022 will surely revolutionise the viewing experience in many ways. Content is, and will continue to be, the key differentiating factor for digital TV services – but as new competitors, devices and consumption habits make their way to viewers, we will speak less about what to watch and more about how we watch. Are you ready?
See you in the Metaverse!