‘Content is king’ is a cliché phrase that almost everyone has come across. However, although it is a cliché, it is the modern day reality. Content is taking over, and content marketing is becoming the next big thing. In over-the-top (OTT), ‘content is king’ is translated to ‘original content is king.’ Originality counts. There’s a gradual shift towards content as opposed to where it is consumed. Many consumers care about the content they get not the platform where they consume it. For example, Ryan in New York watches the blockbuster film Thor on HBO. At the same time, Rashid in New Delhi streams the movie on Hotstar. In the two cases, the important thing is that both individuals watch Thor regardless of the platform they use.
In the contemporary digital age, there’s a growing trend towards OTT services and the OTT industry is experiencing tremendous growth. More and more consumers are switching to OTT services and hence dethroning traditional TV. OTT consumption is on the rise because many pay-tv customers are dissatisfied with the stingy, pricey, and limited options that traditional TV offers. With OTT, customers get an array of pricing and viewing options.
Harvard Business Review reports that as more people switch to OTT, OTT service providers will have to meet the expectations of these masses. Offering content from TV channels will be insufficient to retain customers and attract new ones. Providing consumers with original content is an ideal way for OTT providers to differentiate themselves from the competition and attract more business. Netflix, HBO Go, and Roku are the leading players in the OTT industry. These players are focusing on original content because differentiation and the future lie in content. In line with this, OTT providers are investing billions of dollars in producing original content.
Prominent providers like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have acknowledged that original content is a key differentiator and embraced it heartily. In 2017, 0TT providers spent $3.4 billion on original content development, a drastic increase from $500 million in 2013. In 2018, Netflix alone set aside an estimate of $8 billion for content. Additionally, OTT service brands started producing their own content in 2011. Nevertheless, back then it wasn’t clear whether self-production was just a fad or the advent of a major trend. Currently, self-production is the latest buzz, and less of a fad as more and more OTT providers produce their own content, and others make preparations to do so. The success of Netflix Orange is the New Black and House of Cards is enough evidence that original content is king in OTT.
Tech giants Apple, Facebook, and Google have not been left behind in the original content revolution. Apple has already started its original programming efforts and set aside a budget of around $1 billion to make them successful. It has recruited top talent in the industry to lead its programming efforts. Apple hired two of Sony’s television studio heads –Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg- that have a good record in series production. The tech giant might also unveil an app to deliver its original content. Facebook is working on creating a Watch tab where people can view video content. Its Hollywood development team has a budget of $3-$4 million for new programming. Google already has a video content platform on YouTube and intends to spend up to $3 million on new drama series per episode.
It is undisputed that content is king and will continue to bear the crown. The phrase applies to OTT where original content will give OTT providers a competitive edge and survival in the future. Therefore, OTT providers need to embrace original content and offer their viewers fresh and consistent content to retain them and even attract new customers. However, as competition intensifies in OTT and providers create their libraries of original content, the original content will be an insufficient differentiator. OTT providers will have to complement original content with a niche audience and personalization. Content is king, when you have it, contact the telecommunications experts at Intraway to help you know how to use content to scale your business.