Next Wave of Streaming Platforms

Next Wave of Streaming Platforms will have to do what to survive? Niche streaming platform players have and will continue to arrive on the scene. To survive, they will have to think big or the larger platforms could destroy them by adding their own niches. To their platforms that is.

Incumbents will modify revenue streams, merge with adjacent or buy out competitors to survive. These predictions stem from trends in the industry as well as my own experience in digital rights management and revenue reporting

Now that the platforms realized that both subscription and advertising business models work, there will likely be more amalgamations between the advertising video on demand (AVOD) and subscription video on demand (SVOD). 

Winners and Losers

The winners and losers will not just be decided based on the volume of content—whether it’s music, games, TV or film—but instead a large determining factor will be universal access in most if not all languages worldwide. Live streaming concerts, sports, online gaming, music and podcasts all will need to be offered in the best quality, with little to no territory restrictions, and be available in offline mode for travelers. Access anywhere on any device worldwide will happen. I believe universal access in all languages will have a major effect worldwide on the data of the assets. Content dubbed in different languages can also have different music and will, in turn, create different soundtracks. Data will help determine global toys to manufacture based on the content, if a TV series should be made into a movie or a movie should have a sequel. 

Predictions

I predict that sports streaming platforms like FuboTV and DanZ are at risk of losing their licensing deals to the larger existing platforms or end up merging with Netflix, Disney+, Spotify or other adjacent platforms. If this happens, it will be due in part to the costs of licensing, user desire for lower subscription fees, and users not wanting to pay multiple subscriptions. Single sport platforms like NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL will likely have a tough time standing alone.  

Genre-based streaming platforms focused on anything from kids to horror films will arrive, likely charging a higher CPM to advertisers or higher subscription costs due to its walled garden and curated content. Disney+ figured it out very fast and is still learning. Streaming media is a difficult business to be profitable at and based on their existing issues, I believe these specific genre-based platforms will not survive alone.  

Regional streaming platform players will exist and governments may block global players from purchasing and/or merging with the regional platforms. In the gaming world, this has already happened and could set a precedent for other governments blocking other global players from mergers with small platforms.

I predict there will, however, be a mere few global platforms. The reason sports platforms need to merge with live events, in the long run, is to avoid the global platforms from moving into this vertical or waiting until this vertical matures and then they go bankrupt and leave policymakers with no choice but to let the M&A happen.

Online streaming and influencers

Unlike country-based broadcasters, online streaming is worldwide and platform players know that their audiences are expecting multi-language content, country-based content and sports local and international.  

Influencers who helped build platforms like YouTube may start losing revenue due to brands creating their own content. This could happen as brands and businesses take over from the creators.

Minecraft, GTA, RedBull, Vans and GoPro are all sponsoring individuals and creating long-form content. The sponsorship deals with athletes or team ambassadors are also creating behind-the-scene interviews for film and TV. The content is packaged and sold just like the branded content deals on TV and in film.

The next wave of streaming platforms

The next wave of streaming platforms will have it all in one. They will aim to be much more flexible for all content and a sense of community engagement. I do think having an influencer tied to your brand creates more of a genuine ad or promotion approach to the product or service as opposed to traditional billboards, radio, publications and commercials. For the number of people watching or listening to creators, there is currently not a large enough volume of creators who have a large enough audience which is why the cost of hiring influencers can be high. Influencers just seem more authentic than having the company talk about their product or service. This authenticity has been recognized by the corporations which in turn has led them to allocate higher budgets for social media influencers who align with their brands.  

Many people use the internet to help them determine what to purchase or not to purchase. Due to the searchability of platforms when one searches for a product or service, they will click what shows up in the first couple of results. This will most likely be an influencer over the actual corporation that created the product. What the user doesn’t understand is that corporations know that in order to increase the chance of someone purchasing a product or service, social influencers are key. With many consumers still showing a preference for purchasing online, influencers can blend in with this preference by offering click-through links to purchase products or services they promote. Sometimes influencers also have an affiliate code that they’re incentivized to use.

For better or worse the platforms of the future will have a mix of curated content, sports, live events and influencer-based content creators.


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