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Top OTT Trends to Watch Out for in 2022

Top OTT Trends
Published on Nov 26, 2021

Since Netflix decided to go global and expand into multiple continents, the rise of online viewing of content has been unprecedented. This, coupled with the additional restraints that came with the COVID-19 pandemic that forced us all to stay indoors pushed the online streaming industry to reach new heights in terms of ease of use, revenue and access globally. The OTT culture is only going to continue to grow with time, and the OTT trends of 2022 indicate the same. 

What is OTT? 

OTT stands for over-the-top, which is a way in which media is consumed and delivered. It consists of online streaming and viewing platforms (such as Netflix, Disney+, and more), where content is distributed using several IP networks. Overall, the amount of video content people consume in general has been increasing steadily in the last few years as platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and more provide a stage for people to put out their content.  

The first step in this direction was when YouTube launched, and it gave viewers and creators a platform to publish and view content. YouTube started to monetize the content and gave creators a source of income, pushing this industry forward by leaps and bounds. Then there was the launch of Vine, 9Gag, and similar platforms that also focused on publishing visual content. The culture grew globally, and platforms such as Netflix became more and more popular over time. It became easier to stream content online with faster internet, and people stopped buying DVDs of films they wanted to watch, using cable TV to catch up on their favourite shows, and more.

OTT industry growth

According to recent predictions, the OTT industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of a minimum of 25%  (Streaming Media) by the end of 2022. Why is the industry so popular? What are the main reasons behind it? 

How is OTT changing the way we watch television? 

There are many reasons why people prefer streaming content online rather than watching it on cable TV. It is transforming the way we watched television as children growing up because you don’t need a television to watch what you want. Some of the reasons behind the growing popularity of OTT culture are listed below. 

Multi-platform viewing 

If you have cable TV, you can only access it from your television, which can be inconvenient at times. You can access OTT content from any viewing platform. It can be on your television if you want to watch it on a big screen, or you can watch shows on your smartphones or tablets if you wish to. This ease of access to content is a big reason why people opt for OTT viewing. 

Ad-free television 

No ads! If you don’t have Spotify or YouTube premium and have forgotten the world of Cable TV like most of us have today, you know how annoying those advertisements in the middle are. Now imagine that, every ten minutes, for at least two minutes, with every show you watch. Sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it? It was the only way you could watch television earlier. OTT platforms have eliminated this altogether, and you don’t have to wait for annoying ads in the middle of your favourite episode anymore. 

OTT television subscription

Unlimited choice of shows and movies to watch from 

You don’t have to follow the schedule set by the cable TV channels for watching your content. You can watch whatever you want. If you want to rewatch your favourite show of all time for the tenth time because you feel like it, nothing is stopping you. If you want to watch an obscure anime that isn’t available on most platforms, you can find it streamed online somewhere over the world wide web. It opens up a whole world of possibilities where you can choose from any show or movie that has ever been made and broadcasted on the television or the cinema. 

Total control on what you want to watch and when you want to watch it 

If you have a lazy Sunday and you want to watch reruns of FRIENDS all day, nothing is stopping you from doing that anymore. You don’t have to follow the television’s schedule for the shows you want to watch. You don’t have to wait for a particular time of a particular day to watch a rerun of a show that has been released for the last decade. You can watch anything, anytime, anywhere. 

Faster streaming because of high-speed internet 

The biggest problem with online viewing platforms a decade ago was the slow speed of the internet. It would take forever to buffer one video, making consuming OTT content inconvenient for users. Now, 4G and 5G speeds are easily accessible on the phone and most homes around the world have high-speed connectivity at their houses.  

In 2019, it was recorded that 53.6% (Avsystem)of the global population had access to the internet. Streaming high-quality content without buffering has become extremely easy today, encouraging more people to switch to OTT platforms.  

The above-mentioned reasons make a very compelling argument to switch to OTT platforms for watching all your content. This begs the question, what are the new OTT trends of 2022? What can viewers expect? 

Top OTT trends of 2022 

Immersive and interactive streaming 

OTT trends in future

The next step in video consumption will be immersive streaming. Interactive videos have already entered the market, and users love to feel like they are participating with the content they are viewing. Virtual reality augmented reality, and immersive technology will be an upcoming OTT trend in 2022 to keep the viewers engaged with their platform. 

Increase in subscription bundles 

The average household has at least one or two subscriptions to OTT platforms available. Currently, the market is saturated with multiple options available around the world, making it difficult for users to choose from. 2022 will see an increase in subscription bundles in terms of streaming platforms to make it easier for viewers to choose from. Instead of having 10 different subscription platforms, they will get the option to choose just one bundle – it will make their lives a lot easier. 

OTT shows

The growth of shared viewing 

Platforms like Netflix started with their ‘watch parties’ during the pandemic to make people feel connected. Users could log in to their account and watch the same TV show or movie together, and interact with each other on the platform. This was a great step in the pandemic because it created a sense of togetherness while people were stuck at home by themselves. Audiences could engage with their friends, and watch and enjoy the same content together.  

This OTT trend is going to continue to grow as the benefits of shared viewing continue to get recognized. The feeling of being connected through a shared experience even if you are on different sides of the world is the sentiment that people appreciate, which is what will help the trend blossom in the future. 

The shift in focus to enhancing user experience 

Since the OTT market is getting saturated with multiple viewing options available like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, HBO, and at least ten more to choose from, users will end up selecting only a couple of them at one go. There are multiple factors involved in them making the choice, and one major factor in this is the user experience. The more intuitive the OTT platform is, the more likely the user is to choose it. According to market research services, the forecasts show that the streaming application needs to have a mobile version and a web version to allow multi-platform streaming and the UX on both should be seamless for the member. This is why OTT platforms are putting more focus on enhancing the user experience to retain their users and make their platform more attractive to new ones. 

Increase in localized content 

Another OTT trend that is set to rise in 2022 is the increase in the amount of localized content available on the platforms. The audiences are different based on different regions, and the shows they watch will be different too. This trend will help industry giants tap into the national market of every region they want to get to because users from different countries will find specialized content that is only available in their country on the platform. It eliminates the need for cable TV entirely, and it is a great way of getting more users to sign up on their OTT streaming platform. 

Read also: Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ Worth Almost $900 Million. But…What Does That Even Mean? 

OTT trends 2022 Infographic

Final Thoughts 

OTT streaming is already taking over cable TV. 5G speeds and improved connectivity for users around the world will only result in OTT becoming the primary source of content for viewers. Faster streaming, easier access, and the convenience that comes with the subscription-based model for watching content is going to make cable TV obsolete very soon.