What Does the Future Hold for Over-the-top Content?

What Does the Future Hold for Over-the-top Content?

This week, the annual OTTCON conference took place in Santa Clara, California. There, both content producers, distributors and related technology players took the stage to discuss the latest innovations in broadband television--and to speculate on what's next for the mega over-the-top industry.

Brightcove's CTO for media & broadcast Albert Lai also took part in the event, sharing his thoughts on the intricate, multifaceted dynamics of second-screen content and strategy. Albert provided insight into some of the compelling themes discussed at the show, specifically:

Everybody's a video publisher
Creating and producing content is becoming more economical, in large part due to technology's aid in the creative process. From a brand perspective, soon there won't be any organizations that don't produce original content, including video. Despite the democratization of content generation, delivery, targeting and analytics are still in the domain of third-party experts.

Personalization is key to content success
In an era when content is essentially "infinite"--across broadcast TV, TV video on-demand (VOD) and digital VOD--simple genre recommendations won't be enough to move the needle and influence engagement. Thus, content producers will benefit from "hyper-personalization." For instance, if you live in New York City, you might be more apt to find a video about the Empire State Building interesting; or, if you're a Harvard alumni you might be more interested in highlights from the team's win over New Mexico that firmly secured the Crimson a spot in March Madness action. This is where content producers need the support of rich analytics and research.

Binge viewing is changing media & entertainment dialogue
Succession viewing is not only giving you something to do on a rainy Saturday. It's also changing programming, consumption and sharing tendencies. Remember when everybody would walk into work on Thursday mornings and discuss LOST? Those water cooler discussions are no longer day-specific as viewers have the ability to view an entire series in one sitting or catch-up on a season by episode on-demand. We have so much flexibility and are able to schedule our own entertainment. Gone are the days of rushing home to catch your favorite show--an experience Generation Z will never be able to even fathom.

TV tracking hasn't quite caught up with social sharing habits
At OTTCON, there was much discussion surrounding the value of "dark social" i.e. online video content sharing that takes place through emails and chats that is not necessarily tracked by the primary social networks. It's an interesting conundrum--as social conversations' relevance only continues to grow, how do content producers measure the true audience for their material? This is an issue that will likely be resolved sooner rather than later.

Were you at OTTCON this year? What discussions did you find the most interesting or compelling?