There are many myths about OTT (over-the-top) that need to be debunked, writes Verizon Digital Media Services Director, Marketing Communications Jason Friedlander. Otherwise, we run the risk of misunderstanding the market and its opportunities. This goes for content producers, advertisers, those in TV business and even consumers.
Myth #1: TV is dead
Let’s start by saying that it’s not dead. Not even close. There is more content than ever; even Twitter has TV. The way to beat this myth is to realize that the definition of TV has changed. We no longer only watch linear TV. We stream, share and engage in a personalized model of video content. We’ve traded channel surfing for binge watching. It’s still TV. Netflix is no different to TV than HBO was to cable in 1980. They are companies that distribute and more importantly produce amazing content.
Myth #2: Content owners are ready
The second myth I want to examine is the idea that organizations are ready for the shift from linear TV to OTT. Some organizations, such as the OTT natives like Netflix and Hulu, are readier than others. But for most, they are still working through how they want to prepare for the not-so-distant future. They know how to make their content available for digital marketplaces, but they lack the data to fully understand the “where” and “how” to present it.
One of the key takeaways from April’s NAB show is that legacy TV and media companies are struggling with the move to OTT. They have been at the top of the game for 65 years. To continue to succeed at a high level they have to understand how to program for a digital viewer. This means that the content experience must be personalized for each viewer.
Myth #3: Consumers don’t like ads
One of the most persistent myths around is that consumers don’t want advertisements. In fact, more than 50% of Generation Z (the generation younger than millennials) enjoys watching ads. The key is that they have to be engaging, relevant (personalized) and inoffensive. A related myth is that subscription fees for services are enough to maintain a fit ecosystem. This is simply not true. They aren’t enough.
Myth #4: Advertisers are ready
Programmatic ads are the future of true OTT monetization and the market is not prepared. In traditional TV, you are selling to an entire market. It’s one ad spot that is delivered to the entirety of your audience. But, with OTT, you are serving dynamic ads for each spot as the content is highly personalized.
How we buy ads has to evolve. The programmatic space has a long way to go to be well stocked with high-quality video that is brand safe. We need traditional ad buyers to stop fearing the loss of their jobs, and become pillars for programmatic so that the entire industry can succeed. We saw this resistance in the OTT space when traditional leaders from broadcasting feared the inevitable. The leaders of those businesses now are the ones that embraced the change instead of fought it.
About Jason Friedlander
Jason is the director, marketing communications for Verizon Digital Media Services, where his primary objective is to raise the visibility of the company in the industry. This includes creating strong, rewarding relationships with media, partners and industry organizations as well as working closely with internal product and technology teams to continue to innovate the company's portfolio and position the company as the market leader.