What are the Major Media Consumption Trends That will Influence Media Spends by Companies?

Media consumption has diversified significantly over the past few years. However, the global lockdown in 2020 propelled the digital-first approach comprising tablet and mobile devices. For media companies, planning and prepping for what comes next by analyzing the factors that trigger these consumption trends is necessary. In contrast, multiple factors contribute to this change — age, device usage & ownership, household types (like multi-generation and nuclear family) and more play a critical role in determining media consumption. The ever-changing mode of content consumption & interaction across digital devices has prompted media companies businesses to develop new ways to attract the attention of their target audience.

This article allows me to discuss how next-generation media companies are working towards adapting and investing towards a sustainable future.

The landscape of digital media and viewer experience is changing

Media consumption has experienced a sea change, both in terms of content and viewing experience. While people still like to watch TV, their preferences are not limited to what’s available on the schedule. On-demand and Over the top (OTT) content offers a wide range of choices and flexibility. These are the two critical factors driving viewership across digital platforms. A broadband connection at home has gone from good-to-have to a must-have in modern times. Further, the affordability of on-demand and OTT content have triggered the already robust digital media revolution.

Preference for satellite TV for live events still exists.

Being an ardent sports fan, I know there’s still a sizeable market for regular satellite TV viewers, especially for live events or sports. Most of you would agree that viewers still prefer watching their favorite matches on TV rather than on a mobile or other portable online device. Also, a lot of households still don’t have multi-app supporting smart TVs. So, in my opinion, satellite TV will remain an essential medium for brands looking to invest substantially into advertising.

Multiple streaming device options are available to viewers.

I believe that reducing prices of streaming devices’ also plays a significant role in the digital media revolution. Technological innovation has made a slew of devices affordable for the average consumer. There is an abundant choice of streaming platforms, from Smart TVs to mobile phones and tablets to computers. All of these make digital streaming seamless and accessible on the go. With your favorite content available at all times, ‘binge-watching is now a familiar story of every household.

Customized content and marketing for individual viewers have become the standard

The range and variety of content available in on-demand and OTT platforms are mind-boggling. As I said above, all these platforms are fully equipped to cater to a broad age group, ranging from children and teens to adults and the elderly. Consumers are feeling spoilt for choice. From classics to the latest blockbusters, award-winning films, and documentaries to original featured content, each consumer’s viewing preferences are taken care of.

Further, these platforms make clever use of technologies like AI, ML, and Analytics. Based on each client’s viewing list, suggestions are made for what they can watch next. Viewer ratings come in handy here. Additionally, there are options to set reminders for content that is already available or coming soon. That way, OTT platforms can build personalized engagement with each viewer.

Based on the data available, the OTT content providers can also define a clear content strategy. This is important for the success of the platform and ongoing customer satisfaction and engagement.

Playing the regional connect card globally is key

The advent of digital streaming and OTT platforms has made high-class content accessible to all. Anyone with a good-speed connection and a suitable device can view their preferred content anytime, anywhere. Under such circumstances, an essential consideration for content providers is establishing a regional association. The remote viewer base that only speaks the regional dialect is much broader globally. To tap into this viewer base, making content available in multiple regional languages is essential. For instance, in a country like US, which has a large population coming from non-english countries, satellite TV channels have a tremendous opportunity to expand their footprint.

The other side of the coin is bringing regional content to mainstream viewers. Whether it is award-winning or highly acclaimed world cinema, documentaries, or TV series, multi-language subtitles are becoming increasingly mainstream.

Each content provider is looking to build its brand.

OTT content is now a profitable mainstream business. OTT platforms are signing up multiple collaborations for exclusive content rights with the backing of influential investors and production houses. Most of them are also producing their content. Several big productions with reputed directors and actors are the order of the day, both at the regional and global level.

OTT platforms are taking advertising and content distribution to the next level

AI and ML are making both advertising and content distribution strategic and straightforward. Programmatic advertisement purchases are being driven using AI. Several regional ad suites are tying up with global content providers to capture a global consumer base. With the popularity of OTT platforms, there is continuous research introducing new features and distributing content in more consumer-friendly ways.

Gamification has immense potential

Both satellite TV and OTT platforms are using the gamification approach. Whether it is engaging the audience during live matches or allowing them to vote for contestants, gamification has been around for some time now. However, content providers are aware of the enormous potential it has to create an engaged consumer base. Several OTT content providers are creating exclusive applications promoting gamification. This is also a lucrative opportunity for aggressive product advertisement and building brand value.

EdTech is booming

Another trend that is making its mark is educational sites, offering remote learning. I recently worked with a few content providers to adopt a strategic approach in developing solutions to promote maximum learning and retention. As education is being reimagined as a lifelong engagement, EdTech companies invest in a multi-channel and multi-technology approach to engage learners.

To sum it up, global trends have shown that consumers are ready for the next phase in the digital content revolution. Content providers will now have to invest in optimizing their strategy and business models. They will need to drive efficiencies and up the value of their offerings while focusing on the consumer. What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

About Author:

Saumil Shah, the CIO at Rishabh Software, is a technocrat with a successful track record of helping clients solve complex business problems. Under his strategic presidency, Rishabh has established a prominent market presence across multiple domains like Healthcare, Retail, Manufacturing, FinTech & more. He is an alumnus of IIT-Kanpur & London Business School and has been on the advisory panel of industry-leading bodies like NASCOM and GESIA. When he’s not busy solving business technology challenges, he enjoys playing tennis or football.