You have probably heard about OTT: the latest trend taking the world of video content delivery by storm. The reason behind this is the growing availability of high-quality broadband access and the increasing demand for multi-platform viewing. Many leagues, clubs, and broadcasters join the generation of sports OTT aggregators that offer an engaging worldwide viewing platform for live sport because they are beginning to understand the need to innovate to reach and engage with their audience.
The main starting point for any discussion that looks back over 2020 is undoubtedly the pandemic’s impact. The sports industry, like many others, was significantly affected by lockdowns and event cancellations, becoming a pivot point for many sports organizations.
The initial response to the pandemic meant a significant pause for many of the familiar sports services. Yet, given the circumstances, it was remarkable how quickly the industry adapted to these challenges. That was the time when the fan experience needed to be revolutionized.
Launching an OTT channel, particularly live sports streaming, opened up an entire world of opportunities for video service providers. One of those is being able to innovate faster.
With the OTT platform, the fan is directly involved, completing this revolution. Following this assumption, each fan has a diversified experience through an engagement process that looks more familiar to him, especially after this change in his behavior, following the lockdown period. We should not forget that the fan is getting ready to get back in action with new habits connected to e-commerce, product, and service delivery. This trend would develop a strong sense of digital and new synergies that could raise fan engagement. So will the OTT services be able to prove themselves in the market?
History of OTT Sports Services
So how exactly did we find ourselves in the middle of an OTT revolution?
To answer that question, we must start at the beginning of sports OTT platforms.
In 2014, the National Lacrosse League (NLL) teamed up with Xumo to bring NLL games to OTT. In 2015, Dish Network unveiled its OTT service as Sling TV, and fuboTV was introduced. DAZN-the global OTT subscription video streaming service was first launched in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland on 10 August 2016.
Straight forward to 2021, third of the top 25 football clubs and six of the top ten largest leagues and federations now offer premium OTT services – and half of these launched only over the last two years.
In 2020, almost all major European top soccer clubs had developed their need to innovate OTT services, like Manchester United’s MUTV SVOD platform.
Moreover, the big social platforms are also getting involved in live sports content, though with less visible strategic considerations.
Spain’s La Liga now has 8% of its revenue coming from OTT services, but it expects dynamic growth in the area, with 20% of revenue coming from OTT predicted by 2022. Next season, the Bundesliga, Germany’s top league, is launching an OTT platform for live matches in markets where it does not receive an adequate rights bid and the UK’s Premier League is also reported to be working on its own OTT service, starting with the 2022 rights cycle.
OTT Services Evolution during COVID-19
With almost the entire global sporting calendar suspended to help stop the spread of Covid-19, media organizations have had to react quickly with new programming schedules to fill the void and stay in touch with fans at home.
Pandemic life has shown that the OTT viewing experience is more appealing to sports fans than the traditional broadcast experience. That reflects that our search for an entertaining experience will always be on. The creators have understood it well in time and will continue to captivate the consumer while continuously innovating.
OTT Market Changes and Estimations
The Over the Top (OTT) Market was valued at USD 85.16 Billion in 2019 and it was expected to reach USD 194.20 Billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 13.87%, between 2019 and 2025. Post COVID-19, the size of OTT market size is estimated to grow from $171.36 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $1,039.03 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 29.4%.
The current estimation of 2027 is projected to be higher than pre-COVID-19 estimates. The COVID-19 outbreak has had a positive impact on the growth of the global OTT market, due to the constantly rising demand for OTT services.
Why Sports Organizations switch to OTT Platforms: The Advantages
Besides being a way to differentiate in the market and sustain a loyal fan base, OTT platforms have numerous advantages that make them ideal for sports. Firstly, most OTT platforms have multi-device usage, which makes it perfect for fans to catch live action from anywhere in the world. And even if they miss it, they can always view recordings to catch up with their favorite team and players. Moreover, the user engagement goes beyond the hills with a personalized experience and extra information provided as stats and scores.
OTT helps deliver more engaging experiences to fans and broadens the reach globally. It lets a local sports team that only reaches nearby audiences tap into a global fan base with live sports streaming. In addition, more people are keen on sharing and liking video content on social media and, by that, snagging new sponsors' attention.
In any circumstances, OTT is a win-win situation for both fans and sports clubs.
How to Start an OTT platform?
In the digital world of OTT streaming, starting your own OTT business can be a lucrative opportunity if you have the right content. Here is a step-by-step guide to launching your OTT service.
Find the right OTT platform creator
When choosing an OTT platform creator, be sure to pay attention to their offer. For instance, FeedConstruct provides a data-based, OTT solution for rights-holders, federations, and media providers to stream personalized sporting content in stunning HD for global users.
- Multi-platform solution
Multiple monetization options
Variety of widgets and features
Adaptive UI/UX design
Choose the suitable monetization model
Whatever over-the-top business model you choose, remember that the best choice is whichever option serves your content best.
- SVOD is your best bet if you have an ever-growing library of niche content
TVOD is likely a great way to get more blast for your OTT if you are more invested in high-impact, long-form content that takes significant time to make
Don’t forget the potential power of live pay-per-view for live content
These details may influence your content strategy, helping you cultivate the kind of content that viewers want. As a result, you can more easily create personalized streaming video experiences.
As OTT streaming is positioned for fast growth, and consumers are ready to pay for personalized content, it is time to secure your seat in the OTT revolution by joining the movement.
Written by Sofi Grigoryan
Sofi Grigoryan is a content writer at Feedconstruct - the top company specialized in delivering sports data. Having a deep understanding of the sports data landscape, Sofi uses her skills to create both compelling and informative content.