2018 was such an eventful year that my head is still buzzing from the M&A activity, productions investments, sport right developments, new B2C propositions (launched and expected), changing user behavior, data privacy, Gigabit, 5G, UHD, HDR and 8K… just to name a few things that happened.
One thing I’m certain of; 2019 is not going to disappoint. It is going to be another exciting year in the entertainment business and a white-knuckle ride as we see competing companies start to get some entertainment parity technically as well.
A lot of how 2019 will turn out is dependent on how the world economy fairs. The last major downturn was bad news for writers, actors, directors, editors and many more of the people involved in the media industry…but like a phoenix out of the ashes Netflix’s OTT proposition came and transformed the way video is consumed; arguably creating a revived industry for the people that had seen nothing but bad times ahead.
Economy fears aside, globally the aspiration of great original content has been taken up and it’s an exciting time to be an entertainment consumer. The volume of content investments being made and the creativity that this has sparked on screen is immense. It will be interesting to see how local original production investments vs international productions fare in 2019.
The race is on, and platforms now need to focus on how to make their content stand out. I expect innovation in content marketing to shine through in 2019.
Big moves have been made – the Mouse House, and approvals have been granted. On the platform side it remains to be seen whether 2019 will bring major platform innovations.
The reason for the delay with innovation will not be due to a lack of vision or plans but predominantly due to the task of integrating the merged entities products and staff.
I expect 2020 rather than 2019 to be an impactful year for these companies.
One exception here is likely going to be Disney who acquired a company that can be integrated vertically. It remains to be seen when their new B2C product is going to launch but undoubtedly when it launches it is going to cause a ripple of knock on effects – as it already has for Netflix’s relationship with Disney, throughout the industry. Personally, I am quite excited by the idea of a Disney B2C proposition and am interested to see what content they will include in their launch proposition and importantly, what features they will make available to consumers. One to definitely watch out for in 2019!
2019 will also continue to be a year where analysts will focus on the Linear and On Demand consumer relationship. There are companies that are managing to provide access to both products well but not one that has managed to merge both words perfectly in the video world just yet. Perhaps 2019 might just be that year.
At Insight TV, we are providing consumers and platform partners with access to our content via our linear channel as well as On Demand in UHD/HDR quality. With this proposition, we enable our customers to consume content how they want – anytime, anywhere at the best visual standard available.
As content producers we also hold the rights to our content and are able to provide the flexibility needed to support the consumption and product strategy that is being deployed by our partners. As 2019 gets underway, expect continued strong content investments in UHD/HDR original productions, creative content marketing and exciting partnerships to be announced.
Watch this space!