Immersive experiences allow consumers to move beyond a passive content experience and find ways to feel the experience around them. OTT delivery will allow content creators to imagine new ways to tell stories in an immersive medium.
For nearly half a century, network service providers (NSPs) – including cable, satellite, and telecom – had a very simple business model based on providing a broad offering of many channels and content for a fixed price. As new content delivery technologies became available – from broad spectrum analog, to digital and even HD – consumers had multiple video entertainment choices. Quality of content varied from network to network, but alignment with consumers’ vast tastes made the overall value acceptable.
Eventually, the introduction of Video-on-Demand (VOD) and digital video recording (DVR) capabilities offered consumers a new level of convenience and control over how, when, and what they could watch. Content still maintained its position as “king” – and consumers needed access to a large catalog of content in order to customize their experience.
Additional disruptors like YouTube offered consumers a new type of content to enjoy, and moreover enjoy with the freedom of mobility. It reinforced the ability – and sense of control – of consumers to pick content they wanted to watch on any device. Video had escaped the confines of TV, and content choice was everywhere.
As consumers learned new viewing behaviors, it laid the foundation for a strong video streaming OTT market. This provided the opportunity for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, MLB.TV, and a growing number of new entrants to offer high-quality content that could be syndicated from traditional content creators, or developed exclusively for their OTT services. It offered consumers an unprecedented opportunity to personalize their content selection and – importantly – only pay for the content they considered valuable. Viewing appetites are more satisfied today, but as consumers learn how to find content that is valuable to them and their expectations of OTT services increases, more will be needed to retain customers.
The next disruptive wave to shake the NSP value proposition of content delivery will be immersive (virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality).
Immersive experiences allow consumers to move beyond a passive content experience and find ways to feel the experience around them. OTT delivery will allow content creators to imagine new ways to tell stories in an immersive medium. Additionally, operators that have high-bandwidth access networks may have an opportunity to use a growing set of immersive services to actually re-value their broadband infrastructure and content delivery capabilities. Being able to create demand for such higher bandwidth services clearly will enhance the business case for network modernization and will bring a way to increase the relevance in the home and the ability to reconnect to the end users with a new set of compelling services.
For service providers, there is value in providing and managing that in-home immersive experience, as well as allowing that sharing to be mobile and across the wider area. Additionally, there will be some implications on how future devices will have to be designed to perform in the home and on the wide area network.
The next frontier for OTT will be when the technology becomes more than just a content delivery system and evolves into an experience platform. Service Providers will need to evaluate their long-term plans to ensure they provide the very best immersive content experience to consumers where, when and how they desire.
As a company active in every step of the value chain, from content creation through consumption, Technicolor examined the challenges and opportunities of the emerging immersive medium with both content creators and service providers. Today we can provide technology and content to help operators build their new content strategy. And at the nexus of access excellence and the universal art of storytelling, Technicolor is uniquely positioned to assist with the adoption of OTT strategies for all NSP tiers – including the addition of new forms of content that can make an offering truly unique, such as groundbreaking VR, AR and MR experiences. A recent example is Night Night, a VR film for horror fans that Dark Corner created with talent from MPC VR, from the Technicolor family of VFX brands.
Read more about the making of Night Night, and imagine the possibilities of new experiences.