The temptation to bypass traditional gatekeepers such as cable or satellite platforms has led thousands of content owners to launch their own streaming channels in the last few years. According to Digital TV Research, global revenues from OTT video services will more than double between 2018 and 2024.
For some businesses, such as rights holders of niche sports, OTT represents an alternative to selling the rights in multiple territories. It has turned out, however, that attracting the viewers and generating revenues was more challenging than they had hoped. No matter if your service is subscription or ad financed, you simply need to reach a large enough audience. And that has become increasingly difficult, for several reasons.
1) NEW COMPETITORS STEAL YOUR AUDIENCE
You are no longer just competing with other television companies. Today gaming, social media, audiobooks, podcasts etc are all feasible alternatives for consumers looking for entertainment. Success under these circumstances starts with great content. But even if you have dedicated fans of your content, you have to make sure they are exposed to the opportunity to watch.
2) YOU ARE TOO SMALL FOR YOUR DISTRIBUTION PARTNER
The dream of going direct to consumer was just a dream. Old gatekeepers have been replaced by app stores and streaming devices (Apple TV etc), who offer broad distribution in theory but focus their packaging and marketing efforts on the big players. For niche channels, these marketplaces just represent a ticket to ride. To become successful for real, you need to have your own branding and marketing strategy.
3) BAD METADATA MAKES YOU INVISIBLE
The digitalisation of media turns passive viewers into active consumers. Younger generations choose carefully what content to consume and use search engines and content discovery platforms to find it. All such technologies are heavily reliant on metadata. The more information you provide about your programs, the more images and trailers you offer, the better are your chances of being discovered and watched. Read more about metadata in this previous post.
4) TOO LITTLE MARKETING
It may seem confusing to pay for viewers when your own business model is advertising. Still, that is pretty much what most television companies do today. But forget about billboards and print ads. What you need is a highly targeted communication strategy, including Social Media, Public Relations and Partner Communication. The megashift is that tv-channels that used to distribute massive promotion kits for a few selected shows, to a few big distributors, now have to distribute a viable set of promotion, for every show, to an ever-increasing number of partners, small and big, who need plug-and-play content to promote your service. This makes marcomms much more complex.
5) CUMBERSOME WORKFLOWS IN MARCOMMS
Television companies are often burdened by siloed, difficult-to-use IT platforms that complicate processes and slow down operations. Even simple tasks may include login to 3-5 different systems: planning system, image database, video server, WordPress etc. In order to serve more users with accurate information about your content, you need to streamline workflows and let your sales, marketing and communications teams work in a content-centric environment, where all assets are related to individual episodes. Just as the end-users expect to find them.
Clipsource’s mission is to help media companies and content owners to share more content, to more users, with better quality, at a lower cost. We have worked with global entertainment brands as well as local niche channels to simply workflows and empower marcomms teams.
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