The whole world embraced video streaming in 2020. This medium has surpassed all others in terms of popularity and use. In fact, video is the most commonly used content marketing type, leaving behind blog posts and infographics. During lockdowns and social distancing, nothing could engage people more than fun and relatable videos. And brands were there to provide content their audience needed.
Indeed, the streaming industry experienced an impressive growth in 2020. For instance, the popular streaming platform Twitch benefited a lot from our new normal and the COVID-19 pandemic. Namely, the number of active streamers on the network nearly tripled in 2020. People were in need of a distraction and nothing could satisfy them as much as live streams did.
The rise of streaming was also possible due to the fact that technology has reached new heights. The development of new technologies, spread of the Internet, and the increase in the number of smartphone users are the driving forces behind streaming’s popularity. If things continue like this, video streaming will become an unstoppable force.
So, what’s next for this industry? We’ve decided to take a look at streaming trends for 2021 to see what publishers and content creators can expect from this year.
Discover key marketing trends for 2021 here.
If your brand has already embraced streaming or plans to, here’s what you should focus on!
OTT is short for “over-the-top” and it refers to any streaming media service that delivers content over the internet. Video and OTT are intertwined. Specifically, OTT is a channel through which video content is distributed to end users. An increasing number of companies choose OTT as their business model. And we expect that the rise of OTT will be one of the key streaming trends for 2021.
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What’s more, OTT media services are growing. In fact, there are more than 185 million subscribers in the U.S. alone. This number is expected to grow in the future. But, why do people love OTT so much? The answer to this question is quite simple. These platforms provide limitless and instant access to original content.
Take Netflix, for example. This streaming service provider has 195 million subscribers around the world. It owes everything to original content it publishes almost every month. Consumers belonging to younger demographics such as millennials value originality above everything else. Authentic programming increases user interactions as consumers usually debate about popular shows on the internet.
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With this in mind, OTT will explode in 2021 even more. The audience base already exists and many companies will try to capitalize on it. Who wouldn’t want to get a large slice of this pie?
Here are other streaming trends for 2021 which your company might consider.
3.5 billion people use smartphones. These devices enable people to consume content while they’re on the go — commuting or traveling to a specific destination. This is why mobile devices have eclipsed television in recent years. Indeed, smartphones are now the favorite tool for accessing video content among internet users.
Video sharing apps have exploded recently. Users either create their own content or tune in to watch live streams from their favorite brands or influencers. So, making mobile-friendly content is more important now than ever before. If you optimize your content for mobile devices, you will attract a huge audience to your brand. That’s why this is one of the leading streaming trends for 2021!
Take a look at TikTok. Few experts could have predicted that the app would increase to 800 million users around the world in 2020. Now that it has, video has proven its dominance. No other marketing tool can compete with it.
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For mobile streaming, it is best to turn to social media platforms. Most of them have developed features that enable brands to go live and interact with users in real-time. If your company is on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you can start broadcasting whenever and wherever!
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Artificial intelligence (AI) frequently appears on streaming trends lists. It’s no wonder that this technology will continue to gain prominence in 2021. Specifically, it gives publishers a chance to understand their customers and cater to their needs and wants.
Furthermore, AI and machine learning are certainly one of the most important technological innovations of our time. By leveraging them, content creators get access to data. Millions of people stream videos every day. This produces a lot of data that needs to be analyzed for future endeavors. This analysis helps brands conclude what content consumers want to see. The more relevant that content is, the more people will end up tuning in.
AI and machine learning can catalog all of your streams and enable content targeting in real-time. In addition to that, they can automate live video experiences. Namely, these technologies are able to manage, streamline, and automate the whole video production and distribution process.
Also, the most widespread use of AI in the streaming industry is to create a highly personalized website experience. By analyzing data about a single user, AI can show the most suitable offers and content to that individual.
So, if you’re making a list of streaming trends for 2021, make sure to add AI!
User-generated content (UGC) is any type of content created by the consumers rather than brands. Companies will often share UGC on their social media accounts and other marketing channels, building a strong community in turn. One research shows that 70% of consumers are more likely to believe in UGC than branded content. That’s why brands are investing in user-generated content which is one of the streaming trends for 2021 we will certainly see throughout the year.
Ever since the start of the pandemic, social media consumption across all platforms has increased by 42%. The pandemic forced companies to change the way they market their brands because of mandatory closures and surge in the internet use. Indeed, they had to find alternative ways to connect with their target audience.
That’s where UGC steps in. This content is authentic, relatable, trustworthy, and reliable. Your followers will love seeing it on your feed! So, check out what your consumers are posting and see how you can incorporate it!