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The Supremacy of OTT

The Supremacy of OTT

Saturday I walked into my parent’s living room to find a giggling middle-aged man. Sorry for the age reference, Pop. 

There in my family home was my Dad, laughing hysterically as he eagerly shuffled through hours of Snoop Dogg’s Double G News Network, a Youtube-broadcasted digital series. It was the first time I witnessed my Dad using a smart device (his new LG TV) to stream a non-Netflix digital video.

My Dad is one of four-million+ subscribers to Snoop Dogg’s digital TV channel, otherwise known as “westfesttv.” Those subscribers include high school teenagers, 20-something young adults, and indeed, 50-year-old newcomers. Snoop releases what he wants, when he wants, for whom he wants and his audience savors the direct relationship he’s building with them.

OTT (that is, over-the-top of the cable box video content) is not new to my family, and likely isn’t to yours. Since the birth of the iPad in 2010 I've watched my sister consume content exclusively via OTT, often to my mother’s chagrin. I personally do not hold a cable subscription, and am plenty satisfied with my Netflix and Hulu subscriptions.

Industry statistics support these anecdotal stories of digital preference. 2017 was the landmark (and long awaited) year digital ad spend surpassed linear TV ad spend, with $209b and $178b respectively. Our population’s evolving preference for digital streaming is part of the motivator behind this trend, but it does not explain its entirety. In fact, linear TV ad spend is expected to remain steady, and even rise, through 2022. This growth equates to an expected $100b+ rise in total ad spend by 2022.

Why are marketers so bullish on digital? Three primary reasons:

  1. Audiences are consuming more content than ever.
  2. Direct-to-consumer streaming enables full revenue capture (while networks typically take a 50% clip).
  3. Digital streaming provides full 1st-party customer data, allowing for attribution and analytics like never before.

At Plush we have been leading the charge in OTT, helping partners like UFC and Professional Bull Riding gradually migrate their business to d2c digital streams, all the while leveraging the gold mine that is their owned customer data. We are excited by the power of OTT, both as consumers, and as professionals.

The growth of digital content is much too significant to be characterized as a “shift.”

OTT is a revolution, and it’s here to stay.

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