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A video service seeking to maximize its available market, reach, and related revenue potential needs to support a variety of device types and platforms. Beyond simple maximization of the available market, Parks Associates data suggests that broad multiplatform support is a necessity for video services in the current consumer video consumption climate. Our consumer data shows that 39% of broadband households watch video using all platforms: TVs and TV-connected devices, mobile devices, and PCs.

Top Features Driving Consumer Interest

Parks Associates research finds that consumers also tend to seek out specific advanced features in their platforms. 4K and HDR are the two most widely adopted picture-quality technologies and the two greatest “must haves” when it comes to product features.

Across both smart TVs and streaming media players, 4K and HDR support were the top two must-have features. When it comes to purchasing devices, consumers’ feature priorities can differ, as Parks Associates data has yielded the following findings.

  • Smart TVs - Screen size, brand, and 4K picture quality are key priorities in smart TV purchase considerations.
  • Streaming Media Players - Available streaming services, 4K video quality capability, and brand are the most significant features for SMP buyers.
  • Gaming Consoles - Brand is the dominant factor in console purchase decisions.

Support for advanced audio and video quality-of-experience features such as Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision are also increasingly prevalent, as device manufacturers seek ways to add value and avoid commoditization. More importantly, the content sector is increasingly integrating quality-of-experience features such as the above into movie and TV content, to enhance the value and impact of the consumption experience.

Video services need to support these popular capabilities, across all major consumer device platforms, to maximize their potential market and the stickiness of the user experience.

Consumer-reported intention to purchase streaming video products has reached a multi-year high, with the percentage intending to purchase higher than at any tested period in the previous five years. Acceleration of streaming video adoption has also taken place.

Compared to Q1 2019, Parks Associates recent data has shown distinct increases in consumer purchase intention for all streaming video products. As an example, consumers stating they were likely to purchase a smart TV in the next six months increased from 21% in Q1 2019 to 31% at the end of 2021. For streaming media players, the rise was even higher, growing from 13% to 25% over the same period. As streaming video adoption increases, consumers are finding greater value in streaming video devices, and their purchase intentions are rising in lockstep. Given the supply chain constraints that the current semiconductor shortage has caused, pent-up demand is expected to sustain elevated purchase intention for months and possibly a year or more.

In today’s vibrant streaming video landscape, consumers are diversifying their viewing of OTT content across a variety of devices in and outside of the home. The adoption of streaming video services is at an all-time high, and given their investment in products and services, consumers naturally expect to be able to watch their content where they are, on whatever device they are using.

Video services seeking to enable broad multiplatform device support for their player solution have two options—in-house development or third-party solutions. The cost difference between in-house vs third-party solutions must be strongly weighed against both actual and hidden costs, as multiplatform support comes with complexity, complications, and time-to-market opportunity costs. These qualitative tradeoffs and their potential to lengthen and steepen the road to ROI must be considered in any cost/ benefit analysis.

In this competitive market, where numerous services are vying for consumers’ budget and viewership, every advantage counts. Long-term, consumer adoption of multiple streaming video services may slow, but their comfort with streaming content will persist—the connected home is now permanently a multiplatform environment.

In today’s video landscape, broad multiplatform support is not just desirable for a video service, it is a competitive necessity and a requisite step to potentially hasten the path to ROI.
This is an excerpt from the research white paper “Reaching Today’s Video Audiences: Platform Diversity and ROI” written in partnership with Bitmovin. The whitepaper illustrates the growth in streaming video adoption and expanding uptake of OTT video services. It examines the increasing variety of device platforms used both in and outside the home to view video. It also discusses the potential tradeoffs, complexities, and ROI challenges presented when attempting to deploy broad platform support. Read the entire research paper

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