Streaming video will continue in 2020 to be the change-agent for how people consume media.  Pay TV providers (cable/satellite) in the face of losing subscribers are focusing on more-profitable Internet services and promoting live TV packages delivered online, like DirectTV Now.  Video streaming services are proliferating exponentially. And mobile video is growing quickly.  Here are questions and answers to help us as marketers and agencies understand the top trends for 2020.

How quickly are people dropping their cable and satellite subscriptions? Between 2019 and 2023, it’s estimated the number of US pay TV households will decline 16%–86.5 million to 72.7 million.

Are cord-cutters catching up to pay TV subscribers?  Yes, but they will still be outnumbered by pay TV subscribers in the next few years.

What are the most popular video platforms?  YouTube, watched in 2019 by an estimated 84.2% of US digital video viewers, followed by Netflix 67.6% and Hulu 32.2%.

What will the introduction of 5G do for digital media?  Mobile video is poised to jump further as super-fast 5G mobile networks are rolled out, leading to better mobile device streaming.

How will apps continue to play a role in digital video?  Streaming TV and premium video through apps to a vast array of connected and mobile devices has now become a completely mainstream activity.  But activating and measuring campaigns across apps raises new complexities still to be solved.

 What OTT new content publishers show the most promise?  Free, ad-supported News Providers such as CBSN, NBC Signal, Fox Nation, ABC News, Newsy, etc.  These digital news networks are targeting younger viewers who rely less on traditional TV networks for their news, instead gravitating to social media to stay informed.

 Much of OTT streaming content is subscription, non-ad supported.  What does this mean for advertisers?  73% of adults who watch streaming video say they watch ad supported OTT (ASV OTT) video.  45% say they watch ASV OTT the most out of all streaming video.  The ASV OTT audience is an attractive audience for marketers as they are younger, affluent, with children in the HH. However, as service without an ad-funded model, like Netflix, take up larger % share of viewing time and potentially causing shrinking OTT inventory, it will be harder and more expensive to reach target customers.

 What trends will most effect media agencies?  Viewer fragmentation and imprecise definitions of OTT add a layer of complexity as agencies aim to merge their clients’ TV and digital video strategies.  In local markets, such as Cincinnati, linear TV advertising is currently duplicated in the digital streaming of local programming.  So, what value does OTT provide?  Add to this the lack of consistent metrics and reporting and buying OTT becomes very challenging.  It’s imperative for media agencies to partner with best of breed sellers, leverage data effectively, and find the scale to accomplish national or local delivery in full.