Download is no longer the future of mobile video: It has arrived.
As it becomes clear that the shortcomings of video streaming aren't going away any time soon, providers are flocking to incorporate download into their mobile offerings. So OTT companies have a new question on their hands: With download options as the new normal, how can they go above and beyond to optimize the mobile video experience for their viewers? I predict that the next popular feature will be subscriptions.
Companies like AMC, Starz and Showtime already empower subscribers to download content from their apps, so they can watch their favorite shows anytime and anywhere. This technology ensures that their viewing experience is flawless. Subscriptions will take these offerings to the next level and make the user's experience not only flawless but effortless, too, by automatically downloading the latest episode or season of viewers' favorite shows to their designated devices.
A similar model was proven in-home by the popularity of DVR: Viewers love knowing their content will be available the moment they're ready to watch. Subscription download will offer so much more than DVR, for viewers who increasingly consume their content on-the-go. The addition of subscription downloading to content delivery platforms will provide palpable benefits to both consumers and brands.
The benefits to consumers:
- They can opt-in to a subscription of their favorite shows, so they won’t have to worry about remembering to download new episodes.
- Viewers' favorite videos will always be available to enjoy offline whenever they want them.
- They won’t have to interrupt phone usage, since the technology enables download in the background without interfering with other functions
- Consumers will experience a less frustrating ad experience.
The benefits to content owners and streaming services:
- Rights holders and licensees can offer a paid subscription option that increases revenue.
- A more seamless experience for viewers means that they are more likely to tune in and stay engaged with shows.
- With flawless playback, viewers will watch ads on downloads in a more engaged state than when they experience buffering on a weak connection.
- Brands can use artificial intelligence to predict, based on viewing behavior, what viewers might want to watch next and pre-cache it for them. This will encourage users to stay engaged with the series or service.
- Apps and brands will have value to consumers 24/7, even when they don't have connectivity.
Download is poised to fundamentally change how people access mobile video content. As consumers around the world watch more and more video out of the home, their demands for seamless viewing experiences are increasing, too. Broadcasters who want to keep their viewers happy and engaged must make it as easy as possible for them to tune in and watch. Subscription is a clear next step beyond simple download -- that will help viewers access the content they love the moment they want to watch it, no matter where they go.
— Dan Taitz, President and COO, Penthera