Our industry has been talking about mobile video for a long time, but it’s only now that the key enablers for long-form content have all come together for
- a large variety of full-length movie and tv content
- on demand
- with a tablet as a convenient viewing device
- anywhere over a mobile broadband network
- for simple and affordable content and connection fees
No wonder consumers are loving watching streaming video, particularly in North America, where the Netflix all-you-can-stream for a flat monthly fee has become so successful that it drove Blockbuster Video stores into bankruptcy in a few short years. Want to see how massive this change in movie consumption behavior has been in the US? Check out this video from the comic news site The Onion, which tells the story: And now this powerful business model is spreading around the rest of the globe, spearheaded by companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and others.
The fact is that operators are already earning money from mobile video delivery now – 39% of mobile data traffic in 2011 is already video streaming, mostly short-form YouTube video. The significant change is this rise of long-form content, that is full-length movies and tv programs, which place an entirely different set of demands on the network in areas such as capacity, sustained quality, and the need to support content across multiple screens as consumers begin viewing on one device, then want to move seamlessly to another. And especially because online movie viewing tends to peak in residential areas on Friday and Saturday evenings, this type of content directly demonstrates the need for the kind of capacity flexibility and fluid demand response that Nokia Siemens Networks delivers with its Liquid Net architecture.
Operators who wish to embrace this new business opportunity must first prepare their networks technically for increased online video traffic, then decide on the appropriate over-the-top (OTT) strategy for their market and pursue it. Some of these strategies include:
- Attracting mobile broadband subscribers with tailored packages for online video
- Delivering own online video and/or OTT video services
- Partnering with OTT video providers
- Selling services to other members of the value chain – caching, Content Delivery Network services, etc.
- Enhancing video offerings with mash-ups of other messaging and social networking services
- Leveraging billing, customer care, and customer data in service creation – OTT providers have none of this
Fundamentally, consumers want to view their movies on all possible screens, including the ones served by the mobile data networks. Operators who enable this in intelligent, planned ways will be the ones who will be able to deliver the best customer experience and benefit monetarily from this new consumer desire. Ignoring OTT video won’t make it go away – but failing to plan and prepare for it will ultimately just inspire customers to churn away to those operators who do have the most attractive OTT offering.
So embrace video! It’s a revenue generator when the network is ready for it.
P.S: I just came across this post on OTT by Dominic Smith on the Cerillion blog that reinforces the key points I’ve made. Do read!
This post is by Leslie Shannon from Mobile Broadband Marketing.