What will be the top trends in digital video for 2017? Here are our 4 candidates. We also look at other trends to watch, and at how we did with our predictions for 2016.
Top Trend #4: Net Neutrality (1:40)
It’s looking increasingly like the net neutrality rules put in place by the FCC will be removed in 2017. Tom Wheeler, the existing chairman, is stepping down. Ajit Pai, a republican FCC commissioner, has voiced his objections to the rules and is in the running to replace him. Assuming the rules go away, will ISPs continue to abide by the spirit of net neutrality? It seems unlikely, given that several are already breaking the spirit of the rules by exempting their own services from broadband and mobile data caps.
Top Trend #3: Facebook (4:50)
Facebook had a great year in video. It has added feature like live to drive engagement, and on screen buttons dedicated to video to drive views. Both Will and I think the social site is in position to extend its increasingly dominant position in the delivery of online video. I did sound one note of caution. The company needs to come up with a model that allows premium video providers to make money from their products, not just promote them.
Top Trend #2: Skinny Bundles (6:50)
There are already 3 mainstream skinny bundle providers in-market: Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now. Hulu and YouTube will join them in the first half of 2017. Bundles are available at a variety of price points with a variety of channels. Network DVR is increasingly available. If skinny bundles are going to be embraced by consumers, it will begin to happen in earnest this year.
Top Trend #1: Amazon (11:30)
Amazon topped the list last year, and does so again in 2017. The company made some excellent moves in 2016, like adding the Channels program and allowing people to subscribe separately to video service. It has already made a move this year: making Fire TV a platform for smart TV manufacturers. Several vendors will deliver TVs this year with Fire TV on-board.
The company is now very well positioned to grow users and usage of its video platform. Look for it to increasingly flex its marketing muscles to sell partner SVOD services, and hardware aligned with its overall video and corporate strategy.
Notable mention 1: Growth in online video advertising (15:00)
More premium content to advertise against, and programmatic tools to fill the spots will boost the online video ad market this year.
Notable mention 2: Growth in over-the-air usage (16:50)
New products will make it even easier to watch OTA TV, and many more people will take advantage of them.
Notable mention 3: Approval of AT&T Time Warner deal (18:50)
Though we question the value of the deal, the change in government administration should guarantee the deal goes through.
Notable mention 4: Voice search, discovery, and control (19:50)
Advances in the technology will make voice a primary battleground for service differentiation in 2017.