2020 to be the year of direct-to-consumer video | Media Analysis | Business
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2020 will represent a profound step toward a future where more OTT content goes direct-to-consumer (DTC) and video-on-demand reaches 900 million subscriptions worldwide, according to a study from global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research.

DIsney 13Nov2019In its research note, 54 Technology Trends to Watch in 2020, ABI identified 35 trends that it said will shape the technology market and 19 others that, although attracting huge amounts of speculation and commentary, look less likely, in its words, to ‘move the needle’ over the next twelve months. “After a tumultuous 2019 that was beset by many challenges, both integral to technology markets and derived from global market dynamics, 2020 looks set to be equally challenging,” noted ABI Research chief research officer Stuart Carlaw.

The principal trend identified for 2020 is that DTC is the new trajectory for over-the-top (OTT) video. It believes that during the year more and more consumers will be moving away from the forced packaging of channels into fixed bundles. Furthermore, as the content landscape becomes more fragmented and consumers are presented with a growing list of options, ABI believes that the ability to pick and choose which channels of content best fit their needs will only become increasingly more important.

One likely knock on effect of the move towards DTC is the creation of a more challenging market for virtual multichannel video programming distributors (vMVPDs). As a result, ABI observed, subscriber bases in some of the services have slowed, if not declined. The analyst predicts that the arrival of more DTC services in 2020 will further fragment the content landscape, making it an increasingly crowded space as more services vie for consumers’ content budgets.

What won’t be a key trend said the 54 Technology Trends to Watch in 2020, report was 8K TV. Despite the announcement of a number of sets in 2019, the 54 Technology Trends to Watch in 2020 paper cautioned that 8K content is still not widely available and the price of 8K TV sets was still ‘exorbitant.’ It calculated that the transition from high definition to 4K would continue in 2020 with very limited worldwide 8K shipments, indeed less than a million.