Redefining OTT Viewing for Millennials

This past March, a survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers from New York-based consulting firm Deloitte revealed that younger members of the Millennial generation have markedly different viewing preferences than their elders. Approximately 56 percent of those aged from 14-24 acknowledged using devices other than traditional televisions, including computers, tablets, smartphones and gaming consoles, for viewing their favorite video content.

“The fact that we have some demographics watching television, but not on TV, is significant,” stated Gerald Belson, Deloitte vice chairman.

Similarly, in October 2013 a study from The New York Times showed that one in three Millennials watch mainly online video, also known as over-the-top (OTT) content.

“[Multiple screens] aren't taking away from the content experience, it's adding to it,” said Ron Geraci, EVP of research and planning of Nickelodeon Group, at the April 2014 Cable Show in Los Angeles.

Both executives are correct in their cogitations.

With the advent of this behavior and the acceleration of second screen usage in modern times, it becomes necessary for businesses involved with the TV industry to effectively pivot in order to accommodate this new, majority-share consumer base.

Tactical maneuvers for a triumphant adaptation to the OTT environment can be actualized on three key fronts: viewer assessment techniques, advertising stratagems and applicable data integration.

Amongst the chief concerns to be addressed is how to properly measure audience engagement – companies will need to develop additional methods and models for calculating ratings and viewership in these arenas. Will those who watch a television show via an app factor into the ratings the same way as someone who watches using a home DVR? They should – and tools for monitoring these cutting edge delivery systems are essential if shows are to be given a true chance at achieving success. Viewers across the connected medium spectrum ought to be counted.

Also of importance is ensuring that brand messaging is being deployed thoughtfully, by utilizing second screen advertising strategies. Relatively often, OTT content will not include broadcast-established commercials, and it becomes incumbent on companies to create their own marketing opportunities.

Taking advantage of Twitter for promotion and relevancy is a popular trend right now; it generally involves making an observation related to a show during its airing window, and including a pertinent hashtag. As the episode “First of His Name” from celebrated HBO show “Game of Thrones,” hit various screens on May 4, so did a tweet from Microsoft Xbox, featuring an image of the much-sought after Iron Throne constructed out of console controllers and the text “We could rule the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. But we'd rather rule the leaderboards. #GoT.” It was noticed quickly, and received numerous retweets and favorites in response.

Captivate loyal fans and viewers alike by administrating an approach that corresponds to that one.

What’s been further demonstrated with the Millennial demographic is that many are deeply interested in acquiring and learning more information about the programming that they’re viewing.

As such, the implementation of accurate television metadata is a sine qua non when crafting experiences, apps and advertisements with which to attract their attention.

Whether its in-depth episode and movie synopses, enlightening celebrity biographies or illustrative artwork and images, enriching the user experience by providing access to this sort of valuable content is a highly important aspect in regards to capitalizing on this audience, and potentially monetizing it, if that’s one’s goal.

Flexible entertainment metadata, tagged with assorted genres, ratings, categories and other identifiers, allows viewers to not only be acutely aware of what kind of video is in front of them by means of an well-designed interface, but also allows them to potentially receive recommendations for other programming that they could enjoy.

In summation, upgrading business practices to produce laudable results due to the Millennials’ changing online viewing mannerisms should not be difficult. Just verify that your tracking, marketing and data sets are all sorted, and you should be good to go.

Author: Brian Cameron

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