A Landscape of Opportunities

The world is rapidly shifting from analogue to digital, and in this fast-paced society, organizations must keep up. Users are consuming more and more digital content on a daily basis – on mobile phones, laptops, desktop, and other devices – and companies are recognizing this need in order to stay afloat. With the change, pace, and evolution of modern technologies, businesses organizations are doing everything they can to keep up.

When attempting to capture a growing and lucrative online marketplace, organizations have no choice but to either change their business models to an online one, or beef up existing marketing efforts with both social media, and digital marketing efforts.

Viewers of all ages have started to embrace the flexibility digital media brings. It is a changing media world where viewers are in control, evident in the increasing popularity of over-the-top (OTT) platforms. Both content creators and broadcasters now have to evolve to stay relevant. In this current landscape, media content and technology play complementary roles to drive consumer experiences. Both traditional channels and new OTT players are reaching out to the burgeoning markets and hunting for unique stories from the region. Media players are well-positioned to harvest these opportunities by unlocking the value of our markets, stories, and creativity.

In the digital arena, where business and commerce are heading, digital marketing tools and techniques provide business owners the best chances for competition, survival, and even growth.

Experimentation and Innovation

Broadcasters and OTT players alike are looking for new ways to vie for viewership, and some players, including Netflix and Amazon, have turned to investing heavily in fresh content. They are also making a strong global push, with Netflix launching its services in more than 130 countries covering most of Asia last year, and Amazon rolling out its video-streaming service into more than 200 countries, including Singapore and India. To keep up with the growing demand for unique, original stories, we recognize the need to nurture a new generation of content creators.

To effectively engage with audiences in today’s digital age, organizations need to know what they want and what type of content works for them. Data analytics is a powerful tool that can provide content creators with valuable audience insights to help them make more informed creative and business decisions.

Live Streaming Enters Mainstream

In today’s rapidly moving world, it does not pay to be reactive. There is seemingly nothing out there that cannot  be live streamed. 2016 saw the emergence of live video as a medium everyone needs to take seriously, and it is not showing any sign of slowing down in 2017. There are already signs that brands are using live video for more sophisticated marketing purposes, such as product launches.

The tool enables brands and media organizations to create high-quality streams, rather than just footage taken on a phone or tablet. A recent report predicted that live streaming will be a USD 70+ billion industry by 2021 — and with more and more brands getting on board each day, live streaming is not going anywhere.

Content Marketing – A New Wave of Experimentation

Content marketing in 2017 will continue to gain traction at a fast pace. New creative and media possibilities, particularly on mobile, will drive innovation and experimentation in both content and formats as marketers look to provide consumers with content that is useful, entertaining, or both.

Consumers do not want brands per se; they want brands that are useful and accessible, or at the very least, entertaining. Marketers will continue to pull out all the stops to counter declining ad receptivity. There will be more native content, short and long form video and branded filters. Marketers will forge ahead with new technologies like 360 video, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence making the landscape ripe for new creativity.  These technologies will be used to develop immersive formats and stronger visual imagery.

Online Video and the Future of TV

Over the last few years there has been an explosion of online video, driven by high-quality smartphone cameras, better connectivity, cheaper cloud-based storage, and new tools for creating and editing videos on the go. Media platforms and others have been able to integrate these tools allowing almost anyone to create, package, and distribute videos to millions of people globally. Social media platforms place video content at the heart of all their strategies, with innovation around formats like live video and AR masks. This has led to an explosion of user-generated video. According to Zenith, consumers now spend an average of 19 minutes a day viewing on a combination of smartphones and tablet computers – a figure that is set to double by 2018. These new developments also offer a huge opportunity for the creation and distribution of professional content. But producing online video remains a risky and expensive business.

Most of the action is happening on third-party platforms where monetization is still in its infancy. Growth is much slower on destination websites and apps where video is less prominent and formats less compelling. The video-enabled Internet is changing the formats and style of digital content, providing competition for, but not replacing text. Despite this, video remains a significant bet for most of the service provider throughout 2017.

Virtual Reality  and Augmented Reality

VR and AR may not have gathered much momentum, but it is definitely a trend that will sweep the industry soon. Experts suggest that around 30 million devices will be sold by 2020 generating revenue of around USD21 billion. Some of the implications of VR are being used with videos, which can offer an immersive and out of this world experiences to the audience, encouraging more engagement.

It will take time for these new VR ecosystems to develop. With the initial excitement of 2016’s launches fading away, the key questions now relate to how the platforms will evolve and service providers will cope with them. Some argue that this year will see the beginning of VR’s transition from a curiosity into something more tangible. Others say that fully immersive use cases will always be too limiting and the future lies in a world where digital experiences augment rather than replace our reality.

In 2017 the big platforms are likely to offer financial inducements to set up more VR studios to help stimulate the market, even if only the biggest brands are likely to be involved. For the rest, new smartphone apps will make 360 films easier and quicker to make while fully immersive experiences can be commissioned by content creators and made in a matter of weeks or even days.

Digital Future

Disruptions caused by technology and innovation are not new. In an ever-changing society, consumers want instant news, gratification, and an easy online experience. The fact is, digital methods are faster, more versatile, practical, and streamlined. Digital offers just as much potential to service providers as it does to consumers, if capitalized and used correctly. Not only are digital methods more affordable than traditional offline marketing methods, it also allows organizations to collect results and data that are now easily tracked and monitored. With no shortage of new solutions that promise to be the one answer, service providers should be careful not to focus too much on the tools they use, but rather what they can achieve using those tools. In the end, what matters most is one thing, business impact.

The bottom line is, the digital age is here and now, and those businesses that fail to adapt to the new environment are at a great risk of going extinct sooner rather than later. Digital media companies rely on content as a key way to establish their brands. They strive to get the right eyes to their content and grow both their audience and their brand. Compelling content, driven by innovation and underscored by relevant technological platforms and consumer insights, is what is needed to win in today’s competitive media landscape.

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