Video On Demand Trends: Custom-Tailored, Personalized Content is Becoming Increasingly Popular

When you come to think of it, video on demand services are personal services to the core; personal services through which subscribers gain access to (what should be or at least become) outstanding video experiences. What sets VoD service providers apart from one another is the ability to deliver high-end video experiences to viewers. There are so many service providers entering the market today (2991 on-demand audiovisual services in Europe alone in 2014) that differentiation has become primary and crucial. In this respect, Video on Demand trends are moving, more than ever before, towards a more personalized video content experience. What exactly is it that drives this Video on Demand trends? According to PwC Global Entertainment and Media Outlook study, subscribers are now seeking “offerings that combine relevance and convenience – attractive content, easy discovery, social community – with an inspiring, personalized experience.” What’s more, the study further reveals, consumers worldwide are starting to consume content in a variety of new ways: “One of the clearest shifts is in TV and video consumption, with consumers increasingly demanding high-quality original programming in a flexible, on-demand manner across numerous devices – thus enabling “binge viewing” and greater convenience.” Therefore, it is this demand by users, who look to have more control over their VoD and a more tailored experience, which urges service providers to shift from offering mere access to video content to offering immersed video experiences.   Personalized content and VoD broadcasters One of the more recent initiatives in regards to video on demand service providers delivering more personalized content to viewers comes from Russia. This year’s May, largest VoD Russian broadcaster ivi launched ivi.tv, a personalized TV service “created for people of the digital era.” Oleg Tumanov, who is founder and CEO of ivi, commented:

TV hasn’t undergone any fundamental changes in the last 50 years. And it has been doing exactly the same thing: broadcasting content to clients, not asking for any feedback from its users or providing any option to manage your own video stream. Meanwhile, VOD services emerging in the last 10 years have decided to do something completely different, and ignore the simplicity and comfort of good old traditional TV. We decided to bring together the vast functionality of VOD and the easiness of traditional TV to provide a very effective solution for our users who at some point don’t want to make a choice: they just want to turn on and watch. 
Video technologies today allow broadcasters to deliver a much more personalized video experience, VoD technologies more so than traditional broadcasting. There is great potential in video on demand services, and ivi has merely proven how broadcasters can use and apply this principle of personalized content into their business model. Personal recommendations for each individual user, an option that is expedited by VoD technology, which ivi.tv uses, is just one function. The content catalogue for ivi.tv includes over 25 thousand pieces of content, and viewers can choose what to watch when. They can switch channels and also switch between various content within the channel (i.e. switching from one TV-series episode to another). Integrating within VoD services the possibility for users to manage content more easily and more strategically is to respond to this new generation’s demands of video content.  Translating personalized content into monetization Consumers would consume, if given the opportunity, video content across platforms. In fact, supporting ease of access across multiple platforms (TV, mobile devices, PC) will increase subscriber loyalty and revenues. Following a mixed model of monetization of online content based on TVoD, SVoD and AVoD, ivi increased its revenue to 54% in 2014. Moreover, the company’s share in the total revenue of OTT players reached 28%, and audience of paid services reached 500 thousand people. Cross-platform access to video was indeed only part of a bigger business strategy, but ivi demonstrated that it is possible to translate personalized content into monetization by merging factors of success.  

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