Trends to watch as streaming platforms battle for the spotlight amid the cost-of-living crisis

According to a recent report from Statista, revenue in the video streaming segment in the United Kingdom is projected to grow by 8.92%, resulting in a market volume of $5.48 billion by 2027.

That’s some big growth, although not surprising. When you consider how the pandemic has affected media consumption, it’s easy to draw comparisons between the steady decline of broadcast media – traditional TV programmes and radio – versus streaming content.

Yet, with costs continuing to rise, households have been cutting back on spending – including their monthly subscriptions. According to analytics from Kantar Worldpanel, the number of people in the UK with at least one paid-for video subscription fell by 937,000 between January and September 2022. The same report saw 234,000 UK households ditching video streaming altogether.

So as the cost-of-living crisis continues to disrupt and unsettle the UK economy, what trends can we expect to see from streaming services as they battle for the spotlight – and customer’s loyalty?

Increased creativity – off screen

With countless streaming platforms available in the UK, consumers are spoilt for choice over which episodes, films and documentaries to watch and indulge in. To ensure they stand out from the crowd and drive eyeballs to their content, streaming platforms need to implement effective communications strategies that make noise and force people to take notice. An effective tactic to reach a broader and sometimes new audience, is to implement creative activations that will create talkability off screen.

Take Now TV as an example. To promote the release of House of the Dragon, they launched a fiery OOH campaign with several 3D activations spotted around the country, resulting in media coverage from the likes of Deadline, Campaign and Marketing Beat, photo moments from passersby and engagement on social media. Following reports that Snapchat sees over 6 billion augmented reality Lens plays every day, HBO Max also worked alongside the social media giant to bring dragon-inspired filters to the app, by launching AR experiences that enabled users to transform into a fire-breathing dragon and immerse themselves into the show’s fantasy world.

Rebranding of identities

We can also expect to see more brands deciding to take the plunge and rebrand – after all, it’s essential that branding not only leaves a lasting (and positive!) impression on consumers, but clearly communicates a businesses’ offering and USP to competitors.

Case in point, ITV’s recent decision to reboot its streaming platform as ITVX was a conscious effort to shift public perception of the broadcaster and give the platform a fresh identity and lend equal weight to streaming, which has risen in popularity with its viewers.

The ITVX launch attracted 1.5m new registrations in the first two months and saw total streaming increase by 69% compared to ITV Hub the previous year. It also led to a significant increase in the volume of content available for streaming from 4,000 in 2021 to 19,000 hours with bosses reporting that in first two months since launch, ITVX has attracted more users, and harder to reach lighter viewers, who are spending longer on ITV’s digital content.

More binge-worthy, original content

It’s no secret that Netflix and Amazon Prime thrive on some of their hit original TV series, This is Us, Clarkson’s Farm, Emily in Paris and Breaking Bad to name just a few – so it’s only natural that over time, we can expect to see other streaming platforms follow in their footsteps. However, to compete against an ultra-competitive market, a successful launch and continued momentum underpinned by a hard-working communications and marketing strategy will be vitally important in gaining kudos and credibility from consumers.

Naturally, some of the smaller platforms might not be able to justify the volume of cash that content generation requires, however with binge-watching culture here to stay, we bet it’s a risk that many will be willing to take to stay in the game.

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