What’s Your Five Year Plan?

It’s been a long quarter this week.

At least around our virtual office, that’s been a general consensus pretty much all year long. It’s a feeling that gets stronger as we look a back to the beginning of the year. Remember, way back in January? Before the concept of “social distancing” was in our daily lexicon? Or “virtual office” became a default setting? Remember when 2020 just looked like the start of another busy decade? Today, it feels different. It is different. I don’t think it matters where your skills or services sit in the overall scheme of media services and technologies. Even a pure entertainment destination feels more like an essential service than ever before.

But even as every week has a make-or-break feel to it, from content performance to network load to playback quality, all it takes is a little five-year perspective to recognize an insescapable truth: 2015 was nothing like 2020. And 2025 is likely going to be a whole new ballgame in and of itself. We’re all working hard to pivot with our audiences to stay relevant; but those long-term roadmaps are still as important as ever.

More Devices, More Power, More Viewing

At the end of 2019, Deloitte published its first Connectivity and Mobile Trends survey, which provides some powerful insights for advertisers, agencies, and media companies as they define their technology roadmaps and partnerships for the coming decade. It’s no secret that the upward trajectory of video advertising is placing more pressure on every mechanism and process that brings an ad from production to multi-platform consumption.

Deloitte’s data shows that within an average U.S. household, there are currently around eleven connected devices, at least seven of which have screens for video. This is a huge leap from just a few years ago: in 2014, a similar survey by Ericsson showed an average of around five connected devices. The focus of the survey wasn’t just about what’s going on today, but also to see how connectivity impacts consumption, and how behaviors might change as data gets faster.

Think about the basic paradigm shifts we’re dealing with in our workplaces in homes, and how these shifts impact content consumption. In our own research (more on that below), industry professionals we contacted made particular note of the fact that a lot of the changes in consumption habits, spurred on by quarantines and social distancing, aren’t going to go away. Coupled with the faster, more capable networks of the not-too-distant future, more viewers have first-hand experience in what streaming has to offer. But what happens when “connected” becomes a foregone conclusion for even more devices? Certainly, the media market is going to get even more diverse, driving a real need for more automation, better data, and more emphasis on personalized experiences that win screens.

Streaming’s Growing Competitive Landscape

In just the past year, premium streaming content has blown up, with major content owners like Disney, HBO, and NBC Universal (also a Comcast company) bringing their wares to bear with an in-house offering. Streaming as a whole has really come into its own, with the experience itself commanding more respect (and investment) than the “bolted-on” feel of older iterations that just barely satisfied the goal of providing “something in the OTT space.”

With so many big media names launching new offerings of their own, it’s important not to overlook the increasing potential for smaller, niche channels to thrive. In fact, as we all spend more time focusing on customer journeys and personalization of content, it’s never been a better time for new audience-specific destinations to partner up with the platforms and technology providers needed to stand up a brand that’s new, differentiated, and advertising-supported.

New Paper: The TV 2025 Initiative

What’s your five year plan? Comcast Technology Solutions has again partnered with international research and strategy consulting firm MTM to present the TV 2025 Initiative; a collection of industry perspectives on the transformation of TV and thoughts about what the future may hold for streaming services as we embark on a new decade.

Senior executives from over two dozen companies participated in the research, sharing their current experiences and future expectations over a wide range of topics, tackling questions such as:

  • Now that streaming has finally come into its own, how are you managing your services? Are there differences between approaches based on complexity, or based on a service’s relationship with a broadcast service?
  • What best practice trends are developing? How are media companies building a mix of internal teams and partner-driven expertise?
  • At the rate of change in just the first part of this year, 2025 already feels like it’s practically around the corner; what do today’s executives think will be driving industry transformation? What can be learned in order to chart a strong course from here to there? 

Get the paper right now, right here.