Wednesday, 08 November 2017 00:20

Digital content revenues: US$202 billion in 2018, up 10%

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With Amazon and Facebook said to be eyeing "key sporting rights" to "bolster content market share", a new report says digital content spend will reach US$202 billion next year, up from US$184 billion in 2017.

The latest study from the analytical gurus at Juniper Research has found that "SVoD (Subscription Video on Demand) services will be a key driver of growth, with major OTT (Over The Top) players such as Netflix and Amazon committing budgets of more than US$5 billion to original content over the coming year."

Meanwhile, "Apple and Facebook are each expected to invest at least US$1bn for the first time."

The research, dubbed Digital Content Business Models: OTT & Operator Strategies 2017-2022, and on sale to relevant parties at relevant prices, shows that "35% of UK households now subscribe to one or more SVoD services, a proportion which rises to 76% in the US. Furthermore, Juniper argued that the trend towards multiple subscriptions per household was increasing, leading to a greater opportunity for content aggregation and curation."

OTTs target Premier League sports rights

Meanwhile, there are indications that OTT (over-the-top) players "may be poised to disrupt the market for major sporting rights. Although Facebook failed in its recent bid for the worldwide IPL (Indian Premier League) cricket rights, the report claimed that either Amazon or Facebook would bid for, and probably win, at least one major live rights package in the forthcoming auction for England’s Premier League football games".

According to research author Dr Windsor Holden, “Amazon is in a particularly strong position here, because sports packages could be bundled within Amazon Prime, with the additional retail spend generated by new customers significantly reducing the scale of net additions required to recoup the rights costs.”

eSports the next opportunity

Meanwhile, the research also found that "both telcos and OTT players were increasingly seeking to augment their offerings with the acquisition of eSports rights, and suggested that ultimately players might evolve from creating their own teams to developing and owning eSports tournaments."

As per usual, there is an additional complimentary whitepaper with additional detail, "TV Networks to Lose Sporting Rights to Amazon and Facebook", aimed at encouraging you to consider purchasing the full report.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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