The in-vehicle media and entertainment experience will begin to shift as autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles and ridesharing become more prominent  

In-vehicle entertainment has always been somewhat restricted, however next year will see a significant shift in mobility as a service (MaaS). As the automotive space moves away from vehicle ownership and towards autonomous vehicles, connected cars and ride-sharing services – such as Uber – 2019 will begin to see new opportunities for media consumption, especially for passengers. Indeed, in-vehicle music and video streaming will become more personalised and targeted to passengers, such as the use of voice technology and the ability to tailor music to fit a passenger’s taste. Accenture predicts that mobility services will soar to almost $1.2 trillion by 2030[1] and that the automotive space will, ultimately, shift from selling cars to selling an experience.

Music consumption will move to a more hybrid experience that encompasses all forms of audio, including live music, podcasts, radio and more

As the demand for autonomy grows year on year, every aspect of the entertainment space will give way to it. The need for all content to be under one umbrella and easily accessible is constantly growing and music consumption is no different. The ‘hybrid radio’ – the linking of audio, live music, podcasts, radio and more – is a trend expected to grow within the forthcoming year, with BBC Sounds[2] already making its mark on the industry. The video space has already created an all compassing platform with easy accessibility, however with the rise of podcasts and radio back in fashion, the audio space isn’t far behind. With new hybrid experiences, users can choose the right content based on their preferences, commuting times and topics of the day, meaning their listening experiences will be enhanced daily. The next year will see audio consumption catch up with how people watch content.

There will be an increasing demand for e-sports viewing across live streaming, traditional broadcast and on-demand services

Although still small in comparison to traditional broadcasting of competitive sports, e-sports participation and audience figures have been growing fast in recent years. Figures[3] show that CAGR is at least 10 percent year on year. In 2019, we will see this continue, along with more e-sports content becoming available outside of live internet streams. It is comparatively difficult for other sports to achieve such rapid audience growth, due in part to more established and rigid rights and distribution models, as well as typically older audiences that are less likely to want to consume media across multiple platforms. This is changing, however, and the arrival of new players[4] in sports broadcasting, and increasing availability of streaming content in general, means that we are likely to see live sports consumption and the availability and integration of new services and packages create some interesting changes and opportunities in the entertainment ecosystem over the next 12 months.    

Voice biometrics will play a key role in delivering a personalised media and entertainment experience

Voice biometrics is already being used to provide authentication for banking systems, however in 2019, we will see voice biometrics in the smart home become more prevalent. With voice technology, viewers can ask their TV, remote control or set-top box to search for programmes, movie titles, actors and actresses, favourite genres, sports, and virtually any other category of preferred content. It offers an intuitive, quick way for viewers to find what they want to watch, rather than navigating manually through programme guides, menus or interactive content. Further improving this voice experience is the integration of voice biometrics, where members of a household can be identified using their unique ‘voiceprint’. This will give each family member instant access to individual custom home screens, recently viewed and commonly-searched-for content, as well as personal web applications such as social media feeds.

Companies will start to use their data to drive their business forward and reduce churn rates

With media and entertainment consumption continuously rising, service providers are collecting and storing masses of data on a daily basis. While it can be overwhelming, the benefit of having all of this data is that it can help large enterprises to drive their business forward. For example, ‘churn rates’ – when a user has no views for at least four weeks and never made a view following that certain period of inactivity – are a good way for service providers to measure how well their platform is performing. Over the next year, companies will start to use data to reduce their churn rates for customers’ subscriber base and will begin to understand why customers ‘show dump,’ or leave services, and what is best to offer them in the future to ensure this doesn’t happen. Data is important for any companies’ analytics and to drive the businesses forward, but in particular, when trying to reduce churn in the entertainment technology industry.

The Android TV ecosystem will continue to grow, and the underlying platform will be crucial to its success

At the I/O conference in May 2018, Google promised a renewed focus on its Android TV platform[5]. Since then, sighting of a new developer kit[6] suggests that new hardware is now not far off, so will be something to watch out for in 2019. Although not as widely used as other platforms, Google TV still has a very significant user base, particularly among younger viewers[7].  In addition to it having an established user base, Android TV is highly attractive to operators for a number of reasons. In addition to being able to address a wide range of devices that consumers can access content on, the OTT ecosystem available through Google Play brings together thousands of apps that operators can instantly tie into. While some operators will opt for Linux, bring-your-own-device or other platform categories that better serve their portfolio, Android TV will continue to be a platform of choice for many, particularly given Google’s public statements of increased support. From the consumer perspective, integration and user experience are the name of the game – being connected to the desired content on their terms, irrespective of content source, platform or device remains a primary expectation.

The roll out of 5G will facilitate further growth in anytime/anywhere video consumption

With network providers gearing up for the rollout of 5G in late 2019[8], which promises a faster and more immersive experience, people will be consuming more entertainment content than ever before. Ovum predicts that the monthly traffic per 5G subscriber will rise from 11.7GB in 2019 to 84.9GB in 2028, with video expected to account for 90 percent of all 5G traffic[9]. With this in mind, media and entertainment providers will be responsible for helping consumers to discover video content at any given moment, and at the pace of 5G. Consumers will expect a highly visual and reliable experience that delivers the results they demand. A deeper understanding of metadata will be key to simplifying and speeding up the discovery experience.











Kauser Kanji has been working in online video for 19 years, formerly at Virgin Media, ITN and NBC Universal, and founded VOD Professional in 2011. He has since completed major OTT projects for, amongst others, A+E Networks, the BBC, BBC Studios, Channel 4, DR (Denmark), Liberty Global, Netflix, Sony Pictures, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation and UKTV. He now writes industry analyses, hosts an online debate show, OTT Question Time, as well as its in-person sister event, OTT Question Time Live

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