5 Research-Backed Trends Shaping the Media Industry

04.11.2023 | Ray Gilmartin

2023 is shaping up to be another year of rapid change in the media and entertainment industry. By exploring the latest research-backed industry trends, both content sellers and streaming platforms can understand these changes and craft long-term content monetization strategies.

To help our readers learn more about the market landscape, SymphonyAI Media sat down with Elizabeth Parks, President and Chief Marketing Officer of Parks Associates. In our conversation, Parks shared key statistics, industry news, and the following 5 trends to watch.

For more vital industry research, access the white paper, Optimizing Video: Enhancing Content Performance for OTT Success.


1) Pay TV will continue its slow decline but remains relevant.

The transition from linear to digital services is going to take a long time to play out, Parks said. Nearly half (44%) of US internet households continue to use traditional linear Pay TV services.

Still, viewers continue to cut the cord, driven by convenience, cost, and content. Even sports programs, which have long acted as a buoy for Pay TV, are now increasingly expanding into OTT distribution. A solid majority of households (87%) now have at least one OTT streaming service, according to Parks Associates. Further, 50% have four or more streaming services, and 20% have nine or more services.

Growth of Ad-based services

While the SVOD market has matured, consumers are increasingly trying out AVOD and FAST services. See the full white paper Optimizing Video: Enhancing Content Performance for OTT Success.


2) Streaming providers will increasingly bundle services, creating satisfied customers and stickiness.

With so many choices for viewers, fragmentation in the media landscape cannot continue, Parks said. As such, virtual bundling and aggregation will increase. Combining services gives audiences access to the content they want at a discount while reducing subscription churn. Streaming providers will continue to partner with other platforms, broadband providers, mobile service providers, and a variety of connectivity-dependent home services.


3) Gen Zs are defining content consumption habits with a mobile first, lean forward experience.

Gen Z are the first generation of digital natives, and they don’t just consume media content, they help create and shape it. These upcoming consumers are spending more time engaging with short-form videos and immersive multiplayer games while fluidly switching between multiple screens and devices. Content sellers and distribution platforms are taking notice, realizing they need to find ways to effectively promote their TV shows and movies to this new audience.

Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming giants have launched short-form series and gaming that enable content discovery and engagement with their traditional long-form shows and movies. Netflix, for example, offers bite-sized “Fast Laughs” with funny clips that advertise its longer comedy shows, dozens of interactive games (many based on adaptations of its shows and movies, such as “Queen’s Gambit Chess”) and is exploring interactive livestreaming (such as reality TV shows with audience participation).

Younger generations are also watching content on different devices and on multiple screens at once. According to Parks, less than half of 18- to 24-year-olds watched video on a television at all in the past 30 days, preferring to watch video content on mobile phones and tablets.

The next generation of viewers is moving away from lean back, passive media consumption. Rather, young people are leaning forward and actively engaging in real time with video content online, talking to other viewers, voting on polls, taking surveys, or playing games. Streaming services, especially those focused on live events, will need to incorporate interactivity into their applications to command the attention – and participation – of Gen Z.


4) Media companies are plugging into the whole home connected experience.

More and more, streaming providers are extending their reach into the smart home sector, seeking to become a hub of the home rather than just a media and entertainment company. Smart TV penetration is rapidly rising, creating a natural extension to the smart home. About two-thirds (63%) of US internet households own a smart TV and penetration on a global basis is expected to hit 50% by 2026, according to Parks and Associates.

Roku, for example, is expanding from connected TVs to smart home devices like security cameras, video doorbells, and connected lights that integrate with the company’s software. Likewise, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Samsung are building smart home controls into the TV, transforming the device into a home control platform. Amazon also plans to offer home internet service.

With so many devices and viewing options available to consumers, media and entertainment companies are seeking to have more control over the exponential amount of data in the home, Parks said. Connected device owners now have an average of 16 connected devices in the home, and the desire for a single access control point is at the top of their wants.


5) Content sellers and distribution platforms will leverage big data and process automation to compete.

The most successful video content services will leverage technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to understand their viewers on a more granular level and inform their strategies around specific market segments, Parks said.

AI-and ML-assisted solutions can accurately analyze viewing patterns and relationships and identify which types of content and devices are most popular with specific audiences. This information can then be used to deliver a personalized experience to viewers, inform content acquisition and production decisions, and enable new ways of thinking.


Stay ahead of the trends with SymphonyAI Media

SymphonyAI Media is grateful for the opportunity to meet with Elizabeth Parks and learn from her expertise. To stay up to date on industry trends, we encourage you to check out Parks Associates, a leading international research firm specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. You can also download the research paper we co-produced with Parks Associates.

Of course, SymphonyAI Media can also help media and entertainment companies prepare for the ever-shifting market. Our Revedia platform combines data aggregation and content analytics with revenue and agreement-management capabilities to help content sellers and distributors accurately measure content performance, drive user engagement, and maximize the value of their content libraries.

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