2018 was a year full of disruptive changes. From the rise of esports and its protégé Fortnite, to online streaming platforms producing the largest share of original shows in 2018, beating traditional broadcasters for the first time in history and, last but not least, interactivity playing a huge role in all video content viewed.
Online Video keeps growing, faster than traditional methods as certified by PWC’s Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2018-2022. According to the firm, digital distribution had a big impact on traditional ways of broadcasting, with revenues via traditional channels declining by 1% and internet & mobile growing by 18%.
In 2018 there has been quite a focus on live streaming: Twitter announcing new partnerships with ESPN for “SportsCenter Live”, Amazon continued live streaming Thursday night football with the NFL and, between FIFA World Cup and Winter Olympics, there were many other sources contributing to live streaming viewership this year.
Overall, 2018 was a pretty big year for video, as it accounted for the biggest share of time spent on daily media and with digital video viewing time increasing year-on-year.
But what should we expect from 2019? First of all, 2019 will see the deployment of 5G that will make video delivery up to 100 times faster and disrupt the streaming industry, as well as the launch of AT&T and Disney’s streaming services. Also, we saw that 2018 started a revolution in the streaming industry, with broadcasters abandoning traditional streaming methods like the satellite, migrating all their content to digital platform and digital ways of broadcasting. 2019 will see the growth of this, with more broadcasters adopting mediators to help them with the change, making them able to compete and gain the audience’s trust.
Another major projected growth area for online video in 2019: audiences. The global online video consumption grew by 11 minutes a day in 2017, and it is expected to grow by 9 minutes a day in 2019 and 2020. When it comes to esports, 2018 saw big numbers with 215 million occasional viewers and 165 million frequent viewers and it’s forecasted that the number of frequent viewers will grow by 30% during 2019.
This industry apparently grew $900 million in 2018, with major athletes and musicians – like Michael Jordan and Drake – investing in multiple esports organizations, and estimates suggest that the industry will grow more. The audience is there and so are the sponsors, pumping money into the industry to gain even more audience. Just in 2018, brands invested $694 million, 77% of the total market, making the level of interest in esports rise, reaching a point in which there’s more interest in esports than traditional sports.
Of course, nothing is certain except for one thing: video will still be king in 2019.