How to Find a Rewarding Streaming Money Flow.

Author:Serafini, Dom

Streaming is all the rage these days, so much so that it has the potential to overturn a business model that has worked well --and has been profitable--for 70 years. And there's no guarantee that it will even succeed! As such, it is important to know the past and (possible) future of this evolution that's turning into a revolution.

The first lesson learned thus far is that "streaming" is an Internet technology that comes in at least four different forms: SVoD, TVoD, AVoD, and online pay-TV. As explained by Brett L. Sappington, senior research director and principal analyst at research company Parks Associates in Addison, Texas, "Though they are [all] OTT video services, we do find distinct differences in business model, use case, position in the consumer portfolio, direct competition, viewing habits, and other factors."

The second lesson is that traditional television is only "dying" in the minds of the investors on Wall Street--not in the heads of those on "Main Street." Indeed, traditional television is more vibrant now than it ever was, with U.S. advertising revenue and international program sales continuing to grow. What is changing, however, is the form of TV content distribution (on broadband) and fruition (how it's watched). Vintage TV series, such as All in the Family (1971) and Seinfeld (1989), are more popular today than they ever were before, especially with young people. The difference is that today's viewers have multiple options as to where to watch them: on TV sets, on computers, and on mobile phones or tablets.

Which brings us to the third lesson learned: Everything is cyclical. Television started its content distribution with over-the-air frequencies. Then it moved over cable. Later, it added physical media (cassettes, DVDs, etc.). And now, it's going back to be carried via frequencies again (broadband).

The TV screens themselves have evolved, too, in the sense that they are now flat. The fruition of IP rights, on the other hand, has devolved--from over 80 rights just a few short years ago to one right that encompasses all rights. After all, everything is cyclical.

Moving along with the lessons learned, it must be noted that, with some 37 major U.S. streaming services (see chart to the right that lists all but the five major sports streaming services: ESPN Plus, WWE Network, MLB.TV, NHL.TV, and DAZN), competition is going to be fierce, and most consumers are expected to subscribe to an average of just three of these...

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