Niche Content: The Future of Streaming Video
The world of streaming video content has grown significantly as consumers look to complement with and in many cases transition away from traditional cable television. By now, we’re familiar with mainstream players that serve a broad audience including Dish’s Sling TV, HBO, and Showtime to name a few. However, as their needs and preferences continue to change, viewers crave the option to customize their content. And that’s where the future of streaming video lies: niche content. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, 63 percent of U.S. adults say original content is a key reason why they select a particular subscription service over another. Providing content catered to the specific needs and interests of viewers can be extremely successful when done the right way. Sports Is Driving Niche Adoption For example, FASTHockey is one of the fastest growing sports-focused digital media platforms focused solely on the game of hockey. From watching live games and video-on-demand archives to user-submitted content and video editing tools, FASTHockey’s subscription-based business model revolves around targeted content. Wrestling sports entertainment fans can also tap into the WWE Network for their wrestling fix accessing live specials along with 250,000 hours worth of archives. In both instances, rabid fans are more than willing to become paying subscribers for the specialized content. Niche content is even gaining traction in typically traditional halls of golfing as the PGA recently announced PGA TOUR LIVE, its first OTT subscription service that provides exclusive content never before been produced or aired on TV. And, sports is just the beginning. Demographic-specific Content Has Even Broader Reach Serving up demographic-specific content could potentially prove to be an even bigger revenue channel for TV and movie streaming services. Afrostream is doing something unique: it’s developing a video channel targeting the African and African-American audience. The French startup launching in September, will feature African and African-American movies that essentially aren’t available on any other streaming service. How’s this for potential: Even before the company has formally launched, Afrostream has signed up 2,000 customers, raising $100,000 in a month. Demographic-specific content also generates interest that crosses international borders, providing significant revenue opportunities. Korean soap opera streaming service, Dramafever more than doubled its traffic to 2 million unique visitors per month in the year leading up to its 2014 sale to Japan’s SoftBank. The site now includes Spanish and Latin American content and has 8 million monthly active users (May 2015) that spans 12 countries. Foreign films are another key area which for companies like Mubi are seeing a growth rate of 2% every week. Right now, there is an abundance of TV and movie streaming services mostly differentiated by exclusive deals with mainstream content providers. Eventually, the niche players will be the ones who rule the streaming video world.