IBC 2014: emerging markets lap up OTT
| 14 September 2014
Over the top TV is ‘growing by leaps and bounds’ in emerging markets thanks mainly to unprecedented level of customer engagement according to survey data from SPB TV.

The multiscreen TV supplier surveyed the opinion of users of the nascent services in emerging markets — the majority of whom were based in Brazil, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa and Ukraine — and found that fundamentally OTT TV was no longer “an innovative toy for geeks’ but rather a convenient way to access video content, increasingly gaining traction across mixed gender and age demographics.

The PC/laptop remained the dominant platform for accessing OTT and other online video services with 41% of frequent viewers using it to do so. This compared with 25% for smartphones, 17% for tablets and 18% for connected TVs. Nearly three fifths (59%) of PC/laptop users viewed OTT/online video offerings for more than 30 minutes, heading the 51% of smart TV owners. The fact that tablet (25%) and smartphone (20%) were way behind showed the clear preference for the bigger screen for long-form content.

Given the challenging nature in some of the emerging markets for content protection — sometimes surpassing legal TV and video services in terms of the content assortment — the survey showed, perhaps optimistically, content rights was especially important in regions with high level of piracy. Just over two-fifths (43%) of people tried to watch only licensed content and of those that admitted using content from pirated resources, just over half (52%) explained their use of it by the high price of the licensed videos. However, SPB TV said it was disturbing that as much as 48% of the sample stated that pirated content was easier to find, which is another factor encouraging them to break the law.

Commenting at IBC on the survey, SPB TV CEO Kirill Filippov said: “Emerging markets drive innovation and affect changes in the actual use of modern-day TV…It is not simply the content and the technology that drive innovation but the audience and its demands.”