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The Market Domination of Gaming Consoles as OTT Platforms

gaming consoles as ott platforms

Live streaming has witnessed a surge in popularity in recent years, and there’s plenty of data to back that up:

  • The number of people actively live streaming increased by 47% between 2017 and 2018.
  • A study in 2018 noted that 80% of people claimed they used a streaming service or app to watch a video at least once a week.
  • 63% of people aged 18–34 consume live streaming content regularly.

That sudden rise in live video consumption led to some drastic changes in the global video market. But perhaps the most notable shift happened with the expansion of OTT services. Back in 2017, 29% of viewers stated that OTT services were their primary sources of entertainment. That number rose to 36% the very next year and has only been growing ever since! 

Companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are some of the leading OTT service providers, and they alone are expected to triple their investments by 2022. That should serve as a testament to the popularity of these streaming services.

How People Access OTT Services

Just as consumers’ video viewing habits evolved from traditional TV to different types of VoD (video on demand) services, so did the ways to access that content. Nowadays, consumers can access OTT services through various means:

  • Different devices with an internet connection, such as phones (Android, iOS, Windows, etc.), tablets, or PCs
  • Smart TVs (Google TV, LG Electronics’ Channel Plus)
  • Set-top boxes (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, AirPlay, Apple TV, Chromecast)
  • Gaming consoles (Sony Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Wii U, etc.)

However, out of all of these, one has seen particularly widespread use and has begun dominating the OTT market. We’re talking about gaming consoles, of course! But why are they so popular as OTT platforms? That’s what we’re here to find out!

But before we get into it, let’s first cover the basics for those unfamiliar with OTT technology. If you’re already familiar with what OTT is, feel free to skip ahead.

What Is OTT? 

OTT media service (over-the-top media) refers to the practice of streaming content to users directly over the internet. That works around the traditional distribution channels like cable TV providers and eliminates the need for telephone connection and annoying cables.

The term OTT service usually refers to VoD platforms, but is, in fact, an umbrella term that also includes audio streaming (iTunes, Spotify), internet-based voice calling (Skype), and messaging services (Viber, Whatsapp). OTT services are primarily based on a subscription model, but there are occasional alternatives, like in-app purchases or advertising. Either way, most commonly, these won’t differ much from your traditional paid cable TV service.

The beauty of OTT lies in the fact that all you need to use it is a device with an internet connection and a playback medium (such as a TV). Nowadays, most OTT service providers offer integration with various devices and platforms, making all of your purchased content just a click of a button away.

With that amount of convenience, should it really surprise you that OTT has been overtaking traditional media at such a rapid pace? The answer is no! But should cable service suppliers worry? Absolutely not! Many people maintain traditional cable services on top of their OTT subscriptions, so there’s no need to feel threatened.

Why Is OTT So Popular?

With OTT services having had 401 million subscribers worldwide in 2017, it is evident that they’re immensely popular. But why do users love OTT so much? Here are a few excellent reasons:

  • You get instant access to high-quality content from anywhere.
  • Subscribing to an OTT service is incredibly cost-effective for the amount of content you get.
  • You get access to platform-exclusive shows.
  • You can access the content from a variety of devices.

As you can see, there is little reason not to subscribe to one of your favorite OTT providers! Now that we’ve answered these mandatory points, let’s address our original question.

Why Are Gaming Consoles the Most Popular Devices for Accessing OTT Services?

The best way to answer this question is to look at some data. In 2017 alone, 49 million consoles were shipped worldwide. By the end of that year, the total number of connected consoles reached 164 million, 83% of which were eight-generation devices. According to the same survey, 88.6% of console owners were subscribed to at least one OTT service at the time.

This data speaks volumes. We can see that the target demographic for console games is also predominantly interested in online video content. So it only comes naturally that these users utilize their already expensive devices to stream their favorite shows instead of purchasing alternatives like Roku.

The companies that are making these gaming consoles are well aware of that, which is why they included this option in their products. What’s more, data shows that gaming consoles are the primary method for accessing OTT video platforms nowadays. More than two-thirds of console owners stream over ten hours of live video content weekly!

We don’t know about you, but it doesn’t surprise us that gamers are such big fans of video content!

What Lies in the Future of Gaming Consoles as OTT Platforms? 

Where do we see this trend going? The answer is not apparent, so all we can do is guess. But if you want us to do just that, here’s what we think:

The OTT market is only growing by the year, so there is no doubt that gaming console companies will continue providing support for these services on their devices. But is the usage of gaming consoles as OTT platforms going to grow even more? We’re positive it will! But why do we think so? The reason is… well, are, the upcoming Sony Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X

These two next-gen consoles have generated a lot of hype and have been long anticipated! We all know just how popular these two consoles are, and we firmly believe even more customers will get on board with this latest generation as both of these sport incredible specs and exclusive games.

Some predict that these consoles will sell around 103 million copies in the first four years after launch, which means even more consumers will get easy access to their favorite OTT services. That will, inevitably, lead to an even bigger dominance of gaming consoles as OTT platforms on the market.

What Do You Think?

Do you agree with our predictions? Are you as excited for the new PS and Xbox release as we are? Send us a message on social media and let us know your thoughts! We’d love to hear from you. And if you’re looking for a way to spend the time while waiting for the new consoles, why not check out our article on the best gaming console commercials to hype yourself up!

Until next time!

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