Digital content revenue will hit $180 billion next year

Consumers are set to spend $180 billion on digital content next year, a new report by market analysts Juniper Research says. That represents a jump of almost a third (30 per cent) compared to last year, when the figure was at $140 billion.

Juniper’s researchers believe this jump will be fuelled mostly by the continuing migration to video streaming services. What’s more, telecom operators and broadcasters are also looking into creating their own on-demand and IPTV content, as means of competing with over-the-top businesses.

The research, entitled Digital Content Business Models: OTT & Operator Strategies 2016-2021, argues that telecom operators have also recognised the importance of original content in the fight against big players such as Amazon or Netflix. As an example, it gives Spain’s Telefonica, which plans on creating anywhere between eight and 10 original TV series yearly, starting next year.

It also seems likely for BT and AT&T to follow suit.

Telecoms are also increasingly looking into what’s called ‘zero-rated content offers’ – an offer of bundled content that doesn’t impact monthly data allowances.

Twitter’s acquisition of NFL rights is seen as the first time an OTT (over-the-top) company moved into the sporting area, but according to research author, Dr Windsor Holden, it’s not something that we can expect turning into a trend.

“The spiralling cost of most premium sporting rights means that bidders for exclusive live rights for must now pay several hundred million dollars per season,” he says. “With most streamed audiences well under a million, this is likely to deter online-only players in the short and medium term.”