Eight Digital Video Predictions for 2019

The TV and OTT landscapes continue to shift and slide as consumers adopt digital video and streaming options, and the companies producing long-form content make bets on where audiences will spend their time. Here are eight digital video market predictions for 2019.

No. 1: The rate of cord-cutting will continue to accelerate. Cord-cutting will be driven mostly by the increased adoption of linear OTT services, which are on track to more than double their US audience in the next four years, and in smaller part by a surge in over-the-air (OTA) antennas (everything old is new again, like vinyl!). Despite the rising incidence of cord-cutting, the stakeholders in the traditional TV business will be just fine because they’re all invested in broadband service, content ownership, digital distribution or some combination of the above.

No. 2: The explosion of premium programming for TV and streaming outlets (aka ‘peak TV’) is unsustainable. One of the longest-running and most reliable indicators of the volume of programming for TV and streaming outlets, the annual FX Networks tally of US scripted series, showed a pronounced slowdown in growth. The 2018 total number of scripted shows carried by basic cable, pay cable, broadcast and streaming outlets was 495—only a 1.6% increase over the 2017 figure of 487 shows. That’s the smallest growth factor since FX Networks started keeping track of shows in 2009, and it pales in comparison to double-digit increments in 2013 and 2014, and even the 2017 growth multiple of 7.0%. Streaming outlets showed the most growth and became the largest single contributor of programming in 2018, but their success came at the expense of broadcast and basic cable, which declined significantly. There are only so many hours in the day to binge-watch Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO and ShowTime, not to mention DVR-ed network shows. […]

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