North America and Western Europe are set to dominate the growth in revenues of the "over-the-top" (OTT) providers of digital TV, with China and the Far East not far behind, according to a report by consultancy Juniper. The Americas will take 33.5 percent of revenues, with Europe taking 31.7 percent.
Digital TV players' budgets are set to dwarf some of their pay-TV competitors', with Netflix set to spend between $7.5 billion and $8 billion on content this year, according to its latest earnings. "Game of Thrones" producer HBO spent $2.5 billion in 2017, while Facebook and Apple both said they would spend $1 billion on original content last year.
At the same time, "cord-cutting," where people cancel their cable TV subscriptions, is likely to be driven by a switch to digital services between 2017 and 2022. "Throughout the period, subscription video-on-demand will gain ground, not only because of new service launches across the globe, but also due to a consumer switch to the idea of 'skinny bundles', or slimmed down packages which will, in some cases, mean cable companies' customers cancel their packages," Juniper's report stated.
While Facebook has recently announced changes to its news feed, meaning that content from friends is prioritized over publisher and advertiser content, live video posts are set to increase, which is an opportunity for brands.
"This content will increasingly be of interest to advertisers, especially in view of Facebook's monthly active user base of over 2 billion people. The company has launched an app and website called Facebook for Creators to help users refine video content and generate viewership," Juniper's Lauren Foye said in an emailed statement.
Facebook's new video tab Watch, which works rather like YouTube, will also generate further ad dollars for the social network.
Advertising spend against online video is set to grow by 130 percent to $37 billion in 2022, up from $16 billion in 2017, according to Juniper's estimates and the number of people watching video online is set to hit 4.5 billion worldwide.