The acceleration of localized content production, the significant increase in the number of over-the-top (OTT) providers, and the defensive stances being employed by telcos and broadcasters against freemium services will all shape the coming 12 months in the Middle East and Africa’s rapidly evolving media and broadcasting industry.
That’s according to International Data Corporation’s newly released predictions for the year ahead, with the global advisory services firm also expecting the region’s media players to increasingly focus on improving the customer experience as they extend their offerings.
“As all broadcasters now know, simply pushing content to a giant screen in a living room is no longer enough,” says Tracey Grant, program manager for media and broadcasting at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “To this end, developing a greater understanding of the way people consume media and expect media to be offered will be crucial through 2015 and beyond. Providers looking to increase their consumer base must understand one essential point — it all comes down to ease of use and access.”
“Providing an intuitive system across all devices with ease of installation will be the winning formula in 2015,” advises Grant. “The path of least resistance in accessing media will drive consumers to spend more. Ensuring differentiation through device diversity, custom content packaging, and value-added services must be at the forefront of these players’ minds if they are to continue building revenue and effectively counter the flood of OTT services.”
IDC’s top 10 media and broadcasting predictions for the Middle East and Africa in 2015 are outlined in full below:
1. An increased focus on local production will drive the creation of region-specific content that is strongly influenced by GCC preferences.
2. Local content will be distributed globally.
3. The emphasis on copyright protection and product differentiation will continue into 2015, with anti-piracy regulation gaining traction across the region.
4. The integration of customer experience with intelligent selection will remain a focus area for enhancing content delivery.
5. Media players will expand their portfolios to counter and compete with OTT offerings; acquisition teams will require a holistic approach to content delivery if they are to meet all consumer needs.
6. Technological strides will be made to capitalize on the immense (and largely untapped) MEA youth demographic.
7. Advertisers are gradually migrating to a content-focused ecosystem, and good customer experience will translate into increased transactions.
8. Industry players will attempt to monetize social TV.
9. The focus on ensuring consumer security and protection will intensify.
10. Consumer interaction will increase through gaming experiences.