It’s official . . . everyone and their brother is now getting into the OTT (Over The Top) video streaming game. Last week alone there were five major announcements in the video streaming space, as more players line up to compete with Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Here’s a quick roundup of what’s headed to a TV screen near you:
- AT&T plans to launch a new OTT platform in late 2019, with aggregated content from its Warner Bros, Viacom and HBO properties. Given their depth of content this one will definitely be a formidable competitor.
- Walmart is also getting into the streaming game with its new Vudu OTT service. Walmart’s plan is to offer an ad-supported (free) service featuring MGM content.
- Costco is taking a slightly different path towards video streaming, with its plan to offer other OTT platforms for free to its members. This is similar to Amazon’s strategy to give its Prime members Amazon TV for free, but at least Amazon produces its own original content. It looks like Costco’s plan is to bundle other streamers into their membership plans.
- Apple’s version of video streaming includes a plan to develop their own content and offer it free to device owners. That sounds like a pretty smart incentive for customers to keep upgrading to the latest and greatest iPhone.
- Finally, NewTV (the Meg Whitman/Jeffrey Katzenberg brainchild) will be rebranded as Quibi, and will feature shorter-form videos from all the major content producers bundled into one subscription streaming platform.
Geez . . . I’m tired after just listing these new options, much less watching all this new video content. It’ll be interesting to look back a few years from now and see which ones were contenders and which were only pretenders.