As the UK pushes through its third lockdown, it comes as no surprise that online streaming surged in 2020 according to Ofcom, with overall screen time up almost a third on 2019. Over-the-top (OTT) content – categorised as any content delivered via an internet connection rather than through traditional broadcast – has led the way in this increase, supercharging an industry that was already growing at an impressive rate.
The future of entertainment?
Last year saw the beginnings of what the future of entertainment may be, as – after lengthy delays to the release date – Wonder Woman 1984 was given its US premiere on the streaming service HBO Max, a move that was credited for doubling activations on the platform in Q4. Movies like the next James Bond flick may be holding out for a big box office opening when cinemas finally reopen, but have people’s consumption habits changed for good?
The move to OTT content – particularly among younger viewers – gives streaming companies and subscription-based or monetized apps a huge opportunity to capitalise on this move away from cable and television. According to research from AdJust, more than a quarter of millennials and Gen Z consumers have stopped paying for another service in order to be able to buy an ad-free subscription to a mobile app, with streaming, gaming and news apps leading the way. While this isn’t good news for mobile advertisers, it is great news for companies looking to offer paid-for content to their customers.
Carrier billing offers affordable, global accessibility to OTT content
For companies looking to capitalise on the move towards pay-to-view content, adopting the technology now can help businesses adapt to people’s changing habits. The integration of mobile payments and the use of direct carrier billing can offer a seamless user experience and increase the chances of turning a curious viewer into a paying subscriber. After all, more payment options mean more chances of conversion. With the OTT marketing valued at over $85 billion worldwide in 2019 (source; researchandmarkets.com) and almost a quarter of that being paid for via carrier billing in three years’ time, it’s little wonder that more businesses than ever are looking to diversify.
OTT content and direct carrier billing; a match made in heaven
The benefits of adopting carrier billing as a payment option are plentiful, but one of its greatest strengths lies in the ability to offer global access for a relatively low cost to the consumer. Monetisation strategies can go global on mobile, with broadband and wifi much more accessible in emerging markets than games consoles or smart tvs. With over 5 billion mobile users and 4.5 billion internet users worldwide (source: We Are Social), global mobile connectivity means that, as long as your direct carrier billing provider has connections with local networks, payment is quick and easy.
MessageCloud is a multi-award winning mobile messaging provider. Its cloud-based SMS and messaging products enable companies to set up and manage one-way and two-way communications effortlessly. Plus, it offers products to analyse phone numbers, verify users and accept payments by mobile.
With its range of products, ‘Send’, ‘Numbers’, ‘Verify’, ‘Analyse’ and ‘Pay’, MessageCloud delivers tools that maximise mobile marketing; from virtual numbers to payment systems for carrier billing. And with more than a decade of delivering messages for diverse markets around the globe, it is a service on which you can rely.