The adoption and use of streaming platforms has increased dramatically in recent years. With the ability to access content anywhere and at any time, consumers have increasingly migrated from traditional sources of entertainment to streaming services. The COVID-19 pandemic has also impacted the use of streaming platforms, with quarantine and other social distancing measures significantly increasing usage and sign-up rates. This result is not believed to be a short-term outcome. The popularity of these services is expected to grow in the coming years. As a result of the large and profitable market, many new competitors are likely to be introduced, in addition to the already crowded space. This vast amount of competition will encourage competing platforms to introduce new and innovative features in order to attract and retain customers. With this in mind, many are wondering what can be expected from streaming platforms in 2021.
As a successful television producer, James DuBose has witnessed the evolution of streaming platforms in America. James is a producer, filmmaker, and veteran entertainment industry executive based in Los Angeles, California. Driven by a passion for storytelling and the creation of meaningful content, DuBose surrounds himself with like-minded creatives. As a result, he has seen great success in his career and has created some of the most successful shows on television. Here, James shares his insight into the evolution of streaming platforms and his thoughts on what consumers can expect in 2021.
Live streaming has become extremely popular, especially with the onset of COVID-19. During this worldwide pandemic, live streaming options have allowed artists to perform and for other events to be broadcast around the world. James DuBose notes that streaming platforms in 2021 will undoubtedly continue to integrate live streaming services into their platforms. Consumers can expect to see more live events, such as concerts and shows, broadcast through their streaming service.
Advertising has come a long way from the early days of billboards and bus stop signage and it’s not nearly done evolving. In 2021, viewers can expect new and innovative forms of advertising to be presented on streaming platforms. Non-disruptive ads that can be paused or skipped, for example, are likely to become commonplace. In addition, with the help of user data, platforms are expected to integrate highly personalized advertising. Personal preferences, buying habits, and even data from platform usage will be incorporated to offer viewers a more personal experience. James DuBose mentions that one of the most intriguing expectations is that streaming services will begin integrating interactive advertising. This will allow users to directly interact with ads and content.
2020 quickly became the year of online shopping. As a result of having to work from home and socially isolate from friends and family, consumers turned to ecommerce. This has significantly impacted the retail market, with social platforms and other digital mediums quickly jumping on the trend, notes James DuBose. The introduction of in-stream buying options, in particular, has become common. It is expected that streaming platforms will also begin to capitalize on this trend in 2021. As these platforms collaborate with the largest and most innovative brands, users can expect to see interactive content that offers in-stream purchasing options. For example, if a consumer sees something they like on screen, they may be able to interact with it directly. That is, streaming services will synchronize on-screen products and services with their content, allowing viewers to access more information and even make a purchase directly from the platform.
For the most part, popular streaming platforms offer playback options only. However, a move towards enhanced interactivity is on the horizon. In addition to interactive advertising and in-stream purchasing, content interaction is likely to be implemented. Viewers will be able to interact with content via the platform or their smart device. As well, it is expected that the content itself will have the capability to interact with mobile devices, providing additional interactive options. These options are anticipated to look much like those provided by several platforms today, including the ability to view details about actors, soundtrack music, and related content. However, James DuBose and other television producers and filmmakers expect this interactivity to be taken to a new level in 2021. For example, live chat rooms and even the ability to interact with objects on-screen are possible implementations.
James DuBose on Personalization and Customization
In addition to the already advanced analytics available to content platforms, in-stream purchasing data and information from other interactive elements will allow for a completely personalized experience. In addition to the personalization of content, ads, and features, it is expected that additional customization options will become prevalent in 2021. James DuBose notes that while many platforms already offer a degree of customization, there is always room for improvement. In fact, the ability to fully customize your user interface and interaction options is a possibility. As competition in the space grows, platforms will be looking to offer as much personalization and customization as possible to attract and retain customers.
Diverse content has become increasingly popular on platforms like Netflix. As a result, viewers can expect to see this trend continue. In many cases, James DuBose reports, it has been found that consumers prefer streaming services over traditional television due to the diversity in the content provided. Therefore, in 2021, it is expected that streaming platforms will maintain, and even increase, the amount of diverse content that they offer. From diverse subject matter to foreign films and series, there is no end to the variety that platforms can offer users.
The introduction of esports has been widely successful. In fact, esports will likely rival traditional sports in popularity and viewers in the years to come. Most notably, this interest has not been confined to a single area or region but, rather, has been a global phenomenon. With the potential to attract a global audience, streaming platforms in 2021 will undoubtedly embrace the popularity of esports.