2015 and 2016 were the years of big spending by the major media, tech, and social media companies including YouTube, Verizon, SnapChat, Spotify, Fullscreen and Hearst, all of which are fighting to win the hearts and wallets of the millennial consumer. And while most of those will continue to spend, here are a few predictions on who will be the 5 new big spenders in the space.
- LiveNation , SiriusXM, iHeartMedia — This might seem like a surprising first to list, but as the music business continues to fragment and fewer dollars flow directly to the artist, music streaming platforms like these will attempt to take a page from the Spotify playbook — going hard into content and IP ownership. LiveNation already started presenting ideas to brands and publishers at the 2016 Final Fronts, hosted by OMG. it’s also recently launched an innovation channel with Shell. While these initiatives are brand-supported, it’s the beginning of a video play that will require more investment to sustain. SiriusXM has been rumored to be in development on its own streaming video play, and iHeart has been back and forth on a strategy (and budget) that can make an impact.
2. Facebook — Over a year ago, VideoInk predicted Facebook would make a big play in video, a part of which would include funding original projects. The announcement in December that the social media giant would be commissioning more originals came as no surprise; but for Facebook to make a real dent its will have to pony up budgets in the multi-millions to incentivize creators to regularly and habitually publish to Facebook with a first-window approach. Afterall, it couldn’t work for Vessel — and with Facebook’s ever-aging demographic, it’s likely creators will prioritize creative efforts towards younger platforms like SnapChat or Live.ly.
3. AT&T / DirectTV Now / Fullscreen — Perhaps propelled by the market pressure Verizon has put on the various U.S. telco’s to compete in video streaming, AT&T, with its “DirectTV Now” product will have to front big dollars to compete in an inflated content market. Spending will include licensing and original projects, which could funnel through Fullscreen’s budget or other Otter Media-owned properties.
4. Twitch — Twitch has been making moves in acquiring library content and redistributing it in binge-ready faux-live streams. They have also been quietly [CORRECTION: licensing] original series from creators focused on food and crafting. I predict this is only going to increase as Twitch finds ways to route new audiences (that aren’t just male) to its mega-media parent company, Amazon.
*An earlier version of this story noted Twitch has been commissioning content. According to a spokesperson, the company is funding series that are already fully-baked ideas.
5. Vimeo — The little engine that could. Well, it’s going to have to. In order to go up against giants like Amazon, Verizon, Hulu, and even smaller streaming SVOD services, Vimeo will need to make some big bets this year. According to their announcement in Q4, the OVP is prepared to do so.
A review at the end of 2017 will keep us honest on whether these predictions come true, but in the meantime, who do you think will be the big spenders this year?