As the OTT landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, we are seeing further innovation and interactivity being applied to video streaming experiences. In this article, I will take a look at some examples in the industry that are setting new standards and creating new experiences for interactive video, as well as what’s in store for interactive OTT in the future.
With real-time stats available to view on the screen, Fiit has created a far richer exercise experience by not only keeping users informed on their progress and fitness stats, but also by creating a motivational incentive to push that last rep or burn those extra few calories. With the added leaderboard feature, Fiit also encompasses a real sense of community through friendly competition, which is incredibly powerful at keeping an audience engaged and active. It’s this type of innovation that sets Fiit apart from the rest, and with their interactive features keeping users engaged, Fiit is managing to retain an audience and reduce its churn which is incredibly important for the brand.
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Throughout these interactive stories, users are given a short time limit to make a decision to move the story forward, and while these experiences are extremely engaging, they can come with their challenges. For example, selecting options that lead to dead-ends, or selections that don’t impact the story in any meaningful way, can make the experience feel relatively trivial and unnecessary. Without dramatically increasing the length and cost of production to make richer storylines with alternative endings, it seems this type of interactive content is purely a novelty for the time being.
One industry that has developed this type of interactive media into a fine art is the video game industry. With popular titles such as Heavy Rain, Until Dawn and the more recent highly immersive Detroit: Become Human, it’s clear that these titles have heavily invested in well written, lengthy storylines with multiple choices that dramatically impact the game’s ending, to create a so far unmatched experience.Create a premium video experience for your viewers.Contact us now
Second Screen Experience
With 70% of US adults regularly using another digital device while watching TV, it’s apparent that there’s a huge opportunity for Connected TV applications to tap into these devices to help reach new audiences.
For example, Connected TV applications could look to provide users with a voting experience via their smartphone, such as who will be the winning team in a sports match, or taking part in an interactive gameshow. Whether it’s through deep linking to upsell products, subscriptions or to provide additional information, this clearly a fruitful market for Connected TV apps to invest in.
Take Monterosa for example, a real-time engagement platform helping brands to connect with viewers in a multitude of different ways. Monterosa allows TV apps to maximise engagement and revenue by providing viewers with a second-screen experience through voting and polling, competitions, merchandise or notifications.
Rather than having audience members scrolling through social media feeds or browsing the web, Connected TV applications can provide an alternative second screen experience that continues the user journey across platforms. There’s a constant opportunity to reengage with users through a second screen, and it’s certainly one that Connected TV apps should grab with both hands.
The pandemic not only supercharged online streaming with a staggering 62% increase in streaming time in the UK in 2020, but also how we interact with one another on a daily basis. As Zoom and Google Hangouts became part of our everyday lives, OTT providers followed suit by integrating similar functionality in the form of watch parties. This new feature is something that’s made streaming a far more social event no matter where you are in the world, whether that be tuning in to watch the latest football match with your friends or simply watching a film with the family. These additions to streaming platforms make watching video more meaningful as it becomes a shared experience and certainly brings that togetherness element which is something we have all craved these last eighteen months.
I anticipate these group watching experiences will continue to grow in the future, especially as some of the bigger tech companies such as Facebook integrate similar functionality in their application and on their Portal TV device.
Througout the trailer, the ad audience has the ability to make decisions that reflect the same level of interactivity that’s experienced within the game itself. For example, allowing the audience to ‘gamble on youth’ or ‘spend big’ and purchase well known players, means viewers are instantly drawn in and immersed within the experience. This Football Manager ad in particular accumulated a 51% interaction rate with an average watch time of 75 seconds, as well as an average of 4.4 interactions per viewer. These impressive stats symbolise that when an interactive video is executed properly, with the right blend of strategy and creativity, it can yield some truly extraordinary results.
AVOD has continued to grow in popularity over the years, with many brands jumping back into the AVOD model as consumers are showing signs of increasing subscription fatigue. As this is the case, ads will have to be extremely captivating and engaging in what is becoming a heavily crowded market, which is why we predict seeing more interactive video advertising coming to OTT in the future.
It’s great to see interactivity become more deeply integrated into video playback, and while some levels of interactivity may feel gimmicky or unnecessary, other examples create a far richer, immersive experience, and one that benefits viewers and OTT providers alike.
With the examples laid out above, it’s apparent that OTT services are putting users at the heart of the action more than ever before. Through a wide range of interactive features that create memorable experiences, we are seeing new standards set across the industry, with the future of OTT looking extremely exciting.