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  • 5G
  • 4 Min Read

Impact of 5G on OTT and Broadcasting

Saurav Jha

This is a blog series where I have been analyzing the impact of 5G on various industries. In some of the previous posts, I have written about 5G impact on manufacturing and 5G impact on healthcare. In this post, I will talk about impact of 5G on OTT and broadcasting industries.

The fifth-generation cellular networks (5G) will enable subscribers to consume a wide variety of digital content regularly. Some consumers will access the digital content according to a preset schedule by opting for broadcast TV, while others will opt for over the top (OTT) services to access the content at their own pace and convenience. A significant percentage of broadcasters believe that 5G technology has the potential to make traditional broadcasting methods obsolete in the near future.

According to a global survey commissioned by Nevion – a leading provider of IP and cloud-based production solutions for broadcasting and other applications –

82% believe that cellular networks like 5G will eventually replace traditional broadcast distribution such as DTT and satellite as the preferred way to access TV content, with over a third (37%) of these respondents expecting this to begin happening within 1 to 2 years.

At the same time, the consumers can access video content in full HD and enjoy 4K streaming through popular OTT platforms by leveraging the ultra-fast speed and ultra-low latency delivered by 5G. Hence, 5G is all set to transform OTT and broadcasting by creating new and innovative options to consume digital content. We can assess the impact of 5G on OTT and broadcasting based on a slew of use cases.

Impact of 5G on OTT: 7 Ways 5G will Transform OTT and Broadcasting in the Near Future

Bridge the Gap between OTT and Broadcasting

5G is expected to increase the demand for OTT service and decrease the popularity of broadcast TV. But many broadcasters believe that 5G has the potential to bridge the gap between broadcasting and OTT. The broadcasters will combine 5G and cloud computing to enable subscribers to access digital content regardless of the computing power of their devices. The leading cloud service providers have already launched projects to live stream popular sporting events and musical events over the 5G networks. Hence, the consumers will soon have the option to watch various events live by using either OTT platforms or broadcasting TV.

Fix Existing Broadcasting Bottlenecks

The broadcasters currently have to resolve a variety of issues to make subscribers access digital content over cellular networks instantly and continuously. The survey commissioned by Nevion suggests that broadcasters have to explore ways to resolve issues related to network performance and reliability to deliver digital content seamlessly. In addition to being ten times faster than 4G LTE, 5G reduces latency to 1 millisecond and guarantees 100% network uptime. 5G will help broadcasters deliver high-quality videos in real-time without focusing on improving network performance and reliability.    

Decline in Demand for Satellite Broadcasting Media

The enhanced performance and reliability of 5G networks will encourage subscribers to access digital content of varying types and formats at their own convenience. The subscribers can even use the next-generation cellular networks to stream HD videos and enjoy 4K streaming without any disruptions. That is why; many broadcasters believe that 5G will boost the demand for OTT services and affect the popularity of satellite broadcasting media, DTT, and DTV in the long run. However, satellite broadcasting media will coexist with OTT platforms in the near future.

Make Subscribers Switch to Connected TV

The new-age subscribers prefer smart TV or connected TV to traditional TV to avail of built-in internet and integrated web 2.0 features. The ultrafast connectivity facilitated with 5G will make more consumers access digital content from popular OTT platforms on the connected TV.

According to the study commissioned by Nevion,

More than one-third of the global broadcasters believed that 5g will go mainstream for Connected TV content by 2023.

The surge in popularity of connected TV will make it essential for broadcasters to implement innovative models to facilitate the distribution of connected TV content.

  Facilitate AR and VR Based Content Streaming

A study conducted by IBM suggests that 55% of consumers are enthusiastic about sports events, music and concerts that include augmented reality (AR) experience. The optimal capacity of 5G will make it easier for broadcasters to make the content streaming experience more immersive using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies.

Unlike 4G, 5G will create many opportunities for content creators to use AR and VR to create digital content that does not exist currently. The broadcasters can combine the potential of 5G and cloud to process the VR content in the cloud. Hence, the end-users can access the VR content without using advanced and expensive devices. Many broadcasters already experiment with ideas to integrate AR and VR viewing options into their streaming platforms.

Enable Advertisers to Serve Real-Time Ads

The enhanced speed and capabilities of 5G will create many new opportunities for advertisers to serve ads. The advertisers will leverage 5G networks to move data in real-time. The real-time data movement will enable them to serve ads to consumers directly and instantly. Also, the advertisers can leverage mobile edge computing to store the promotional content much closer to the consumers. Hence, they can easily influence the purchase decisions by serving highly localized and targeted ads, without incurring expenses related to data transmission and storage. Like broadcasters, advertisers can serve highly-targeted ads by combining 5G, cloud computing, AR and VR.

New Partnerships and Collaborations

The leading OTT platforms already collaborate with telecom operators to facilitate streaming content distribution and delivery. But the subscribers often complain about the quality of video streaming while accessing the videos over 4G networks. 5G will enable subscribers to access a wide variety of streaming content anytime and anywhere. The OTT platforms will form partnerships and collaborate with 5G providers to meet the surge in demand for streaming content. Also, the new partnerships will help the OTT platforms to beat the competition.

The ultrafast speed and ultralow latency delivered by 5G will make most consumers switch from broadcasting TV to OTT platforms and services. But 5G will help digital content creators and distributors to bridge the gap between broadcasting TV and OTT platforms. Many enterprises will explore ways to integrate broadcasting TV and OTT platforms to enable subscribers to access their choice of digital content at their own convenience.

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