Last year the pandemic hastened the OTT revolution. Veteran players who had already anticipated the popularity of OTT platforms in the near future reaped the benefits of this explosion. The forced to “stay at home” audience embraced the original content that was streamed. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+Hotstar etc., became household names. Even movies planned their release on the OTT platform.
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Online video streaming services became so popular that, today, as we journey through 2021, there are many more OTT services that are gearing to launch their own OTT platforms.Veteran streamers will continue to gain critical recognition and popularity for their diverse content. Now the viewer will have more choice and more unique content to select.
Given below is given a breakdown of the top OTT streaming services that are slated to join the race in 2021.
The launch of Disney+ as an independent OTT service in the month of November 2021 will be a game-changer. About 8 to12% of Netflix’s viewers watch it for its Disney content. With Disney+ the sole holder of all Disney content, it remains to be seen how Netflix will fare vis-à-vis Disney+ in terms of content.
It is also expected to charge a lower subscription fee from its viewers. With Disney’s extensive original content catalogue, and the lowered pricing, the launch of Disney+ is going to create quite a ripple in the OTT genre.
Important shows that are already slated to be streamed are Tom Hiddleston’s Loki series, 2 prequel shows of “Star wars”, “ The Mandalorian” , TV shows like the “Monsters,Inc”, “High School Musical”, comedies like “Turner & Hooch”, “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” etc.
- Stream with Premier Access the same day it’s in theaters
- Virtual movie nights with GroupWatch
- Endless entertainment
- Stream now ordownload and go
- Available on your favorite devices
2. Apple TV+
Expected to arrive this fall, AppleTV+ will be another rival that OTT service providers will have to contend with. But this live streaming platform will not offer licensed content like the other OTT platforms. Viewers will have to either buy them through iTunes or procure them using a terrestrial cable app.
In terms of content, it is all set to feature content acquired from Hollywood biggies and has promised to drop new entertaining and note-worthy content every month. With the kind of star power it is already attracting, AppleTV+ is all set to allure viewers with Steven Spielberg produced “Amazing Stories,” Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon starrer “The Morning Show,” content partnership with Oprah Winfrey etc.
A beta version of the OTT streaming service will also be launched by AT&T’s WarnerMedia in the latter half of 2021. This service is expected to bundle in a host of TV shows and movies from the Cinemax, Warner Bros.,HBO and DC Universe stable. It will also be priced slightly higher than what HBO alone used to cost. Thishike is justified, as the new AT&T service will offerHBO, Cinemax and other additions like DC, Turner, Looney Tunes, CNN etc.While the beta version isnot expected to stream original content, viewers can expect reruns of favourite shows like “The Big bang theory,” “Friends,” “Seinfeld” etc.
4. Amazon expansion beyond Prime
Amazon streams original content on Prime Video. Additionally it recently launched the IMDb Freedive, a VOD service containing limited selection of TV shows and movies. Content will be free and ad-supported.
Amazon is also looking to up its Prime content by procuring streaming rights to quite a few popular ventures. Thus Prime subscribers look forward to watching a smarter “The Lord of the Rings” and several other animated marquee shows like “Fairfax”, “Do Re & Mi,” “Invincible” etc.
- Award-winning movies & TV shows
- Over two million songs, ad free
- Free games and loot with Prime Gaming
- Prime members read FREE
Walmart procured Vudu, an online streaming service,in 2010. Walmart has big plans to stream original content through Vudu this year. This will not be a subscription-based service. Walmart plans to attract more viewers to Vudu by streaming new content. The content line-up will be mostly family-oriented, free and ad-supported. Some movies and series likely to be streamed include “Mr. Mom,” “Friends in Strange Places,” “Turning Point with Randy Jackson” etc.
Comcast debuted in OTT streaming with Flex this year. However, the model it adopted is slightly different. Flex is a hub that allows its internet-only customers to stream or buy movies and shows at a nominal monthly subscription. Thus, users gain access to over 10,000 free movies and shows along with the apps that they have already subscribed.
7. Improved Hulu
Disney merged with 21st Century fox to become a major stakeholder in Hulu. While this will not affect the content being streamed since both focus on different genres, it will open up new opportunities of content production for Hulu in the form of FX and Fox searchlight.
- Price after free trial
- Streaming Library with thousands of TV episodes and movies
- Most new episodes the day after they air
- Access to award-winning Hulu Originals
- Watch on your TV, laptop, phone, or tablet
- Up to 6 user profiles
- Watch on 2 different screens at the same time
- No ads in streaming library
- Download and watch
- Live TV with 65+ top channels. No cable required
- Live TV guide to navigate channels
- Record Live TV with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage
With so many competitors entering the OTT service sector, it remains to be seen how the services will fare. However, the viewer will ultimately benefit from the plethora of original diversified content that will be streamed.