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Analyst: Royal Wedding and FA Cup could be a “last hurrah” for traditional broadcasters

Tomorrow's double-whammy could be the last time millions of viewers tune in to a live, linear event

Tomorrow’s double header of both the Royal Wedding and FA CUP final could be the last time traditional linear broadcasters attract huge audiences according to one analyst.

Jim O’Neill, principal analyst at Ooyala, said the rise of OTT services could mean the UK is unlikely to see two such events attract huge audiences in such a way again.

“How we tune-in has changed considerably since William and Kate tied the knot in 2011, and users have become much more critical of what it is their services have to offer,” said O’Neill. “Live, linear OTT viewing is expected to surpass traditional broadcast TV viewing – as per the Unisphere Research forecast – by 2020, and the UK is unlikely to see two events of such magnitude overlap again before that date”

“Consumer frustration – particularly with the number of streaming services available to viewers – is driving improvements in the overall OTT experience: from streamlined authentication, to better content curation, personalisation, and easier search and discovery. Near-instant start-up, consistent video stream quality and uninterrupted delivery – without any buffering – will be critical to end-user experience and to preventing audiences switching over when it comes to events like the Royal Wedding and FA Cup Final,” continued O’Neill. 

“The ‘Millennial Flu’ means that most people already struggle to watch content for hours at a time so, if broadcasters fail at any of those Quality of Experience factors, they should expect their customers to look to alternatives – namely, those OTT providers that can provide a more seamless viewing experience.

While streaming platforms were initially only popular with the younger generation, according to Ooyala’s latest Video Index Report, three quarters of Baby Boomers now watch online video on their smart phones. OTT platforms are already striving to optimise the TV anywhere experience by experimenting with mobile-specific or vertical video formats that will attract a large audience.