How Are Streaming Services Innovating to Stand Out from The Crowd?

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Streaming services are becoming more and more embedded in our daily lives, but how are industry innovators like QYOU Media, Amazon, Paramount Global and Roku Inc changing to ensure they enjoy a slice of this growth?

Video streaming user penetration is set to hit 15.2% in 2022 and is expected to rise to 20.6% by 2027, according to Statista. But how are media companies evolving to ensure that this translates to growth and profitability? This article examines the issue with reference to Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Paramount Global (NASDAQ: PARA), Roku Inc (NASDAQ: ROKU) and QYOU Media (TSX: QYOU) (OTCQB: QYOUF).

QYOU Media (TSX: QYOU) (OTCQB: QYOUF) operates as a media company, producing and distributing content created by social media influencers, artists and digital content creators on television networks, satellite television, over-the-top media and mobile platforms.

The company also manages influencer marketing campaigns for major film studios and key household brands.

Its most recent earnings, which covered the three-month period ended 31 March, showed revenue grew by an astronomical 2,410% against the same period 12 months prior.

Most recently, the company has officially launched a project called Q Data, which is a companywide initiative leveraging the use of data-driven technology to support and accelerate the accuracy and effectiveness of its advertising and programming.

The hope is that the project will provide actionable information to increase the value of advertising slots and more accurately inform content and programming decision-making across all QYOU Media business units including The Q India, Chtrbox and QYOU USA.

To process the data, QYOU Media has partnered with next-generation data analysis platform, StarLifter, due to its robust yet easy-to-use cloud-based data analysis platform.  The rapidly growing business will be hoping that this collaboration further enhances its offerings on social media apps, as well as on broadcast TV and video on demand platforms.

Indeed, QYOU Media’s channels have already found success so far, with The Q’s flagship Hindi language channel being viewed by an enormous 113 million people per week, according to stats released in April.

Jeff Bezos’ Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is an online retailer that offers a wide range of products. The company products include books, music, computers, electronics and numerous other products. It offers personalized shopping services, web-based credit card payment and direct shipping to customers, while also operating a cloud platform offering.

Amazon’s latest earnings showed that the company achieved net sales of $121.2bn during its second quarter, up from $113.1bn in the same period the prior year. This was powered by an increase in the business’ net service sales from $55.1bn to $65.7bn.

These revenues are gathered from things like the company’s web services, advertising sales and subscriptions to digital content.

Perhaps the company’s most notable digital content offering is Prime Video, which could be about to bring one of the most ambitious shows to audiences in more than 240 countries.

In that arena, Amazon is betting big on its new Lord of the Rings series. The series, which is set for release in September, has reportedly cost the company more than $1bn to produce.

The company appears to be banking on it bringing in a huge number of new subscribers and, given the immense popularity of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies as well as fantasy properties like Game of Thrones, Amazon might well have created the right show to change the streaming landscape.

Paramount Global (NASDAQ: PARA) operates as a media company headed by Robert M. Bakish. The company produces and distributes entertainment content through studios, networks, streaming services, live events and merchandise. The business serves customers worldwide.

The company’s most recent earnings, which were released in early August, saw revenue climb by 19% to $7.8bn. This increase was driven by growth from the company’s direct-to-consumer and filmed entertainment segments, with subscriber numbers growing despite the impact of millions of Russian subscriptions being removed due to the conflict in Ukraine.

The business is creatively pursuing continued growth here and investors have responded well, with Paramount Global’s share price receiving a boost in mid-August after the company landed a deal with Walmart.

Paramount Global is eager to build a streaming service which reflects its name and worldwide expansion looks to be a key part of this strategy.

The company has recently expanded its service to users in the UK and Ireland in what is the offering’s first foray into Europe. There’s more to come too, with upcoming targets including Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and India.

Paramount Global aims to enter each market with a strategy tailored to its specific circumstances, partnering with pre-existing local platforms to offer cut-price or even free initial subscription deals to new members.

Roku Inc (NASDAQ: ROKU), which is helmed by Anthony Wood, designs and manufactures consumer electronic products. The company offers wireless enabled devices that stream audio and video content from the internet to home entertainment systems. The business serves customers globally.

The company’s most recent earnings release, which covers the three months ended 30 June 2022, shows that the business achieved revenue of $764.4m. This is up from $645.1m in the same period 12 months prior and came as the company saw double digit percentage increases in both account numbers and streaming hours.

However, higher costs mean Roku Inc still swung to a net loss of $112.3m from net income of $73.5m in the second quarter of its 2021 financial year.

Additionally, Roku Inc’s share price has been on the slide over recent months after the company’s outlook indicated that it could be affected by lower spending from advertisers.

These concerns about advertising have led the company to innovate and adapt its offering to try and make it more attractive for these kinds of partnerships. Earlier this summer, the business announced a deal with retail giant Walmart which seeks to blend streaming with ecommerce.

In what Roku Inc says is the first partnership of its kind, its viewers will be able to purchase featured products from the supermarket giant directly through the streaming app. The company will be hoping that new techniques like this can counterbalance the impact of lower spending from advertisers.

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