The 5 things to know about Casting

OTT is no longer a new trend, its a massive force that is transforming the way we consume video content across every screen. The data continues to validate this shift in the industry and every video publisher is having to consider how they will reach the audience in ways that drive consumption and generate economic value. 

Ratio has been building digital video delivery systems for the last decade and we continue to develop and launch experiences within the OTT space to help our publishers take advantage of the new opportunities provided with OTT and maximize results. Casting is an opportunity that we believe can have a significant impact on driving the value of our clients OTT solutions. In this article we will discuss the 5 things you should know about casting. 

Multiscreen interaction.

First, what is casting? 

Casting refers to the delivery of audio, video, or other media types from a users mobile device or PC to a Television or Connected TV device. 

Now, what you should know about casting:

1. You have the ability to choose your experience

There are two primary approaches to casting across iOS, Android and Windows; Mirroring and Streaming. Mirroring takes the display from a sender devices and replicates that on a receiving device, creating a mirrored experience. This can be done via a HDMI cable or using wireless protocols like Miracast or WiDi.

Streaming on the other hand takes specified content from a sender device to display on a receiver device, most often this is media content. OTT devices which support the streaming capability include Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku and FireTV but the main difference between devices is which device is doing the heavy lifting. For devices like Chromecast the sender application hands off a message to the Chromecast receiver application for the streaming of content to be handled outside the sender app. In comparison, when a local “app” is not required for streaming, the burden of connectivity and battery are placed on the users sender device. 

2. The cast of characters are still in their teens

Though Chromecast has branded itself top of mind of streaming devices, with more than 17 million devices sold, they and Amazon’s Fire TV are still relatively new to the game compared to veterans including Apple TV, Roku and various Connected TVs. In the 18 months since Google released Chromecast the market has continued to increase, rounding out a 2014 with roughly 31 million streaming devices sold, and expectations of eclipsing 40 million new devices sold in 2015. In 2014 Apple still led the market with 40.6% market share, but Google was right on their heels for more than 34% sold, followed by Roku and Amazon Fire TV with 13% and 8% respectively. That said, we expect these percentages to change quickly, as Fire TV was the fastest-selling device in Q1 of 2015.

3. Your customers are most likely already there

According to a recent report by Parks Associates Barbara Kraus, “Nearly 50 percent of video content that U.S. Consumers watch on a TV set is non-linear, up from 38 percent in 2010, and it is already the majority for people 18-44.” Streaming media devices have been flying off the shelves since 2007-08 with the release of Apple TV and Roku respectively. More publishers are building custom applications to support the expectations of consumers, and being able to deliver their content when and where users want it. With the recent success of Chromecast and Fire TV, users are expressing acceptance of casting their content from their handset to the TV, rather than the more recent native app approach. 

4. Don’t be afraid to put a toe in the water and measure the temperature

For media and entertainment companies unsure of whether or not to dive head first into the OTT space, supporting casting in your applications can be a great way to measure your customers interaction on the 10ft experience. The platforms provide detailed SDK’s and various levels of investment, which makes low hanging fruit of this implementation. Smart implementation and use of analytics can quickly reveal how consumers are engaging with these apps and your content, providing valuable insight for future planning.

5. If you haven’t enabled it you should

Simply put, unlocking casting for your media streaming devices can deliver an extremely high value to your consumers with minimal effort or support as compared to creating whole new apps. At Ratio, we believe that this will increasingly be a “table stakes” feature for media and entertainment companies, particularly as consumer adoption and device sales continue to skyrocket.  

Thanks for reading the 5 things to know about casting article on the Ratio Blog– I hope you found it informative! If you’ve made it this far, you are probably looking for some more information. Allow me to be helpful.

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