The Code that Streaming Giants Haven’t
Cracked for Out-of-Home Entertainment
Cable and TV, meet streaming content. The big players in streaming grabbed onto the traditional ways we consume content and threw it out the window. From Netflix and Amazon to Disney+ and HBO Max, consumers are trading in dish and cable boxes for Rokus and Amazon Fire Sticks.
While the streaming mega-minds crushed the game for in-home entertainment, they’ve completely missed the mark on an even bigger opportunity – out-of-home entertainment.
Consumers spend 70 percent of waking hours away from home, yet even mobile apps from the largest streaming platforms focus on long-form content that features no social interactive elements. Sure, it might make for an easier train ride, but watching Netflix in a loud, crowded bar is impossible.
What if bars could play clips of sports highlights when the game isn’t on, or play music videos that actually match the music that’s playing? What if, while at the gym or hair salon, there was a TV displaying a constant loop of viral funny videos that consumers could interact with on social media?
Amazon realized brick-and-mortar wasn’t going away, so it bought Whole Foods, allowing it to succeed in both e-commerce and traditional retail. Since 2015, Amazon has made brick-and-mortar a key part of its retail strategy – in addition to Whole Foods, the e-commerce giant has opened bookstores, pop-up shops and checkout-free stores across the country.
The question remains: Can anyone, from major streaming platforms to new players, conquer the market for out-of-home entertainment?
The Variety of Short-Form “Snackable” Content
Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO, Disney and others have mastered long-form content, but they haven’t done anything substantial with short-form content, making it difficult for them to break into digestible in-venue entertainment. While Netflix and Hulu have experimented with some short-form entertainment, the content is either limited, too long, or contains no interactive element for the consumer.
Streaming platforms need to find the sweet spot between long-form content and short-form social entertainment (think TikTok or Snapchat). Companies need to find ways to adhere to every out-of-home consumer. Whether customers are chilling at the bar, waiting in an airport, or working out at a gym, short-form in-venue entertainment along the lines of movie trailers, viral videos, or sports highlights will go a long way to get—and keep—them entertained and enthralled.
Bring it on Home: Consumer Apps and Social Media Elements
No matter where you are, socializing outside your home with other humans is inevitable and (usually) enjoyable! Bars, restaurants, and casinos are all social settings, so why shouldn’t the content playing be social too? Or, for instance: Why not be able to take the party home after the bar?
Connecting social media to in-venue entertainment is key to keeping consumers engaged, so they aren’t just watching music videos or sports highlights but are interacting with them. Consumers seeing their posts on the TV at the bar, or instantly commenting on a music video via an app, is a whole new level of engagement that all venues should be taking advantage of.
To take it further, rather than just watch content at the bar, consumers can use an app to take that content with them anywhere, so they can still experience the venue even when they’re relaxing at home. Tying social media with social settings is the obvious next step for in-venue entertainment.
Localized and Customized Advertising
With tailored short-form content, you get tailored short-form advertising. Most streaming services have a subscription that eliminates advertising or ads tailored to long-form content. When it comes to mixing out-of-home, in-venue ads with short-form content, what’s being advertised should be localized and customizable to the specific venue. A sports bar playing sports highlights will have relevant advertising—and so will an airport, bar, restaurant, hair salon, gym and others.
Targeted ads that are only a few seconds long are effective in generating brand awareness in front of the right demographics, while generating valuable ad revenue to streaming providers.
In sum, these venues aren’t made to host long-form streaming content. Very few people would watch a movie or show playing at the bar, but short-form is “in.” Because if venues start with a short video, customers can continue via mobile app or even at home.
Tailored short-form content is the future of out-of-home entertainment and it starts today.
Jon Niermann is the CEO and Co-Founder of Loop Media, an innovative streaming media company focused on premium short-form video for businesses and consumers.