A Look Ahead to 2020
2019 has been a breakthrough year for video content in Asia, with OTT content coming into its own with rapidly increasing broadband penetration, and audiences demanding top quality viewing experience. How will these emerging trends pan out in 2020, especially with the emergence of 5G?
2019 has been a landmark year for the video industry — it is the year in which South Korea’s New Year’s Day video was broadcast in 5G for the first time  and 32% of Americans found their newest favourite show on Netflix,  both for the first time.
Also this year, The Walt Disney Company debuted its subscription video-on-demand (VoD) service, Disney+, while YouTube launched its Premium business in Asian markets. These forays of industry giants into subscription-based VoD services signal the supremacy of over-the-top (OTT) mode of video content consumption over traditional methods, and are a sign of things to come.
Bridging Connectivity Gaps
A trend fueling the rise of OTT video, particularly in Asia, is increased broadband connectivity — both fixed-line and mobile. Analysts predict that while fixed-broadband connectivity will continue to increase modestly in Asia, it is in the mobile arena that Asia will see significant connectivity gains and leapfrog other, more mature markets .
A Surge in Mobile Video Advertising
2020 is when mobile video advertising is set to come into its own, as Asians on average spend twice as much time on mobile internet compared to consumers in the UK . This year, the advertising spend on digital platforms overtook spend on traditional marketing channels for the first time in Asia, though traditional TV will still be a major source of revenue for advertisers.
In the Philippines, for example, the national USD 2 billion video advertising business was dominated by TV , with free-to-air platforms, cable and satellite TV accounting for 95% of the country’s video advertising money.
Changes in Consumption Patterns
In the US, 33 million consumers canceled their cable TV subscriptions this year, , while OTT advertising revenues are set to double to nearly USD 5 billion in just two years by 2020 . While these shifts are likely to be less drastic in the developing parts of Asia, the trends are clear globally — consumers across the world prefer to watch video at a time of their choosing, on a device of their choice and without having to be glued a couch in front of a TV set.
The Rise of 5G
5G will revolutionise video in terms of resolution as well as consumer experience, with embedded media and rich, immersive experiences becoming a reality. A staggering 90% of 5G data use will be dedicated to video content , prompting both telecom and media companies to ready themselves for the 5G revolution.
Asia is set to take the lead in many aspects of 5G, and many remote and underserved parts of Asia will benefit from mobile-satellite integration, demonstrated by SES last year . 5G will allow for unprecedented bandwidth, low latency and ubiquitous connectivity, leading to an explosion of mobile streaming video, especially when it comes to real-time events being viewed on a mobile device.
Ultra HD and 4K Video
As connectivity broadens in reach and in throughput, device modernisation is also taking place, and broadcasters are readying themselves for the Ultra HD era. This year, Singapore’s leading broadcaster Mediacorp delivered a live telecast of the country’s National Day Parade in 4K resolution on its OTT platform Toggle, marking the first live content delivery in Ultra High Definition (UHD) in Singapore .
Samsung is preparing itself with the launch of 8K TV sets, while Japan’s national broadcaster NHK have started running 4K and 8K programming .
2020: A Year of Changes
2019 already witnessed some consolidation in the OTT markets in Asia; as 2020 approaches, Asian audiences can expect further consolidation, but also a greater variety of content to cater to local preferences in the fight for eyeballs.
2020 could be the year Asia’s broadcasters truly embrace high-end TV programming, keeping themselves relevant in the face of stiff competition from OTT specialists. However, traditional TV will still maintain its supremacy, especially in the emerging markets of Asia. 93% of Filipinos favor TV over other mediums, and satellite TV, in particular, is set to be a rapidly growing segment of the pay-TV market .
The world is getting smaller with the proliferation of content, services and platforms across regions and geographies, and mobile connectivity in Asia — aided by the potential mass adoption of 5G — will lead the way in enabling rich content delivery to the billions in the region. 2020 is set to be an exciting year for video producers, broadcasters, and consumers.
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