One of the intriguing stories during the COVID-19 pandemic, is how the virus has in fact actually spurred the growth of certain industries. The Over-the-top (OTT) market is one of them. The current estimation of 2027 is projected to be higher than pre COVID-19 estimates. The COVID-19 outbreak has positive impact on the growth of the global OTT market, due to constantly rising demand for OTT services. This demand is majorly attributed to continuous growth in online communications services, owing to the lockdown imposed, as more numbers of viewers are communicating through various online platforms. Moreover, the consumption of online entertainment platforms is increasing remarkably in the developing economies such as India and China, which is positively impacting the growth of the market. A report from Allied Market Research said that the global pre-COVID OTT market was $121.61 billion in 2019 and it is projected post-COVID-19 to grow from $171.36 billion in 2020, and estimated to reach $1,039.03 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 29.4%. Active tech companies in the markets this week include Versus Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VS), Super League Gaming, (NASDAQ: SLGG), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG), Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT).
The Allied Market report said: "Over-the-top service refers to movies and TV shows that are delivered directly to digital users without the requirement of cable or satellite television subscription. OTT content can be directly downloaded and viewed on user's demand. This type of content includes movies and TV services, and is delivered directly over the internet to connected devices such as PCs, tablets, smartphones, and consoles. Presently, over-the-top services are at a relatively nascent stage, and are widely accepted as a trending technology across the globe. The over-the-top market is projected to witness innovative and advanced transformation, which enable the customers to access everything they want at a single space. Ad-supported VoD platforms is experiencing strong growth in ad revenues, thereby making the advertisement-based revenue model popular amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, five of the major ad-supported streaming platforms such as Hulu, Peacock, Roku, Pluto TV and Tubi, ad revenue reached 31% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2020."
Versus Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VS) BREAKING NEWS: Versus Systems To Allow Prizing in Mexico Starting in Q2 - Adding the Largest Latin American Gaming and TV Subscription Markets Will Significantly Expand the Reach of Versus' Prizing Technology - Versus Systems this week announced that it has added new functionality to its patented Dynamic Regulatory Compliance prizing engine to support uses in Mexico, which is the largest gaming market, and the largest TV subscription market in Latin America. Versus will be partnering with some of its existing content partners to launch in Mexico in Q2 of this year.
By expanding into the Mexican market, Versus will leverage its gaming and second-screen expertise to provide unique prizing solutions for brands and content partners looking to engage with a combined audience of 85 million. According to Statista, user penetration for video games is expected to hit 65.0% by 2025 and household penetration of Pay TV and OTT services is expected to reach 32% in 2020.
"Digital media and entertainment in Mexico is an over twenty billion dollar market and it's growing significantly year over year. The rapidly expanding Mexican gaming, interactive TV, and streaming markets represent tremendous opportunities for content creators and brands that want to add prizing and interactive engagement for their audiences. Adding access to Mexico is a fantastic fit with our multi-year partnerships with Xcite, Frias, HP, and all of our content and brand partners," said Matthew Pierce, Versus Systems' CEO. Read this and more news for Versus Systems at: https://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-vs/
In other industry news: Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) recently announced fourth-quarter 2020 results. "In a year filled with adversity our extraordinary employees were determined to provide connection and joy to our 400 million players around the world," said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. "They accomplished this as well as generating record financial results for our shareholders. Under difficult circumstances, but with the same conviction and focus, they will continue to do so in 2021."
For the year ended December 31, 2020, Activision Blizzard's net revenues presented in accordance with GAAP were $8.09 billion, as compared with $6.49 billion for 2019. GAAP net revenues from digital channels were $6.66 billion. GAAP operating margin was 34%. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $2.82, as compared with $1.95 for 2019. On a non-GAAP basis, Activision Blizzard's operating margin was 39% and earnings per diluted share were $3.21, as compared with $2.31 for 2019.
DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) and UFC(R), the world's premier mixed martial arts organization, recently announced a groundbreaking agreement that marks one of the most significant partnerships in UFC history. DraftKings will become UFC's first-ever "Official Sportsbook and Daily Fantasy Partner" in the United States and Canada. The sports technology and entertainment company will now be able to offer in-game promotions, activations, in-broadcast odds integrations and UFC branding across its daily fantasy and betting products and will possess rights to use official UFC marks and logos. On a weekly basis, DraftKings will also provide fans with free-to-play UFC games as well as enhanced prop bets and other innovative sportsbook opportunities. Ahead of UFC 259 on March 6th, DraftKings has launched a free-to-play UFC pool with $10K in prizing, available for fans to enter and compete nationwide.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) recently announced findings from its first-annual Work Trend Index. Titled "The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work - Are We Ready?" the report uncovers seven hybrid work trends every business leader must know as we enter a new era of work. The report indicates that business leaders should resist the urge to see hybrid work as business as usual. It will require the rethinking of long-held assumptions
"The choices you make today will impact your organization for years to come. It's a moment that requires clear vision and a growth mindset," said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365. "These decisions will impact everything from how you shape culture, to how you attract and retain talent, to how you can better foster collaboration and innovation."
Super League Gaming (NASDAQ: SLGG), a global leader in competitive video gaming and esports entertainment for everyday players, recently announced the continuation of their existing partnership with Topgolf Entertainment Group to broadcast a series of exciting World Golf Tour by Topgolf (WGT) competitive events. These events, streamed live across digital platforms, bring together avid golf fans, celebrities and professional athletes--connecting everyone through their love for the game of golf.
Since the Fall of 2019, Super League has produced the monthly WGT Live Series broadcasts, providing the Topgolf experience to fans no matter where in the world they are located. The live streams, powered by Super League, have seen wide-ranging success and continue to garner a global audience of viewers throughout 107 countries, with 82% of viewers between the ages of 18 and 44. The success of the WGT Live Series has spawned multiple special WGT competitions supported by a wide variety of world class brand partners, with accompanying broadcasts also produced by Super League.
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