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Christian Media

Christian Streaming Video: Four trends to watch in 2013

The recent licensing deal between Disney and Netflix, coupled with the streaming video ambitions of Amazon.com, Google and Apple, have made this a dynamic year for streaming media.

Smart TVThe number of deals and nonstop technology development leaves no doubt that streaming video has gone mainstream.

That puts the Christian streaming video industry at an exciting crossroads.

Here are four trends for Christian Media organizations to keep an eye on in the coming year.

1. The popularity of online video will continue to soar

Year over year growth is exploding with no expiration date on the trend.

  • IP video traffic will grow another 26% year over year. (Cisco Visual Networking Index)
  • By 2013 online videos will account for nearly 90% of all consumer IP traffic. (Cisco)
  • The number of online video viewers will double by 2016, to 1.5 billion. (Cisco)
  • Mobile data traffic will grow 10-fold between 2011 and 2016, mainly driven by video. (Ericsson Traffic and Market Report)
  • Internet video consumption edged out television watching in 2012 for some groups, according to Nielsen’s Global Survey of Multi-Screen Media Usage.
  • By the end of 2013, over-the-top (OTT) content (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime) is projected to grow to a subscriber base of 380 million. (Informa Telecoms).


The hunger for online videos, the rise of a viable OTT framework, and the ability to deliver Internet-based assets to an expanding variety of network-enabled video devices benefits Christian Streaming Video Platforms because:

1. They can create a variety of online video libraries to reach new audiences with the gospel, launch new business and ministry models, and create new revenue streams.

2. They can collaborate with content partners to help them get more from their content investments with a “three-screen” publishing strategy to include PC, TV, and mobile devices.

3. They can leverage their infrastructure and CDN relationships for a variety of organizations to help them reduce the cost and complexity of managing and delivering video content.

2. Longer-form video content will hit its stride

Well, it turns out viewers ARE consuming longer-form online video content (defined as more than 10 minutes long), due largely to connected TV’s.

  • The percentage of North American households that own connected TV’s will increase by about 40% in 2013. (Parks Associates)
  • Connected TV’s will compromise 70% of all televisions sold by 2016. (IMS Research)


If this trend bodes well for OTT subscription and paid video on demand and streaming services, and it does, then it poses an incredibly sweet opportunity for Christian Platforms.

1. The pay services are bringing increasing amounts of high quality content to connected TV’s and with it a rise in the number of viewers. They are creating a viable business model. Christian broadcasters and content providers – with a deep tradition of cooperation on technology and distribution – can draw upon these experiences.

2. Digital networks and traditional broadcasters can improve their standing by offering content creators free access to these audiences to do the work of the gospel.

3. Online video advertising will no longer be in the realm of “experimental media buys”

2012 is the year online video advertising hit its stride.

  • Ad spending for online video rose 27% (Adap.tv), and the number of ads inserted into videos increased a mind-blowing 68% (Freewheel).
  • The perception of online video among advertisers continues to improve, with 64% of advertisers ranking online video spots as effective as TV ads (Brightroll).


This could truly be an example of build it and they will come.

1. High quality long-form video content delivered with higher quality levels will lead to a larger number of users and create a virtuous cycle where sponsor dollars leads to more content, which in turn attracts more sponsor dollars.

2. Pre-roll and post-roll video can include links directly to the campaign owner. This is a great way to find people searching for God and spiritual growth.

3. Any Christian radio broadcaster or church, using a streaming video network, will be able to approach sponsors already buying TV.

4. A new kind of spiritual work will emerge on social media

This thought provoking infographic delves into Americans’ time spent with social media, and apparently we’re closer than ever to being “always on.”

  • The amount of time the average person spent monthly on social networking more than doubled between 2006 and 2011 – from 2.7 hours to 6.9 hours.
  • More than half of TV viewers are multi-tasking in front of the tube: 61% of viewers surf the Internet while watching TV; 29% use Facebook while in front of the TV.


Just one for now: By taking a cue from online evangelism, social networking provides streaming platforms with the  opportunity to steer casual chit-chat toward meaningful God-chat. We will end with that.