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Looking into the ongoing success of streaming services

Viewing habits are changing. David Prosser examines the new entertainment giants and streaming services that are transforming the traditional TV landscape.

British television viewers of a certain age will recall OTT fondly (or maybe not). An anarchic 1980s late-night version of the popular ITV children’s show Tiswas, it cemented the star status of presenters Chris Tarrant and Lenny Henry, and disrupted conventional thinking about scripted content and the boundaries between TV for kids and adults.

Four decades later, the term OTT (over the top) has become synonymous with disruption in the global broadcasting industry of an altogether greater magnitude. The rapid growth of OTT media services in recent years – particularly their acceleration during the COVID-19 pandemic – has turned business models across broadcasting on their heads. It has also prompted a wave of M&A transactions.