OTT and live streaming services: Past, Present and Future

in Special Issue   Posted on June 3, 2020 

Information for the Special Issue

Submission Deadline: Mon 31 Aug 2020
Journal Impact Factor : 2.224
Journal Name : Telecommunications Policy
Journal Publisher:
Website for the Special Issue:
Journal & Submission Website:

Special Issue Call for Papers:

Background and Motivation

OTT is the abbreviation for “over-the-top” and refers to the distribution of video contents over a public network. With increasing popularity of smart connected devices and internet penetration, the global OTT service market is anticipated to grow from $81.60 billion in 2019 to $156.9 billion by 2024, exhibiting a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 14% (Markets and Markets, 2020). During the forecasted period, video on demand (VOD) services, especially subscription-based video-on-demand (SVoD) services and live steaming content, are expected to grow at the highest rate. In the SVoD market, Netflix remains to be the global market leader with 167 million subscribers worldwide. However, its dominance is estimated to weaken with the recent launch of Disney Plus and the rise of Asian OTT service providers. For example, Korea’s Wavve, China’s Youku and Malaysia’s IFlix are just a few local OTT platforms that can challenge global OTT service providers. With Asia being the next lucrative OTT market, severe competition between local and global players is expected.

The live streaming sector is a growing market with significant potential. From professional live content to user-generated content, the openness and authenticity of live streamed contents are engaging more audiences. Top performing players in the live streaming industry include but not limited to YouTube TV, Facebook Live, Periscope, and Twitch. Live streamed content is also popular in Asia with many audiences who consume live streaming content for entertainment and commercial purposes. For instance, Deloitte prospects China to be the largest live streaming market with more than 500 million users (Carnahan, 2020; Deloitte, 2018). Growth in the live streaming sector has led to the establishment of multi-channel networks (MCNs) that offer profound assistance to live content streamers.

Despite the growing interest in OTT services, emerging literature highlights the need for more research. In the domain of OTT SVoD services, many studies appear to examine the platform’s businesses and its impacts on various areas. For studies related to business strategies, case studies and modelling techniques are adopted to understand the service systems of OTT service providers (i.e., Hallinan & Striphas, 2016; Hiller, 2017). Studies comparing different OTT SVoD service providers and their business strategies provide an understanding of the industry (i.e., Park, 2017; Sanson & Steirer, 2019; Wayne, 2018). In light of global OTT platforms’ entrance into different countries, there are studies comparing local and global service providers to explicate the competitive dynamics between them (i.e., Dwyer et al., 2018; Kim et al., 2016). Recent studies further examine this phenomenon through the conceptual lens of imperialism to investigate the cultural impacts of global service providers (i.e., Fitzgerald, 2019; Lobato, 2018). Besides cultural impacts, OTT services’ influence on telecommunication providers, traditional industries, and users are also topics that continue to be discussed (i.e., Kim et al., 2017; Kim et al., 2019; Sujata et al., 2015).

Live streaming contents and MCNs are recent terminologies and thus the literature is still in its infancy. Many prior studies focus on YouTube and examine why and how live video streaming has become the new alternative to mainstream contents (i.e., Koch et al., 2018; Hu et al., 2017). In addition, studies on live streamers’ self-presentation techniques focus on the monetary profits or streamers’ influences (i.e., Johnson & Woodcock, 2019; Lee et al., 2019; Mardona et al., 2018). With MCNs being a new type of entity created for online streamers, prior literature investigates the evolution and role of MCNs in the live streaming industry although it is still in its early stage of research (i.e., Gardner & Lehnert, 2016; Hou, 2018; Lobato, 2016; Vonderau, 2016).

Objectives and Topics

This special issue aims to provide both theoretical and practical studies on the past, present and future of OTT and live streaming services, and their market and policy implications. Considering the wide scope of the Telecommunications Policy journal, we welcome work on various, multi-disciplinary topics regardless of the types of research methodologies adopted. Below is a list of potential topics, but topics for this special issue are not limited to the following:

  • The OTT market structure and ecosystem;
  • Competitive dynamics between Traditional pay TV platforms and OTT platforms;
  • Impacts of global OTT service providers such as YouTube and Netflix on local broadcasting markets;
  • The rise and prospects of new OTT service providers;
  • The relationships between content providers and OTT service providers;
  • AI (Artificial Intelligence), algorithms, and content strategies by OTT players;
  • Users’ adoption and switching behaviors in OTT service markets;
  • Determinants of the success of VoD contents in OTT platforms;
  • Determinants of user engagement with VoD and live streamed content
  • Factors influencing the success of live streaming channels and contents;
  • New business models for OTT, live streaming contents and MCNs
  • Regulations for OTT and live streaming services;
  • Policy issues related to OTT and live streaming services;
  • Comparative studies at regional and international levels;

Important Dates

  • Paper submission: August 31, 2020
  • Final acceptance: December 31, 2020
  • Publication: June 30, 2021

Submissions Guidelines

Papers should follow the standard guidelines of Telecommunications Policy and they will be selected competitively according to their intrinsic quality. All papers will be subject to a standard refereeing process.

Telecommunications Policy website for on-line submission: Choose Special Issue “OTT and live streaming” as Article Type in the drop down menu. Journal information can be found at: Authors’ guidelines are available at: Only original submissions will be considered, not submitted in parallel elsewhere.

Guest Editors

Prof. Seongcheol Kim (Managing Guest Editor, Korea University)

Prof. Hyunmi Baek (Guest Editor, Korea University)

Prof. Dam Hee Kim (Guest Editor, The University of Arizona)


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