2015 was certainly a year of disruptive technologies and new business models. Many of last year’s leading trends will continue to drive innovation in 2016, including:

  • Strong consumer adoption of Over-the-Top (OTT) streaming content services
  • New applications developing for businesses and consumers in the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Industries evolving, thanks to a trove of useful insights delivered by telematics
  • Growing demand for subscription and usage based business models and pricing to support new types of connected devices and services

OTT Gained Mainstream Adoption

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In 2015, more consumers than ever before streamed Over-the-Top (OTT) content. There was a huge proliferation of new OTT providers as traditional media companies including HBO, Showtime and Starz launched OTT services to gain a share of a rapidly growing market for transactional video on demand (VOD) providers (iTunes, Google, Amazon VOD) and large subscription streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. It’s predicted that nearly 187 million people will view OTT video in 2016 – about 70% of all internet users.

IoT Gives Rise to “Smart” Everything

For the past two years, it seemed as if nearly every technology article reported on the Internet of Things—its disruptive potential, the growth of “smart” products and the types of futuristic services that would soon be available to consumers and businesses. In 2015, consumers really began to see the IoT at work in their lives, and businesses were better able to gauge interest (and potential profit) in new types of IoT-driven products and services.

Smart Homes: Connected devices in the home have a wide range of applications, from thermostats and lights you can adjust remotely, to appliances that can detect malfunctions and check for fixes with the manufacturer, to smoke detectors and security systems that can summon emergency services (and home owners) immediately.

Smart Cars: Nearly all new model year cars come equipped with passenger WiFi and GPS navigation systems. Other smart car features include sensors that apply brakes to avoid impacts, cars that park themselves and cars that integrate with your smart home. Of course, the not-so-distant future evolution of the smart car is the self-driving car, which might change the way we own and use vehicles entirely, disrupting the auto industry.

Hacking Your Health: Smartwatches and other wearables deliver a range of health and fitness apps, from calorie and activity trackers to heart rate variability and neuroplasticity training. Sensors are embedded into high performance sports clothing and shoes, as well as gym and outdoor equipment. Consumers can easily tailor diet, exercise and supplements based on their individual genetic code, obtaining DNA data from 23andme and interpreting it through cloud apps such as LiveWello to make lifestyle modifications.

Telematics Start to Change Industries

With sensor technology so affordable and internet/mobile connectivity so ubiquitous, it’s easier than ever to collect vast amounts of data in the IoT about the location, performance, usage and status of many products. Translating that data into useful information and then using it to make meaningful improvements is the world of telematics.

In 2015, it became clear the insurance industry would be one of the early beneficiaries of the IoT and telematics. Smart homes and smart cars can deliver access to loads of new information to product manufacturers and insurers. Manufacturers will be able to develop safer vehicles. If given access to information about driving habits, insurance companies can identify safe versus not-so-careful drivers. In the home, more proactive fire and break-in detection can help reduce losses for insurers, keeping premium costs in check.

New Services Increase the Use of New Business Models

Business usage of SaaS, PaaS and XaaS exploded over the past several years. Consumers purchased more mobile apps and video content than ever before. In fact, cloud applications accounted for 83% of all mobile data traffic in 2015.

In order to deliver the innovation that customers demand, service providers have adopted new business models with new ways of delivering solutions and monetizing them, including subscription and usage-based pricing. These models will rapidly evolve in 2016, reinforcing the need for companies to partner with experienced billing platform providers, so they can bring new products and services to market more quickly.