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What is OTT and is it right for your video business?

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Depending on who you ask, TV is either dead or stronger than ever. Polarizing extremes indeed; however, one thing that has changed for sure is how audiences consume video content now. 

The viewership of OTT streaming platforms and other online video platforms is following a constant upward trend. All one needs to access such content is an active internet connection and an OTT-compatible device

With the change to over-the-top or OTT viewing, content creators across industries can maximize their OTT platform features to increase visibility, garner more followers, and earn more revenues.

In this article, we will discuss how you can launch one of the best OTT apps for your video business and when it’s the right time to start one. But first, let’s start with the basics:

Table of Contents :

1. What is OTT?

2. Why you should you launch an OTT service

3. Is OTT right for your video business? Four questions that will help you decide

4. Summing it Up

What is OTT?

You’ve surely heard of Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, right?. You may have probably even spent your weekends binging on your favorite Netflix special or watching a movie on Amazon Prime. If so, then you already know OTT.

OTT stands for Over-The-Top, a term that is primarily used to describe the distribution of film and TV content through the internet, with no subscription needed for traditional cable or satellite pay-TV services.

Any online content provider that delivers content on the web is an OTT streaming service. Streaming services today rule the video content industry with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, being some of the best OTT apps out there.

Why you should launch an OTT service

OTT businesses have changed the face of modern media consumption. Streaming services are becoming increasingly popular today, with more people opting for them over traditional cable TV. A market report by TDG predicts that by 2030, 40% of America’s population will be Cord Cutters, replacing their cable subscriptions with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

Here’s how launching an OTT service can help your business:

1. Expand your revenue

The growth in revenue has been phenomenal in the past few years. Consumers have never been more willing to pay for content. Advertisers are allocating more budgets for ad-based streaming services year-on-year. 

In 2019, consumers are expected to spend a whopping $39 billion on SVOD streaming services to watch premium content. This is an increase of 25%, up from $29 billion in 2018.   

By 2026, the OTT media revenue is expected to reach a whopping $106 billion, more than double the 106 billion generated in 2020.

Ad-based streaming services are experiencing similar growth. Global revenue from AVOD will nearly triple from $21.9 billion in 2018 to $56 billion in 2024. Advertisers are moving their budgets from TV to OTT businesses and this trend is only going to increase in the coming years. 

There are only a few industries that are consistently growing at 25%+ year-on-year.

At the same time, launching your streaming service helps you monetize your content in many ways. You can monetize with ads, offer paid ad-free subscriptions, sell merchandise, or use a combination of these 3 models to monetize your service. 

There has never been a better time to launch your OTT streaming service to maximize your revenue potential. 

2. Expand your audience base

Millions of people watch videos on their mobile phones, desktops, and smart TV devices. Building your own OTT service can help you tap into this huge user-base.

It is a known fact that younger people prefer watching videos on mobile than smart TV. Mobile data traffic has grown 17X in the past 5 years! In fact, half of global video consumption is on mobile devices. 

It is clear that mobile and smart TV devices are here to stay and launching your OTT business across these platforms will help you expand your audience base.

At the same time, Smart TV’s household penetration is projected to grow from 11.5% in 2013 to 32% in 2019.

3. Build a direct relationship with fans

Launching your streaming service will help you know your audience better. 

Ever thought how Netflix recommends personalized videos to each user? Netflix is able to do that because each user has a unique account (if we don’t consider password sharing for a moment!),  which helps them know the user’s tastes and preferences. 

Knowing your audience also helps you create better and relevant content. For example, if you get to know the top 5 videos watched by users in the last 30 days, you can create relevant videos to increase video views and watch-time. 

Since you directly interact with your audience through your apps, you can notify users (through push notifications and emails) whenever you create new content.

Since you have each user’s email, you can send regular marketing emails and ask them to buy merchandise. 

Imagine the kind of interaction you can have with users through your own OTT business which would have never been possible on YouTube/ Television.  

4. Improve overall margins

Margins are much higher when you launch your OTT service since there are no middlemen involved. 

Unlike YouTube, you don’t need to share 45% of your revenue with someone. Unlike traditional TV, you don’t need to share uplinking and downlinking fees, commissions and distribution fees. 

If you go ahead with a SaaS platform like Ventuno to launch your streaming service, you just need to pay a monthly fee and incur CDN costs (based on your consumption). The overall cost for launching and maintaining your  OTT business will be far less than what you will pay if you want to launch on your own. 

So the final question remains:

Is OTT right for your video business?

Four questions that will help you decide:

1. Do you have sufficient content to get started? 

Today, the best OTT apps in the market such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video & Hulu are the industry leaders not just because of their platform features, but also because they have great content available in abundance on their apps.

The most important thing to know about creating an OTT platform is that you should have sufficient content. Because OTT media is a specialized market, having adequate content is necessary for sustainability, profitability, and competency.

The number of videos needed, of course, depends on a lot of factors such as the category of your videos, your monetization strategy, and your user’s interest. 

For example, if you create shelf life videos (videos which can be viewed for years) such as Yoga or comedy videos, creating a few videos a month might be enough to keep your audience happy. But if you have non-shelf life videos such as news videos, you need to create videos every day as the video won’t be relevant after a week. 

On average, ad-based streaming services need to have a lot more videos than subscription-based services. Many niche subscription services create few but high-quality videos every month. 

One more way to determine if you have sufficient content is to see your competitor’s content strategy. You can study 4-5 streaming services in your niche to determine whether to get started now. 

2. Do you have premium content?

Content is king, and that’s why you must ensure that your OTT platform features fresh and interesting content for your users at all times

There are 2 ways content can be premium — – it has to be unique, high-quality or both. 

Why is Netflix spending billions on producing original content every year? It is because their content is unique and high-quality at the same time and people are willing to pay for it. 

Consumers today want to have a choice in their entertainment experience. If you are a content creator who has premium content to offer, creating an OTT platform could be the right decision for you

3. Does your content have demand in the market?

If you create content that is in high demand, then OTT will allow you to stay ahead in competition while still being in control of your content.

For example, Hotstar, a leading streaming service in India, has been used by millions of people since it started off in 2015. Hotstar gained popularity mainly because it had exclusive rights to Cricket content. Cricket has a huge demand in India and Hotstar was able to cater to that demand. 

One of the most important questions you need to answer before creating an OTT platform is- Does your content already have demand in the market? If yes, you should probably start your OTT service. 

4. Do you have a marketing strategy? 

To stay in the market as one of the best OTT apps for video content, you need to have a solid marketing strategy. There is no point in launching an app that can’t get the necessary marketing promotion.

There are many ways you can market your service: 

    •  Paid media (Google Adwords, SEM, radio ads)

    •  Owned media (promoting through your own website, social media accounts, blog)

    •  Earned media (print ads, sponsored blog posts, and online ads)

    •  App Store Optimization

If you can’t leverage multiple online and offline platforms to sell your service, then you should wait before you have a comprehensive strategy to promote your OTT service.

Summing it up

OTT is the future of TV. And so, launching your OTT service is a viable option, provided you do your homework, build a marketing plan, and, more importantly, produce consistent and quality content for your audience base.

Are you a content creator looking to launch your OTT service in the market? We can help! Our SaaS platform helps content creators launch, manage and monetize their OTT streaming service from a single dashboard. You can launch your service for web, mobile (Android, iOS) and connected TV devices (Roku, Amazon FireTV, Android TV, Apple TV, LG TV, and Samsung TV). 

What are your thoughts on this article? reach out to us at if you would like to discuss! 

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