As audiences clamour to watch video streaming content online so OTT (over the top) streaming seems to be a popular area of activity for many, including media giants such as Sky in the UK, and HBO in the US. Of course not everyone has the huge resources available to these companies but that doesn’t mean you can’t enter the OTT arena.
What you do need is knowledge of what is needed to become an OTT provider. There’s a lot to consider, from content to technology.
Content is key
In a world where more and more people are watching content on an IP enabled device, in 2012 this figure was more than 60% of customers surveyed globally, the revenue possibilities from OTT are huge. The problem is that many major players, such as HBO have access to an extensive library of content, so smaller independent providers have to rise to the challenge of providing useful and audience enticing content that they can obtain at a reasonable cost. Content also has to be updated, as if content remains static potential viewers will lose interest.
- Source: Digitalsmiths survey on 3,177 consumers in the U.S. and Canada
Many OTT providers make the mistake of concentrating on the hardware required to deliver the service and forget that they need to deliver a high quality product to the viewer.
The social media factor
Take one look at Twitter during peak viewing times and you will see that the amount of traffic increases, much of it discussing the latest TV shows. Many shows now benefit from live tweeting with cast members during screening. As an OTT provider you can make use of this tool by having provisions such as the ability to tweet experts during the streaming of sporting events. Social media helps to spread the message about your brand, and engage more viewers.
The benefits of partnerships
One important thing to consider, if you are looking to become an OTT service provider, is that you won’t be able to do it alone. You need someone who can provide a platform on which to provide your service, including all the technical aspects such as encoding, formatting and encryption. Your platform needs to benefit from the insertion of advertising, and from integration with your social media presence. You also need a reliable source of content. Don’t forget this needs to be an ongoing source of relevant content that appeals to the demographic you are hoping to reach.
According to Ovum, by 2017, the global revenue from OTT is expected to top $2 billion. It’s a time consuming and delicate process to become an OTT provider but the financial rewards are potentially huge.