If you want to boost the amount of revenue you make, and be a leader amongst the competition, then live content is the way to go with your OTT strategy. There is no doubt that the appetite for live streaming continues to increase, across the globe. Viewers want to be able to connect with their favorite live content wherever they are and whatever they are doing. Provision of live content on OTT enables them to do this.
This need for live content is especially apparent in the arenas of news and sport. During the final quarter of 2015 an incredible 95% of sports coverage was viewed on a live basis. After all, there is much more to be gained from watching big games or breaking news events as they happen.
Why is live streaming good news for OTT?
One thing that you can be sure of, when it comes to the world of OTT, is that competition continues to grow. The only way that you are going to survive in this situation is to give viewers the high quality, premium content they seek. According to a recent survey by researchers MTM, those involved with the OTT industry believe that offering this sort of exclusive content will be one of the main factors in achieving success going forward. Offering live content to viewers should be a vital aspect of any premium package.
This fact is being recognized by OTT providers across the globe. In Brazil, Globo recently became the first provider there to offer live and VOD content as part of its SVOD service. This is the perfect combination as viewers want to be able to watch fresh content live, from any device, as well as being able to go back and re-watch in HD quality. Social media platforms are also recognizing the value of live streaming; people watch three times more live video on Facebook than they do non-live.
Being successful with live video
You can see the benefits to be had from providing live video as part of your OTT content. This type of content generally falls into three categories.
- Unscheduled live events, such as breaking news stories.
- Planned live events, such as sports finals and awards ceremonies.
- Programming such as VOD and simulcasts which is shown in linear format.
Each category requires a high level of dedication, and the use of up to date technology if it is to be successful. Let’s take a look at the aspects you need to consider in order to make live video work for you.
A platform that works
One of the most important factors in making sure that live video works in your OTT content, is making sure that you choose a platform which is cost effective and integrates easily with your existing systems. You need to ensure that the platform is scalable and sustains a high level of availability. In order to make sure that each aspect of providing a live video service is catered for you need to enlist the services of a platform that makes the integration of live and live to VOD content simple. Other points you should look for, when choosing a platform, include:
- The provision of APIs.
- The provision of CMS.
- High quality and dynamic analytics.
- Use of multiple options for monetization of content.
A service to rely on
One point that you cannot compromise on, if you want your live video provision to work for you, is the ability to provide a reliable service, and be flexible in this provision. Live content is not predictable so you need to have a solution in place that enables you to adjust and to scale. You need to be able to keep a close eye on the situation and react appropriately.
Expansion of monetization options
Providing live video as part of your OTT content enables you to expand your options for monetization. There are several monetization models you can use, including advertising, PPV and subscription, or a hybrid of different options. You can also build a VOD archive from your live events so that you can offer packages for viewers to watch content again.
InPlayer is a pioneer in the world of paywall, offering Subscription Management, Entitlement Management, and Payment Management for rights holders, video content owners and aggregators. There are several ways for publishers to access the state of the art technology including as a package or a platform specific solution.
Producers have the ability to use their own merchant account with InPlayer or to use the one on offer, Braintree integration, through which they can accept payment in any currency. Every aspect of the e-commerce solution can be customised to suit individual brands.
InPlayer’s paywall allows you to directly make payments through your video player; set up custom pricing and use its localization and promotional tools.
Automation and control
If you can put in place an automated system that works efficiently this can be high beneficial for you. Of course, you also need to be able to intervene and set up and schedule events quickly and efficiently. Negotiating the broadcasting of several live events can be a minefield if you let it, so you need to be able to manage events across a number of channels, seamlessly and with ease. If you can find an automated process that works well then you do not need the same amount of human expertise to manage and control your content.
If you do not know there is a problem with your live video, then you cannot fix it. This is why it’s so important to have the right analytics in place so that you can monitor exactly what is happening with your content. If you do not have your finger on the pulse then you can end up getting calls from end users complaining about problems before you even know about them; this does not create a great impression.
If you want to successfully provide a live video option as part of your OTT content then you need to have all of these aspects in place, in order to offer a high-quality service and attract and retain viewers.