With the rise of OTT streaming, video delivery over the internet has skyrocketed recently. As the trend of OTT is elevating at a rapid pace, “Over the top” has brought substantial changes by creating a significant impact in the world of TV. OTT streaming platforms are a recent alternative to traditional broadcasting networks as more people are choosing cord-cutting.
When compared against satellite TV services that provide very little control, viewers find paying for streaming services convenient and affordable as they gain more convenience and control over the shows and movies they love to watch. But, the power of OTT not just lies in the convenience it offers, but the functionalities it offers as well.
OTT platforms allow users to stream videos on TV, laptops, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, media boxes, and a wide range of other digital devices. OTT services also offer the ability to add user accounts in social platforms that enable strong content and access it from various devices effortlessly. Not just that, the global OTT video revenue is projected to double by 2025.
This trend is influencing most businesses to create OTT services to satisfy the varying interests and needs of modern consumers.
In this blog, we will talk about how to start an OTT business and the power of OTT and how it transforms the way people consume media content.
The advantages of building a custom OTT platform
OTT services allow content creators to reach their viewers directly and engage with them. By creating a uniform brand experience access OTT, your viewers will find your brand familiar and recognizable when they view your content.
These days, modern users have become accustomed to viewing videos wherever they are, whenever they want on the devices of their preferences.
However not just that, there are a lot of other benefits of building custom OTT services.
Enhance brand awareness
OTT videos are great when it comes to enhancing brand awareness, perception, and interest. Over 70% of users indulge in over 3 hours of video every day according to researches. It initiates a chain of brand awareness, understanding, etc. that can help to create a loyal customer base.
Modern OTT solutions help businesses launch OTT Streaming platform that can extend the scale of the platform and consumer engagement to improve the business ROI.
One of the main reasons for OTT video service providers to start their own OTT platform is to monetize their content.
Reduce time and cost
Building your own OTT platform is a cost-effective alternative using a white label solution is a cost-efficient alternative than building a platform from scratch by combining all the essential technologies that may be time consuming and expensive.
Step by step guide to launch your OTT business
In the digital world of OTT streaming, starting your own OTT business can be a lucrative opportunity if you have the right content. Here is a step-by-step guide to launching your OTT service.
Choosing a desirable niche
If you are looking for how to start an OTT business, it is recommended to start by choosing a niche that is in high demand. Besides entertainment, eSports, fitness, lifestyle, eLearning, etc. are some of the most popular OTT streaming niches that are in high demand today. Building a dedicated OTT streaming service on any of these niches can easily help you earn a good volume of paid subscribers.
Choose your business model
Choosing your business model is essential for OTT video monetization. The business model of your OTT services is the most significant aspect that determines the success of your streaming service. Here are 2 types of OTT models.
In transactional mode, users can sign up to the OTT platform for free but they must pay to access the content. This model is usually in the form of a pay-per-view. With a one-time payment, users can own or download a piece of video. iTunes is one of the popular streaming services that functions based on this model.
THE subscription OTT business model refers to the type of video services offered to the audience for a fixed subscription fee. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. are some of the popular OTT services working based on the subscription business model.
Advertisement business model
AVOD is one of the most common OTT business models for OTT video monetization. For OTT content providers, advertisements can be a profitable source of income. However, attaching a large viewership is important for making a significant amount of revenue from advertisements. If implemented the right way, advertisements can be quite effective when you have a large audience base.
Another popular business model is the combination of transactional, subscription, and advertisement models in any different pattern. Selecting a hybrid monetization model helps you to make money from your content and at the same time by satisfying the interests of the audience with varied interests.
When building an OTT website, there will be a category of viewers who want to access your videos free, some might want to gain unlimited access to your video library, and there would be another category of users who would like to just pay for the content they want to view. Adopting a hybrid business model is ideal where you want to target a wide user base and generate more revenue from your content in several ways which is helpful for your OTT business from an ROI perspective.
Live and on-demand video monetization
With an OTT platform, it is possible to monetize both on demand and live videos as well. OTT is mostly related to on demand content where the content is delivered to the audience based on their convenience and preferences.
Creating your OTT Streaming platform
Once you have an idea of the business model you are going to follow; the next step is to create your OTT Platform. Your OTT website will help you to:
- Improve trust with potential users
- Refer your marketing materials to a single site
- Rank in search engines
- Collect email information and grow a mailing list
- Accept payments
Additionally, it gives your users a website to access if they don’t have access to apps on a different device. Your website must be designed in your own brand which will help you keep your brand standard across all devices and platforms.
Building content for your OTT site
When you are sure about the audience you are going to serve, you can easily plan your content. To go with an efficient content building plan, get clear on what types of content you want to build to involve your viewers in your niche. Define clearly what your viewers can await when they tune in into your OTT service.
There are certain significant things you need to consider before beginning with building the content for your OTT platform.
- The overall length of your OTT content
- Do you plan to release your OTT content as a one-one episode or a series?
- Do you decide to create your own content or acquire it from content providers?
If you are planning to acquire content from different sources, content marketplaces make the best bet to acquire licensed content from authentic content providers.
Licensing the content
To make your audience satisfied with a wide range of popular shows and movies, you might have to acquire content from production houses, movie makers, or independent content creators. If you are planning to get content for your OTT streaming service from elsewhere, you need to get permission or license from original content creators or providers to stream it on your platform.
The type of content license you need to get might depend on the type of content and its popularity. If you plan to start an OTT business and acquire content to power your service, a licensing agreement is important under which the terms of a legal contract between you and the content owners will be clearly defined.
Unauthorized use of copyright content will result in copyright infringement and can lead to severe legal challenges. When calculating the overall cost to build your OTT service, the licensing cost is one of the aspects to consider.
Acquiring videos for your OTT services requires frequent communications with content owners to get and upload interesting OTT videos. When planning to create a large scale OTT service, acquiring content might not be easy as most media companies might already have sold their license to other OTT services. In that scenario, it is recommended to look out for small media companies looking to distribute OTT content online.
To acquire a license for your OTT service, there are 2 different ways.
- Acquire the license by contacting the copyright owner directly.
- Rent the TV shows or movies from authorized distributors.
Another easy way to avoid the hassle of content licensing is to start producing your own OTT content. However, creating original programs comes with its own challenges like high expenses, time-consuming process, and a lot of effort that goes into production and setting up the unit.
Important features an OTT streaming platform requires?
When formulating an OTT business plan, an important thing to consider is the important features and functionalities. While your OTT service is unique with its own needs and objectives, most OTT features are common to all OTT platforms.
Here is a list of basic and advanced features for viewers, content creators, and finally the admin.
Registration and sign in
To allow your users to access your OTT website, they must first create an account on your website and login to it. Allow your users to register and login to the OTT platform using email, phone number, or social logins.
User profiles are another important feature which is nothing but a virtual dashboard that allows users to navigate through the platform and gain significant insights. Allow your users to create multiple profiles and manage content.
Best user interface and experience
UI and UX are 2 important aspects of any OTT website. When building an OTT platform, ensure that you personalize your website to deliver a great watching experience to your viewers.
A search option is a must-have feature of an OTT website. It must be designed in a way it is visible for different age groups. Also, try including as many genres in the drop-down menu to satisfy the viewing interests of your audience.
The watch list functionality is a feature that all users would look for in your OTT platform. This is where the users can add the videos that like to view later.
To increase the engagement of users in your OT site, integrate the screen mirroring feature so that your users can access the platform on screens other than smartphones like desktop, laptop, TV, etc.
In-app purchases and payment integration
The in-app feature is another important feature you must consider integrating to allow your users to purchase certain features or products without leaving the app. To facilitate this, you need to integrate secure payment gateways in your OTT platform so that your users can enjoy seamless money transfer within the app.
A video player is essential to deliver the best watching experience to your viewers. Integrate the features of analytics and reporting to your video player to get important insights into your performance of your content.
Creating video and managing them
To make it easy for content creators to put their content, it is important to add this future. Ensure video library management is easy and effortless for content creators. Make it easy for content creators to create, upload, organize videos, and alter the details whenever required.
Promotions and discount coupons
Generate promotions and discount coupons in a timely fashion to offer exciting discounts to your audience.
Add strong analytics features and tools to gauge the performance and engagement of users on your OTT platform.
An efficient admin panel is another important feature for moderating user-generated content, managing payments, controlling advanced analytics, etc.
A multi-lingual support system allows you to offer the best user experience by allowing users to view the OTT platform in the language of their choice.
Choose an OTT video service provider that allows integrating notification system to generate alerts to notify your customers about new video arrivals or sending custom notifications.
iOS and Android apps
In addition to the OTT website, creating iOS and Android apps with your own branding allows users to enjoy accessing the OTT content conveniently while enjoying features like offline streaming.
Choosing a development method
If you are looking to find out how to start an OTT business, you need to choose the development method to create a successful OTT business.
To launch your OTT service, you have the choice to develop it from scratch or leverage a white label solution which is an affordable and convenient approach.
It is recommended to get a fully customized OTT platform that can be personalized according to your business requirements and objectives.
Here are some of the real advantages of choosing a white label solution to develop your OTT platform.
With a white label solution, you can create a successful and distinctive OTT site by personalizing the streaming players, hosting service, encryption, monetization options, and other features.
With a one-time license fee, you get complete control over the OTT Platform. From developing fully functional content library and monetization strategies to social logins, most features can be tailored according to your needs that too for an affordable price tag,
Different monition channels
White label solutions feature a different combination of revenue options to maximize revenue and satisfy the requirements of different types of users.
With a white label solution, you can choose the hosting solution of your choice and choose where to host your OTT content.
Find your target audience
With your niche content, OTT platforms, and apps in place, the next step is to find your target audience. Marketing your audience also will come down to your audience. To find your audience, do thorough market research. Here are some of the tips to help you get started finding your audience.
Build a mailing list
Though one of the oldest marketing tools, email is still the best way to get in touch with your potential customers. Give users the options to join your newsletter on all your web pages. Then, alert your users when your new products or videos go live.
Use social media
As social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are mainly focused on video content now, you can successfully use social platforms to find your audience. Leverage trailers, teasers, or any marketing style content to reach over thousands of new users daily.
Being a video streaming giant, YouTube can be a great source of the traffic to your videos and your site. As YouTube is focused only on videos, you will get a targeted audience through the streaming site.
Once your OTT platform is all set to be launched, prepare a marketing strategy, and focus all your efforts on promoting and branding your business. Keep a track of your monthly performance as well as subscriber stats to determine the success of your streaming business accordingly.
Once you have the right strategies in place, you gain the potential to reach a larger audience who actively searches for OTT services like yours. With the right business model, you can make a hefty amount of revenue from it as well. OTT video platforms have become a part of our lives today and it makes a lucrative business idea.