With the exponential global growth of Internet users and advancements in technology like adaptive bitrate streaming, over the top (OTT) video streaming services are quickly gaining momentum. OTT refers to the services where the content is delivered via an Internet connection instead of a traditional cable network. OTT is just a different medium through which video content is delivered to end customers. The growth of the OTT industry is a significant force in the transformation digital ecosystem.
The global OTT services are growing lucrative and are expected to hit $157 billion by 2024. A decade ago, the user base of Netflix has a growth of 12 million paying subscribers, but today it is prosperous with 140 million active users and is expanding every year. Even with the emergence of several OTT services, the growth of Netflix doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
While TV was the most influential channel to build brands, today OTT services are delivering the power of television with the agility of the Internet. From media brands with compelling movies for a targeted audience, the new era of videos offers a promise to the future of streaming.
If you are looking to make your entry in the OTT streaming industry and thinking about how to launch your OTT platform, create a strategy to make your venture successful. Here is an outline of some of the great tactics that give OTT services the authority to deliver successful OTT offerings.
Define a Unique Content Strategy
Good quality content makes the OTT video delivery more effective and powerful. That is why it is important to craft a compelling and unique content strategy as the foundation of your OTT offerings. To create a content strategy that aligns with your business requirements and goals, consider these following questions.
- The genre of OTT content you plan to offer
- When your audience watches your videos and why?
- What is your OTT content delivery aiming to achieve? Will your OTT site function as a live streaming platform as well?
- What is your budget and target production value?
- Are you planning to offer license shows or originals? Will you also offer video on demand content?
Today, most OTT content creators are focusing on creating shows of all types with each one having a creative appeal that suits particular user groups. While some shows grow a diversified audience base, others continue to succeed as niche offerings.
Also, keep in mind that your OTT content strategy need not be constrained to a single or a particular device. Indeed, your OTT content offer must hold the potential to attract users across diverse viewing behaviors and devices.
Choose the Right Business Model
Most OTT businesses have thrived using a combination of ad-based, pay-per-view, and subscription-based business models. The business model’s agility and flexibility are the most critical elements in the OTT ecosystem.
OTT brands need to experiment with a combination of different revenue models to taste success and maximum ROI. For example, YouTube was launched as a free and advertisement-supported business model which later expanded to a pay-per-view, and subscription-based model and finally transforming into a hybrid VOD platform.
Advertising Business Model
If you choose to monetize through advertisements, you are allowing your viewers access to videos for free, but they have to view ads as well along with the videos. In this model, you get revenue from advertisers who pay for the number of ad views. AVOD works best if you are planning to create your OTT platform and want to acquire new users.
However, for this business model to work, you need a broad user base to start generating significant viewers and ad impressions. For example, it best suits OTT platforms with short and valuable content that has a huge audience appeal. If you are choosing a white-label OTT platform to power your business, choose the solution that comes with different monetization strategies.
Subscription Business Model
The subscription business model is the go-to revenue model for OTT services as it brings in steady revenue and has a lock-in effect on viewers. This business model also makes it possible for you to receive your monthly or yearly revenue with no additional costs. Users get attracted to subscriptions as it is not only easy to enroll but also easy to cancel whenever not required.
Pay-per-view or transaction business is the revenue model where you give your viewers access to content on a one-time payment to view each show. The videos can either be rented or downloaded to the devices of your preference based on your requirements.
Users just have to pay a single time fee to view the videos they want with no long term commitments. This type of revenue model works great if you have OTT offerings that are in high demand like sports events, classic movies, live events, etc. that has a short relevance window. Even if the fee involved in this type of business model is small, it can add up to a significant amount when marketed to the right audience.
Hybrid Business Model
The hybrid business model is the best type of revenue model that is designed to maximize content monetization opportunities in your OTT platform. Build your own OTT business based on the hybrid business model by choosing the right blend of two or more revenue models discussed above. For example, you can combine the advertisement business model with a subscription-based or pay-per-view model to target different types of user groups. This also serves as a great business model if you have different business goals as it appeals to multiple user groups.
Design a Distribution Roadmap
For decades, researches are going on to understand how many different devices and screen sizes the audience regularly use to consume OTT content. While the biggest screen of all is the traditional television, you need to choose the additional screens you plan to distribute your OTT content.
Each screen presents the audience with a different digital environment that comes with different viewing aspects. OTT service must expose their video assets in unique ways across various screens to drive loyalty and user engagement to program viewing experiences efficiently.
Here is a small brief of different screen experiences defined.
The TV is the big screen that constitutes the majority of the viewing experiences and still is the largest source of revenue and value in the OTT industry. This traditional TV viewing experience will continue to drive value for OTT offerings.
While TV is the big-screen people use to consume OTT content, smartphone is the first screen most of them use to watch OTT content. It is commonly used to watch long-form content and they generate over 50% of ad views in addition to short videos.
Smartphones are not just beneficial for viewing content; it is also critical to find content and even create it. Social sharing strategies and notifications targeted at mobile devices are some of the best practices globally adopted by most OTT services. One click on the mobile device from your smartphone can cast it to the nearest connected screen.
Portable viewing screens like laptops and tablets is especially beneficial for a lean-back TV-style viewing experience. While using portable screens is great for personalized viewing experiences, it also suits a viewing experience as a group. The main benefit of a portable screen is that it is ideal to find, buy, and share videos along with offering a more relaxed viewing experience than can draw users to premium video content.
PC is the most versatile screen that offers an active user engagement and drives the significant watching experience. Over 40% of all OTT advertisements are watched from desktop computers. Most importantly, this versatile screen is best suited for all content lengths, both short and long.
Adapt TV Marketing Tactics to Build your OTT Audience
An OTT platform must follow several marketing strategies to actively engage users across a range of channels. Look for effective strategies embraced by popular OTT providers. For linear TV, on-air promotion is the most valuable strategy to drive viewership. Many OTT services have successfully leveraged on-air promotion tactics to drive app downloads. Likewise, popular YouTube channels often integrate clickable links inside the videos to cross-promote their website and social channels.
Another effective strategy is the social strategy where you promote your OTT offerings using social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to build buzz and drive traffic and user engagement. Yet another important promotional channel for the OTT platforms is their streaming platforms itself. For example, Netflix offers a unique set of advertising tools directly into their platform which content providers can use to promote their services.
Design, Launch and Refine your OTT Offerings
First, a successful OTT offering needs a clear vision for customer offerings. You need to create a strategy to design, build, and launch your OTT service. If you are looking forward to launching your OTT platform, consider leveraging the best technologies and industry expertise from video platform leaders to ensure OTT success.
OTT video content is a broad and diverse industry, and it defines any media content that is delivered to users by streaming over the web without the involvement of traditional cable providers. In today’s digital world we live in, more users are choosing to watch content over various screens.
No matter what your niche is, content is the king. If your viewers are pleased with what you offer, you have won them to a great extent. Hope this blog has delivered significant insights on OTT streaming and how you can deliver successful OTT offerings to your users. Combining these important aspects, unique content, proactive retention, and global reach can help you to run your OTT platform successfully.