Over-the-top (OTT) broadcasting is quickly becoming one of the most significant developments in the media landscape. It refers to multimedia streaming services that don’t need traditional cable packages or satellite subscriptions, allowing viewers to watch content whenever and wherever they want.
In a nutshell, OTT is the professional name for the streaming industry and is mostly used by those that work in it.
Nowadays, anyone can access an OTT service and watch video content without signing up for a cable subscription. This is because people are cutting the cord at record numbers, and now more people are using OTT services than cable television.
The industry has seen a surge of growth in recent years due to services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. As its growing popularity brings more and more users aboard, there’s often confusion about what OTT is and all the other names it may be referred to by. However, whatever name you need to get used to – OTT cannot be ignored! It’s an integral part of our ever-changing digital landscape that promises many new opportunities for creators and viewers alike.
You don’t need to have a multimillion-dollar budget to take advantage of video streaming. There really is room enough for everybody when it comes to video streaming, as even the most basic devices can now access online video content. Connected TV technology has become commonplace in homes all over America due to its increasing affordability and user-friendly features. With these devices, video streaming services can be easily accessed and enjoyed with the click of a button. As a result, it is easier than ever before to get your slice of the video streaming pie!
Let’s take a comprehensive look at OTT terms and the industry to completely understand what an OTT Service Provider is and what it does.
What is an OTT Service?
OTT services, or over-the-top services, are streaming services that enable users to watch movies and TV shows at their leisure. Rather than relying on cable, these platforms allow viewers access to a wide variety of content through a subscription service, pay-per-view basis, or free and ad supported. Examples of OTT services include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Apple TV+, The Roku Channel, and Pluto TV.
These streaming businesses provide countless hours of entertainment by offering full seasons of television programs, original series, and movies. This type of service is becoming increasingly popular as it provides more flexibility for modern viewers wishing to watch what they want when they want.
What is an OTT Platform?
There is some confusion on this one, with one group saying an OTT Platform is a company like TVStartup, but we disagree. An OTT platform is where OTT apps are offered to be installed, like Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV. Of course, websites and mobile phones are also considered platforms, but in this article, we mostly are refering to connected TVs. We are going to explore most of the OTT platforms below.
Roku is one of the big dogs for OTT platforms, especially in the US regarding connected TVs, with an astounding 70 million active users worldwide, according to their January 2023 press release. Between their OS being on roughly 40% of smart TVs and the amount of Roku sticks, this is just going to continue to grow.
With over 15,000 to 20,000 apps already on Roku, the platform is ripe for your new OTT app. Search functions are highly efficient and optimized, making it more likely that your app will be discovered. Additionally, you can use native ads on their platform to promote your product – just remember to utilize Roku Ads Manager instead of OneView! This way, you can ensure maximum visibility with a high chance of success in bringing awareness about what you have created.
Fire TV stands in a close second to other streaming services due to its 50 million active users worldwide. It offers an impressive array of features allowing users to enjoy an immersive entertainment experience straight from their television, with around 15 thousand apps. You can use ads to promote your app here as well. Making it a great choice for streaming content creators.
Apple TV Box
Apple TV is an OTT solution that has garnered much interest in recent years. It captures around 3% of the connected TV market, granting access to online video content and OTT streaming services. Key features for users include useful functions such as AirPlay mirroring, podcast support, and even gaming through popular console controllers. You can even stream games from your gaming computer with Steamlink. With its broad compatibility and convenient key features, the Apple TV box is quickly becoming a favorite for OTT solutions out there.
The Apple TV Box may be one of the more expensive CTV devices out there, but with its 4k capabilities and all of the ones listed above, it will continue to grow amongst Apple lovers. Unfourntly, there is no way to promote your Apple TV app with Apple’s native ads.
Google and Android TV
These two terms are kind of interchangeable, as Google TV still uses Android TV OS but it’s going to have more personalization features and a fancier interface.
You will find Android TV on Chromecast with Google TV, Nvidia Shield, and many other devices available in Europe, Africa, and India.
In January 2022, Google reported having over 110 million monthly active devices to 9to5Google worldwide on the Android TV OS. The number has likely grown since then. It is unclear how many of those are in the US, but it must be noted that many of those users are located in Europe and Asia, so if you’re looking to develop an OTT app for Android TV, consider your target demographic accordingly.
Most people talk about Roku, but Samsung TVs are also not to be ignored. It uses the Tizen OS that uses a Linux-based open source operating system. Many devices across the world use it, even mobile devices and home appliances.
Samsung claims that over 190 million people worldwide in 197 countries use Tizen OS powered smart TVs. According to Statista, Samsung TVs make up about 30% of the US smart TV market. This means that Samsung could be a potential option for OTT app developers who want to reach US and international audiences.
There may be less competition app-wise on Samsung. Check out their guidelines on having apps on their platform.
One thing worth mentioning is that Samsung has its own ad network. You may be able to promote your app through ads on the Samsung Smart Hub.
Another option is LG; their platform is called WebOS. It is highly popular and available on over 30 million devices. It makes up about 8% of the market share worldwide. It is being used in countries like the US, China, the UK, and many more. LG has even started allowing other smart TV brands to use its platform.
Apps have to be approved by LG before they are allowed onto the platform. But if you manage to get your app approved, it will likely be exposed to a lot of customers because LG TVs are incredibly popular.
As LG continues to integrate cloud gaming into their TVs, they are offering a complimentary 6 month subscription to Geforce Now with select models. WebOS is gaining considerable attention and traction daily, making it one to watch.
As you plan to launch your OTT video streaming services, pay attention to gaming consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation. While they are undoubtedly known for their gaming capabilities, these platforms also provide an excellent opportunity for content delivery.
In 2022, more than 72 million gamers were using their consoles in the US alone. So rather than switching platforms every time they want to access apps, why not install them directly onto the console? This way, gamers can seamlessly transition between gaming and app usage.
Research from 2020 reveals that PlayStation accounts for 6% of, while Xbox comprises 4% of all connected televisions worldwide. With the proper marketing and strategy, you can leverage these gaming consoles to reach a massive user base.
What OTT Platform should I be on?
It can be overwhelming to choose which platforms to launch your app on. If I had to choose one, it would be Roku, but I would advise anyone to start out with as many of them as they possibly can, especially if you already have an audience on social media or other channels. That way, you are everywhere your audience is.
However, you should consider a few factors, such as your budget, the location of your target audience, your marketing strategy, and how easy it is to promote content across those channels.
A good OTT Service Provider can help you get on any of them, submitting your app for approval to each platform. Each one will have its own process. Make sure to consult with an expert or do your research to see which platform is the best for you.
As you plan to build your very own OTT app, you must contemplate what type of channel you wish to be. Are you leaning towards subscription-based video on demand (SVOD), advertisement VOD (AVOD), live feeds, or pay-per-view? You may even want a combination of these options. It is essential to develop a plan for what you have to offer and who it is for.
Once you have chosen the best platform for your app and know what you are going to offer, it’s time to get started. With a good OTT service provider, you can easily launch your very own app across multiple platforms with relative ease. Whether you want to target audiences from around the world or focus on a specific region having an OTT app can open many possibilities.
What Are OTT Service Providers?
OTT providers are companies that host and distribute online live content that is accessed over the web. OTT streaming allows video creators to offer videos to their audiences using platforms such as Roku. People should always distinguish OTT service providers from streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix. An OTT service provider powers these types of apps and websites.
Making your streaming service successful requires numerous pieces to fit together:
- You need a secure platform for hosting content as well as a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
- An effective dashboard should be organized in such a way that allows easy management of the data and content.
- Solutions must also be explored regarding broadcasting live streams.
An OTT Service Provider like TvStartup ensures all these moving parts are in place. It also allows you to include video monetization, equiping you with what you need to succeed.
With an OTT service provider, anyone can launch their channel on connected TVs and more—no need for a coder or the various other techy stuff. Significantly reducing the cost of starting one.
When you choose a provider, these are some things you should look for.
Streaming service owners can manage their videos with ease. OTT providers equip viewers with an effective video content management system (CMS) to store, arrange, and circulate videos on their platforms conveniently.
For online video streaming and video-on-demand services, having a video content management system (CMS) that is highly efficient and dependable is essential. An effective video CMS should be able to link all video content together, allowing operators to easily feed the video content to multiple platforms at the same time, whether it’s on their own website or something like Apple TV. It should also enable operators to easily find and use their videos without worrying about potential technical issues that could slow down the process. Ultimately, having a reliable video CMS is a must-have that any OTT service provider should offer so their clients can get maximum exposure for their video content.
Having the ability to organize your streaming content is one thing. But streaming live on your app with your video-on-demand service can really come in handy especially if you are in a niche-targeted channel.
For those looking for the full OTT streaming experience, having the option to view multiple live streams at once is a must. Outstanding OTT service providers will offer this feature as a viable option. With numerous streams connected simultaneously, your audience has more opportunities to be engaged with your content.
OTT service providers know that when it comes to streaming services, any technical issue is a major inconvenience. To help viewers and their clients get the most reliable experience, they have an extensive staff of experienced professionals on hand to provide support. This team includes coders who are up-to-date with the latest software and can help quickly troubleshoot any issues that arise. They can also provide assistance in optimizing performance so viewers have the best overall experience. People looking for help utilizing their streaming service should be able to rest easy knowing that their OTT service providers will always be there for them when they need it most.
Video Monetization Tools
By 2026, global over-the-top (OTT) sales are projected to hit a staggering $300 billion – more than double the revenue generated in 2021. Video marketing is driving this surge of OTT providers and offers immense potential for those looking to monetize their videos. Through live streaming alone, you have can have access to unique methods of video monetization!
There are more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to monetizing your OTT apps. In-app advertising, subscription services, or even by offering exclusive content. The video monetization tools offered by OTT providers can be used to implement these methods effortlessly. With the right provider, you have access to an ecosystem of solutions that enable you to maximize your profits and grow your streaming service.
When looking for a reliable OTT service provider there are several important factors to consider. Look for features such as a quality Video CMS system, the ability to stream live streams with VOD services, technical support for any issues, and lastly video monetization tools. These features will help ensure you get the most from your streaming experience.
With TvStartup’s suite of solutions, you get access to the most reliable and efficient OTT streaming services available. Get in touch with their team today and watch a demo to see how they can help you achieve your goals for your channel.Brett Langford