3 Rules on How to Plan Your TV Network!


You could start in several places, so where should I start planning my TV channel?

After all, there is much to consider. For the sake of simplicity, I will give you the three main areas of focus. Do not worry. Three is enough. At its foundation, it comes down to these elements; programming strategy, user experience, and effective promotion.

Simple right?

What is essential is that you execute well on all three of these categories. Simultaneously, and as a never-ending process. Your programing strategy is all about the content you provide. User experience is all about how the end-user interacts with your brand. Lastly, effective promotion is all about raising awareness and desire within your viewer base. Potential or otherwise.

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To be clear, this plan will be a living process. Each one supports the others. You will need to execute on all three simultaneously. And doing so will be never-ending. By constantly working on each aspect, you will be ahead of the majority. Even some of the big guys!

What you might find surprising is how many mainstream brands fall short on this simple framework. The best content in the world does not negate a thoughtful user experience. Nor does it make up for no one knowing it exists. Likewise, a pristine-looking channel with never-updated content will not get you very far either.

This framework will give you the groundwork for building a successful Over The Top (OTT) TV business today – and also tomorrow.

You need this if you are building plans for an OTT or internet-based TV channel. Or if you currently have one that is not meeting your expectation.

Your business model is not important, be it free, ad-supported, subscription, or transactional. Nor the size of your company or your content library. The basics outlined here are to enable you to maximize the lifetime value of your audience, regardless.

To prepare, you will analyze the following steps: your types and sources of content. You will have to assess the technical base of the company, and compile a list of end-user devices. Plan your content delivery method, determine how to service your monetization approach, and define the requirements for channel design and layout. Finally, you’ll determine the required statistical data and technical support channels you’ll be utilizing.

What do you need to know to develop a detailed TV Plan?

1. Information about the goals and resources of your project: 

  • What are your goals for the project?
  • Is there any experience with such projects on your team?
  • What equipment do you currently have, if any? What do you still need?
  • How is the existing network organized, if at all?
  • Are your employees trained enough to work within your chosen platform(s)?
  • What is the content and its sources?
  • How many subscribers are expected, and at what stages?
  • How fast will your network grow?

Is an upgrade on existing equipment and network configurations necessary?
What kind of access do you have to the content? That can affect the project perspective, timelines, the type of equipment needed, server capacity, and configuration.

2. List which end-user devices your project utilizes. 

Some components include a Web browser, Roku, Android TV, Apple TV, Mobile and the associated apps (which we can take care of as well), Fire TV, or a Smart TV equipped with your platform of choice. The choice of the device affects the development timelines, final project cost, service quality, and viewer base.

3. Define the delivery goals.

  • Will the service be local or global?
  • In a global case, what CDN provider will be used?
  • Could we offer you our help and expertise?

Your chosen CDN affects the integration process with the platform(s) and the roll-out time so we need to nail these down. If you are interested, we take care of all the CDN issues for our clients. And we have gone to great lengths to ensure that you will never be censored.

4. Select your project monetization methods. Some of these could require additional integration but we can handle them all: 

  • Which payment system(s) will you implement to become profitable?
  • How are you prepared to integrate with content providers?
  • What billing system will you be using?
  • Will you implement any advertising platforms? Which ones?

The monetization method(s) and the technical solutions you choose can affect the timeline and the cost of the project as well. We also handle all of these for our clients, depending on the needs of your selection.

6. Define what elements of corporate identity are needed.

This list of requirements affects the bulk of your promotion and the manner in which end-users will interact with your company. Of course, these affect your project time and cost, as well as, the quality of services for end-users.

7. Determine which user behavior data your system will collect or be interested in obtaining.

The software configuration and system setup time depend on the depth and complexity of statistics. We have many stats built right into the dashboard for our clients and build in further functions will google and other systems.

8. Plan technical support for after your project launch.

After the project is deployed, you’ll need to offer technical support. We assign one of our supervisors to your project to walk you through some implementation. We also offer you the ability to plan regular consultations. Our support should stand as a model for your own.

Ready for the next step in creating your network? Hang out w/ us in a live demo here!

What is the timeline for the planning stage?

I have seen it before. Someone ends up in a state of prolonged paralyzation, usually due to one or two of these questions being open. If you find this is your case, start acting on the areas you have confirmed true to overcome this. You will, in time, find the answers to the unknown variables.

Spend no more time than what is necessary. The time you invest in drawing up a detailed plan will be worth it and as a result, you should provide as much information and answer all relevant questions to your best ability. Just make sure to do so as efficiently as possible. Your OTT channel plan is not the end goal. Your network success is. Strive to move beyond this step as quickly as able.

What A Detailed Plan Will Give You-

A prepared channel project plan will save you time and money. As you launch your video service, it will be your road map. Knowing you are on the right path makes it easier to make the right decisions.

Here is why you need a plan now:

  • A road map This will give you the correct direction to head in with marked main steps for platform deployment and launch;
  • An Equipment List of the necessary equipment and its configuration;
  • A Software List of necessary software components that are required to start the project;
  • Your Budget An estimated budget of the project;
  • Instructions for setting up localization for customers;
  • Instructions for working with statistical and analytical services;
  • Terms of reference for:
    • CDN integration
    • billing and payment systems
    • development of UX/UI, applies to applications
    • registration processes and requirements for your subscribers.

Here is why you need a plan in the future:

A prepared TV Project Plan will help for:

  • The ability to compare the project cost with prices provided by other companies; That said, no one offers more for less than TvStartup!
  • Reduces the cost of the project by delegating this work to those available, without delay and with the least investment of time and money;
  • Work out deployment timelines, prepare the required data, and gather resources.

A detailed project plan will help you to launch your channel.

You will be able to evaluate your needs at every stage. Not to mention your resources, project calculation, and a list of technical specifications for your plan.

That said, there is still a bit of work ahead of you. We will be here every step of the way through. There will be nuance involved in building a successful channel and we cover all of them. The OTT or Over The Top ecosystem is in a constant state of flux or change. Never take short-term risks that will limit your long-term benefits.

Make all your decisions with these elements in mind: Programming strategy, User experience, and Effective promotion. Remember that these are living elements. They are always in motion so your approach to them will need to be as well. Each one supports the other. You can not focus on anyone more than the other and when you change dynamics with one, evaluate the others. Follow this guidance and you will do well.

Ready to take action on your channel plan? Join us in a live demo here!

Garrett Cunningham
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