OTT Service Providers-What is That and What to Look for?

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. 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

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.

Samsung TV

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.

Gaming Consoles

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:

  1. You need a secure platform for hosting content as well as a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
  2. An effective dashboard should be organized in such a way that allows easy management of the data and content.
  3. 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.

Video CMS

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.

Live Streams

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.

Technical Support

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.

Final Thoughts

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

An Experts Perspective on TV’s Near Future

The TV market is highly dynamic.

As consumer habits and expectations rapidly change, so does technology, effectively changing the consumer’s usage and demands yet again. Up-and-coming additional products and services that utilize this ever-advancing tech disrupt the landscape further.

We observe the technological march of progress race onwards, and the media world transform. Again and again. Entire industries have had to change, and the disruption is likely to continue. If I use the past 10yrs as my basis, my predictions for the next ten would be too moderate. No, I predict the near-future of TV, say by 2030, will have changed as much as we have seen over the past 20-30 years.

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It took 50 years for the TV to become commonplace. Another 30 to expand from a handful of constant channels to more than 500. Then, only 15 years to see streaming VOD content overtake linear television. The way we watch TV, how its monetized, and who produces it has transformed drastically. And it seems as though we are just getting started.

It’s Epidemic!

All of this change has just intensified with the not-so-recent uptake in home life. Shelter in place, as they say. What choice did we have but to live within the lives found on TV? We certainly were not living our own.

So we fueled the fire. Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Hulu, Disney+, and a seemingly unending number of digital channels saw growth. CTV is an industry disruptor, and that’s even when left alone. But then, there was one of the largest captive audiences ever available, all for an extended time. The media industries in every area competitively heated up.

Add in the break-neck pace of technological change, and the landscape rolled like an ocean. It might be too bold to predict the future of television. Or foolish, but as an industry insider of 25 plus years, I’m confident in the following. Pay attention as many of these predictions should be carefully considered by anyone in the video field.

Cable TV, as we knew it, is over. They have no choice but to unbundle their package “deals” as the competition from VOD suppliers essentially allows viewers to pay for only what they watch.

Traditional advertising models are going the way of the dinosaur. Media companies will shift to subscription-supported models while super aggregators will handle advertising.

What’s a Cable Package?

Few industries have had to figure out how to reinvent themselves as severely as the cable TV industry. Traditionally, their delivery model was reasonably straightforward. A featured lineup of popular channels, bundled with many not-so-popular channels, packaged for purchase. The more channels in a package, the higher the purchase price. If a customer wanted a specific channel, they’d have to purchase a bundle that included it. And more often than not, that desired channel was bundled in a higher-priced package. 90% of the remaining channels in the lot would never grace your TV set.

I realize this sounds outrageous to the younger adults who pay for entertainment, but there wasn’t an alternative. Not if you wanted to watch that programming. The logic proposed was that bundling channels gave consumers a combined package that costs less than purchasing each channel separately.

This boat doesn’t float in today’s age. And the cable providers know it. Now they are moving to an a la carte approach using the same technology as their competitors- the internet. Plus, to further boost their revenue, many cable providers are providing internet service. It makes sense, as they already have the infrastructure in place. Cable will soon return to its roots, providing for a niche market of people, just like it began around the 1950s.

Money On TV…

The advertising world seems just as turbulent. In all fairness, the internet is to blame for this. The attainable data through the internet, specifically. The data has provided a significant advantage, enabling ad agencies to pair commercials to ideal target viewers.

Referred to as the Demand Side Platform, or DPS, this resource has empowered agencies to target their ad power directly to the people who would be the most interested in that ad. The market majority is held by Google although I implore you to keep an eye out on The Trading Desk. In addition to these, some platforms like Amazon, maintain their own DPS but this has both advantages and disadvantages.

Now that advertisers can target so well, they have essentially been able to corner the TV market. So what’s a channel to do? In short, build a different model for profits. We already see many of the big cable channels merge and then create subscription services. I propose that the bulk of channels will be supported in this way soon.

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Crystal Clear…

Screen technology. We are going to see significant improvements to an already well-developed product. Whether you are talking about resolution or the technology behind the pixels, it doesn’t matter because, in ten years, both will change drastically.

HDR-capable TVs. Because who doesn’t want more amazing colors? But, to display all those beautiful colors, the screen needs to be 10 times brighter than most of your TVs at home right now. To answer the call, we have some amazing lighting technologies in the pipeline. OLED is capable of the deepest blacks due to each individual pixel being able to turn off completely. But LED systems are wining the HDR race due to their superior brightness.

TV Resolution has been a point of contention from the onset. Growing from a measly 40 lines to our modern standard of 1920 x 1080 pixels. And the growth is not over yet. Ultra HD will soon be the dominant player. On the other hand, growth is not unlimited. There will be a point of diminishing returns. Many even believe that 8k will be the edge of that precipice. Why? Because 8k offers roughly the same resolution as that of our natural eyesight.


Finally, I recognize that VR and 3d films have not taken off the way we might have intended. They have also enjoyed not one, but two introductions. I propose that while visionary, the technology for these inventions we’re not able to support them. Even today can not compare to the abilities we will have in just a few more years.

The improvements do not stop with the tech inside. Just as important to VR’s success is the format. Nobody, no matter how dedicated, is going to spend their 4-6 hours per day of viewing with a bulky headset. Manufacturers recognize this and we will see much lighter, better fitting form factors in the coming years. Better hand and eye-tracking will be included in these designs, as well. I even know of full-body haptic suits that are coming over the horizon.

The Takeaway

There is no way to create an accurate and exhaustive list of future technologies. There are just too many unknown variables. I have presented the ones that I am confident in and that will affect the widest range of people involved in the TV industry.

  • If you are a member of the old guard, that is, someone coming from the linear TV world, you now know the classic TV packages will go extinct. Many have even started their own OTT services.
  • If you work in advertising or the DPS, then there are only a few names to be aware of. Google, The Trading Desk, Amazon, and Roku. The rest have short life spans. Because of this, most channels have started monetizing with subscription services.
  • And if you are a producer you have a couple of things to keep in mind. First off, TVs are becoming crystal clear. Make sure your camera and lighting are spot-on in order to stay competitive. And do not neglect to up your gear to meet the again-changing resolutions. Second, you might consider creating VR or 3D-based content. If you get started early, the competition will be scarce. If you jump on after everyone else, you will be facing an uphill battle.

When the year 2030 arrives, you can tell me how great my fortune-telling powers are (or aren’t). It is going to be exciting and I hope you have walked away with some food for thought. This information is meant to help guide your decisions so you can stay around for the long haul. Your success is my success!

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Garrett Cunningham
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