This column is authored by Anita Ayyer , Associate – Content Marketing, Muvi
In a world where there is a plethora of audio streaming as well as video streaming apps, some of the popular ones being Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Spotify, SoundCloud and Apple Music and with the number of mobile devices exceeding the human population and considering the fact that streaming seems to be one of the most preferred activities amongst mobile device users, it is only natural that businesses come to realization about the business potential of OTT streaming services and expand their line of business to offer an OTT platform or find ways and means to create and distribute OTT content.
Let’s examine 10 reasons why an increasing number of businesses are hopping over to OTT.
1) Retain existing customers
Businesses look at expansion into OTT streaming service as a means of holding on to existing customers / subscribers in the face of stiff competition from Pay TV providers, telcos that are providing such services and the big players in the OTT space like Netflix and Spotify.
2) OTT video content can be viewed across several devices/platforms
Shift from Pay TV-centric set-top boxes towards connected / Smart TVs and Google Chromecast-style accessories with increasing number of platform providers are not only offering their video content that is delivered across smart TV’s but also across a multitude of other devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops. Moreover, they are making sure that their content is delivered in a format that is compatible with chromecast style media streaming devices.
3) Distribution of new content
With the increasing demand of online streaming comes the opportunity for any business that wants to venture into the OTT space to create, market and distribute original content that drives new customer experiences across mobile devices, social platforms and new technologies. Businesses must ensure that their content is worth viewing to stand out from the competing OTT providers. So the demand for original content is another reason even social media platforms like Facebook are venturing into creating their own content and delivering it via OTT.
4) Easy monetization
Simplified payment models that OTT platforms offer to cord cutters enable them to opt for either Pay-per-View (PPV), Ad-based Video on Demand (AVOD) or Subscription based Video on Demand (SVOD) payment models. Also, the ability to subscribe / unsubscribe without being bound by any contract unlike a traditional cable TV service is what makes it quite appealing to viewers and hence makes it a viable option for businesses to expand into the realm of OTT TV.
5) Eliminates the need to invest in equipment
The costs incurred by traditional TV services like a set-top-box or a satellite antenna are eliminated with the switch to OTT service since the video-on-demand can be made available on practically almost any screen with the simple installation of the streaming app. Hence OTT will save businesses tons of money since they don’t have to invest in such equipment for streaming.
6) Live Streaming appeals to subscribers
With most of the big players like PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV and Hulu offering live TV and even social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter venturing into live streaming due to the tremendous popularity that it has gained amongst viewers who want to watch live events as part of their subscription, it is no wonder that it is one of the reasons why offering an OTT Live Streaming service makes it an enticing option to attract customers not just for platform owners but also for content owners and distributors.
7) Improved connectivity
With increasing number of telecom operators providing omnipresent uninterrupted connectivity over both fixed and wireless networks, it has resulted in people streaming content from any place, at any time convenient to them. So this control over content in terms of being able to watch at a later time without having to worry about recording videos is a factor that is contributing to the increased preference of OTT over traditional TV and hence businesses can take advantage of high internet speeds and convenience to be able to watch content anywhere and at any time, which aids them to make the switch to or expand to being an OTT service provider.
The entire world is your audience in the case of OTT video-on-demand and even audio streaming service since videos can be watched anywhere in the world simply by logging into the individual account. Similarly, your audience base for listeners of your audio streaming service grows multi-fold. This increases the growth opportunities tremendously in terms of exponential revenue growth which otherwise in the case of a traditional TV or Pay TV service is limited due to geographical limitations.
Video-on-demand content especially original content, the distribution rights to which are solely owned by the platform owners (businesses wanting to start an OTT service) would need to be delivered in a secure manner with DRM protection. So businesses would like to offer secure audio and video content as a part of their own service offering rather than distributing their original content to other distributors or channels which may not be that secure. That way they have higher control in terms of security and preventing unauthorized content access.
10) Great User Experience
Launching an OTT streaming platform that provides a great user experience will make for a more engaged audience which is will set your streaming business apart from the competition and help garner new customers especially millennials and Generation Z users.
Over the last few years, there has been an increasing demand for OTT and VOD. Viewers preferring to watch time-shifted shows on demand and the increased mobile device penetration are some factors that have caused this surge in Streaming services usage.
There may be a saturation point for OTT as a study by eMarketer suggests that 72.1% of US internet users will use OTT video services by 2019. But despite the indicative saturation, there is still a lot of room for growth for many more OTT players to hop on to the OTT segment because it sure as hell seems promising and businesses that are looking to reinvent themselves can no longer ignore the lucrative opportunities that starting an OTT streaming platform could offer.