The author is Head – Growth at nexGTv
The largely advertising-driven and free subscription-based OTT video market is in a nascent stage in India with a dozen or so players. Major industry heavyweights like Sony, Amazon, Netflix and nexGTv have already conquered the market, while there are numerous smaller contenders waiting to make an impact. This can make the landscape seem extremely complex and competitive for those who are just starting out. But however challenging it may seem, the OTT market can be considered as the largest global media opportunity in decades with significant revenue opportunities.
There is always a space for newcomers in this young and developing market. But that does not mean that they can afford a wait-and-see approach to thriving in the industry. They must also go beyond just aping the established players and be ready to offer something more. So here are the five smart elements of strategizing that can give OTT content players the confidence and authority to prepare for a successful offering:
Define an exceptional content strategy
For any content provider, it is essential to have an intensive and compelling programming strategy as the foundation for an OTT launch. They should be producing shows of all genres, each with a creative vision that can appeal to a specific audience. While some shows may widen their appeal over time, others can find success as popular niche offerings. After all, it is necessary, for your content to deeply connect to a narrower audience than the traditional TV model. Also, it is necessary to ensure that the OTT content is not restricted to a linear schedule or a single device viewing.
Build a business model that has maximum agility
Media businesses have flourished through a combination of free, ad-based subscription and transactional business models. This clearly indicates the need for flexibility in the OTT ecosystem. Netflix, Amazon and many more such bigwigs use innovative consumer models like Ability to stream to connected TVs, Choosing-your-own ad format for an improved user experience, etc. All these help in driving adoption of their multiscreen TV services. Hence, OTT services should totally experiment with a blend of business models.
Strategize a distribution roadmap across platforms and screen sizes
It’s been a decade that video and TV insiders have been predicting the different sizes of screens viewers would regularly watch their preferred content on. While the biggest screen still remains as the traditional TV, the OTT landscape demands attention be paid on three additional screens; Smartphones, Tablets, and PCs. While all types of content is watched on every device, each screen offers the users with a different viewing experience. Thus content owners must map out a comprehensive four-screen distribution strategy to expose their content assets in creative ways. By taking advantage of the particular strengths of each screen, they will be able to provide their OTT brand with an additional spark.
Use marketing tactics of traditional TV to find, nurture, and build your OTT audience
Traditional TV models provide programmers a diverse level of “built-in” audience. However, in the OTT model, viewers are required to be kept engaged by marketing across a wide range of channels and messaging touch points. While digital, mobile and TV platforms can help build awareness, alternative outlets, including e-commerce platforms, social networking platforms, catalogs and other physical channels can also be influential in driving growth for the OTT platforms.
Design, launch and refine your video offering through a comprehensive technology solution
Earlier OTT services used to take years to design, build and launch. It all started with a market-facing team planning a vision for the consumer offering followed by driving product requirements for a solution architect, who defines the functional blocks required to complete an end-to-end platform. For each functional block, there used to be multiple vendors fulfilling specified requirements. So many were the complexities that it became difficult to articulate roadmaps, which resulted in low levels of flexibility and business agility. Thus, in this fast-moving OTT market, media companies must leverage best-in-breed technology and deep industry expertise from established video platform leaders and UX specialists to launch a viable consumer offering and solution together, and update both of them eventually as and when the tide of markets changes.