Business goals related to the launch of an OTT channel may vary from company to company, but there are some things every OTT channel needs. With so many technology providers offering different services, it’s sometimes hard to define those features you shouldn’t have to live without.
Here are the six essentials:
Stability and Reliability
First, and maybe most importantly, any OTT provider should be able to demonstrate a track record of successful launches and long-term stability. While many companies are looking for a reasonably priced platform, sacrificing the stability of an experienced technology provider in exchange for saving a few dollars will greatly increase the likelihood of having to quickly repeat the process of finding a provider, and likely cost more in the long run.
As your needs grow, you should be looking for companies with the infrastructure to grow with you. There’s nothing more frustrating than implementing a technology solution only to realize you quickly need to find a new provider as your audience grows and your needs change. Does your provider have a top-tier CDN solution that will reach your customers across any platform? Can it perform on mobile devices and deliver 4k video to smart TVs? Thinking one step ahead can help you avoid the pain of changing OTT partners.
Evolving Technology Platform
As consumer needs change, our technologies must change. Any modern platform should be ready to adapt to new formats, devices, and codecs, which means that it’s essential to find a vendor that will “future-proof” your channel. Any OTT provider should support the latest codecs, formats, and technologies, but the ideal partner will also be thinking about the future.
Naturally, your subscribers expect a great viewing experience. The right partner doesn’t simply understand the back-end technology – they ALSO understand subtle elements consumers expect. Don’t overlook a well-built recommendation engine, which will help customers discover new content, thus extending watch times and their loyalty.
Flexible Monetization Models
Today’s OTT platforms need to support multiple business models. You may start with an ad-based model, but later shift to subscriptions. Or you may offer both subscriptions and VOD. Look for a partner that has multiple monetization tools available, one that supports “freemium” models, hybrids, rentals, and pay-per-view.
Of course, you want to protect your investment, whether it’s original or licensed content. To keep your content from being pirated or copied, find a partner that has implemented studio-quality DRM (digital rights management). That will give you peace of mind for your own content, while showing potential licensors that their content will be in good hands.
Ultimately, you’re looking for a partner that wants to see you achieve (if not surpass) your business objectives. That kind of partner will make sure that all the elements mentioned above are working for you to help grow your business.