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Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime – four of the most popular OTT services have now become household names. Over the last decade, the media industry has been forced into a transition. With people demanding better, personalized content that’s easily accessible for lower charges, media houses realized the gravity of the situation and scrambled to create OTT platforms to deliver their content. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated this change and ushered in a brand-new media – OTT. 

What is OTT? Launch an OTT platfom

In fact, according to an Ampere analysis report, the average young American today spends close to 2 hours consuming OTT content every day. American households subscribe to at least 3 OTT platforms, on average. 

This brings us to the question. 

What is OTT? And why is OTT so revolutionary? 

What is OTT? 

The acronym ‘OTT’ itself stands for ‘Over-The-Top.’ This term was initially used in reference to devices that go over a cable box and help users access TV content. This method of content distribution delivers content via the internet and circumvents the need for paying traditional broadcast, cable, and satellite pay-TV providers.

Simply put, OTT enables users to view content anywhere, anytime, on any device, as long as they have a viable internet connection. 

OTT delivery technology puts the power back in the hands of the consumers. Before, they were tied down to the behest of their cable network provider, compelled to watch only a limited number of channels and shows. Users had no control over the content being provided, nor could they access content on any other platform but their TV.

Since OTT delivers content over the internet, it gives the freedom of choice to end consumers. Users can choose what content to consume and when. They also have an array of streaming devices to pick from. From Smart TVs and gaming consoles to smartphones and tablets, OTT enables easy access to content. 

Figure 1: Live IPTV Delivery Environment
Figure 1: Live IPTV Delivery Environment
Figure 2: Live OTT Delivery Environment
Figure 2: Live OTT Delivery Environment

What is an OTT platform? 

With global OTT revenues poised to touch $167 billion by 2025, it has become abundantly clear for companies that OTT is the best way to satisfy modern consumers. An OTT platform allows brands to reach out to their audiences directly over the internet without having to include local cable or satellite TV providers. OTT platforms can be categorized according to the type of content they deliver and their monetization models. 

On the basis of their content, OTT platforms generally fall into the following categories: 

  • News
  • Entertainment
  • Sports
  • Music
  • Movie/Documentary 
  • Gaming 
  • E-learning 

Additionally, they can also be divided based on their preferred monetization models

How to Monetize your own OTT Platform?

4 most popular monetization models for IPTV/ OTT products:

  • AVOD monetization – This model usually works by providing free content along with paid advertisements. YouTube is a great example of AVOD monetization
  • SVOD monetization – This is the most popular model. Subscribers pay to access content over the OTT platform. They can view all the content available on the platform as long as their subscription lasts. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are the top two examples from this category. 
  • TVOD monetization – Also known as pay-per-view, users only pay for the content that they access. It is commonly used to monetize sports matches, songs, and movies. iTunes, Google Movies, and YouTube Movies use this model. 
  • HVOD monetization – When two or more of the above models are combined strategically to create a unique model, it’s termed as Hybrid Video on Demand monetization. YouTube is the perfect example for this category as it combines TVOD, SVOD, and AVOD monetization models on a single platform. 

What are the benefits of an OTT platform? 

Launching custom OTT services can spell out several advantages for companies looking to capitalize on higher viewership, deeper engagement, and greater customer satisfaction. 

5 major advantages of OTT Platform:

  • Control – One of the biggest advantages of OTT is the amount of control that brands can have over every aspect of their content distribution. From content type and quality to user experience, audience, monetization, and data, companies can streamline each aspect according to their needs. 
  • Greater engagement with consumers – Via an OTT platform, companies can directly reach out to their audiences. This develops an open-ended communication channel through which user feedback, reviews, and ratings can be collected immediately. This also gives OTT companies access to an unprecedented amount of user data, enabling them to provide more personalized services and advertisement. 
  • Scalability – A cloud-based OTT solution can be scaled across multiple geographies rapidly. This increases audience reach as well as revenue opportunities. 
  • Monetization – OTT platforms give companies the freedom to choose their own monetization models. Be it advertising-based or subscription-based; companies can finetune their revenue strategies to maximize profits. 
  • Reduced costs and delivery times – Launching an OTT platform via a white-label solution is fast, reliable, and affordable. In fact, it takes no more than a day to create and launch an OTT platform nowadays. 

How to launch an OTT platform

Let’s delve into deciphering the different components of launching a custom OTT platform. 

IPTV Encoding/Transcoding

Since video and audio formats can vary from place to place and platform to platform, it’s necessary to invest in an IPTV encoder that can capture raw feeds from digital and analog inputs and convert them into compatible formats for all OTT devices. 

Multi-DRM Security 

The content produced on the OTT platform needs to be protected from cyber-attacks. This is made possible by investing in DRM (digital rights management) software with rigid encryption protocols. Other security measures include passwords, paywalls, watermarks, and two-factor authentication. 

IPTV Middleware and CMS 

IPTV middleware is the most critical part of OTT infrastructure. Not only does it determine the interface, transmission logic, and control algorithm but it also manages the entire OTT setup, from back-end to front-end. The communication between different programs, platforms, and applications is conducted via the middleware. 

Multi-Screen Devices and Apps

The greater the audience reached, the higher the profits. This simple equation requires the OTT app to be launched in every major app store apart from being compatible with any device. Users also need to be provided with multi-screen streaming.

Content Delivery Network 

An effective CDN service offloads traffic from content servers and helps improve the overall web experience. With lower latency and core traffic, global users will have a much more fulfilling OTT experience. 

Support

Lastly, every OTT platform requires a robust customer support system that does much more than listen. Multi-lingual support that has been adequately trained to help users needs to be deployed to ensure that the consumers remain satisfied with the service. Here at Setplex we have 24/7 customer support, ensuring that we are with you every step of the way.

Conclusion 

OTT is the future. It has taken the world by storm due to its distinct advantages over conventional technologies. But building an OTT platform from scratch can be cumbersome. This is where a solution like Setplex comes in. It’s an end-to-end, scalable, flexible, and affordable OTT/IPTV solution that’s bundled with superior user experience, a dynamic user interface, 24/7 support, and a highly secure platform. 

To learn more about how Setplex can help you quickly launch your custom OTT platform, fill out this form today!


Greg Cox

Greg Cox, Director of Marketing at Setplex, is deeply passionate about Analytics, Conversion Optimization, and Omni-Channel approaches to marketing. He pushes the envelope of what you can do with campaign tracking and insight. He is a strategist, and I give clear direction and a common sense framework for digital improvement. Greg likes to energize and inspire those he works with and for. His passion knows no bounds when it comes to sharing knowledge, and questing for digital insight.

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