OTT services are getting the spotlight more than ever across the continents. Be it listening to music & podcasts or watching movies & web series, OTT services are what keep it going. While we all take the advantages of OTT services every now and then, the whole idea behind it is often not clear. Have you ever wondered why OTT platforms have taken over the traditional Television or Radio broadcasting? Or, what’s the reason behind the ever-growing OTT giants like Netflix, Hulu, or Spotify? Well, in this blog you will get all the answers!
What are OTT Services? All You Need to Know
Before I list out the top 5 things to know about OTT, why not start simple? What exactly does OTT mean? Let’s know!
What is OTT?
OTT (Over-the-top) is a means to provide video and audio content such as television and film content, podcasts, web series etc. over the internet as per the requests and requirements of individual customers.
Here ‘Over the Top’ implies that the content provider is serving over the top of the existing internet services. While the TV service providers distribute content via private cable networks, OTT platforms utilize internet services to deliver content.
Some of the top OTT services around the globe are Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, HBO Max, Sling TV etc.
5 Things to Know About OTT Services
Now that you have better idea on OTT, let’s enlighten with more information-
1. OTT Requires Internet
The OTT service providers offer content on their apps, websites or online platforms where the users can log in to get access. In OTT, content is not shared by the traditional distributors like cables, IPTV operators, or broadcasters but over a high-speed internet connection. Generally, 25 Mbps internet speed is required to stream ultra HD videos on OTT apps or websites.
2. Multiple Ways to Access
OTT platforms are well-known because of the multiple ways they offer to the viewers to watch their contents. Smart phones, tablets, laptops, streaming devices or smart TVs- OTT content can be streamed flawlessly on any device based on the subscription plan chosen. For instance, Netflix’s ‘Mobile’ plan lets the viewers stream on their smartphones and tablets, while their ‘Standard’ plan enables the customers to enjoy full HD streaming on any phone, tablet, computer or TV!
3. Flexibility of Bundle Services
Not only OTT services are affordable to let you have multiple subscriptions at the same time, but they also come with the perks of bundle services. As a result, the customers can avail a huge library of content with greater variety. One of the main reasons behind the growing popularity of such bundle services is that viewers get access to the original contents from different OTT platforms at lower prices. According to a recent study by Parks Associates, 61% of the US broadband households are subscribed to two or more OTT services, up from 48% of households a year ago! The Disney bundle of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ is one such example of bundle subscription.
Also Read: What is OTT and How Does it Differ from VOD?
4. OTT services are of Different Types!
OTT services can be divided into two broad categories-
OTT Niche Services
OTT niche services are more focused to cater to the demand of various audience segments. Such OTT services provide more specific and exclusive content of various categories targeted to independent right holders, aggregators, studio broadcasters etc.
OTT Mass Market Services
OTT mass market services are meant for the mainstream audience and mainly include general entertainment and film content. Most of the OTT services such as Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, HBO etc. fall under this category.
5. OTT Platforms have Diverse Audience
Do you know that there is a wide variety in the OTT audience? The OTT viewers include-
OTT Video Viewers
A major part of the OTT audience are OTT video viewers who stream OTT video content like movies, series, TV episodes etc. via OTT apps or websites. Starting from HBO Now to Amazon Prime Video- they have a large base of such customers.
There are many OTT subscribers who prefer to watch on TV sets connected to the internet through built-in internet connectivity such as smart TVs, STB (Set-top Box) devices, or others. Such Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) or Connected TV (CTV) users are a significant part of the OTT audience.
Linear OTT Video Service Users
Such users are subscribed to the service delivering live TV channel bundles over the internet on a monthly basis such as Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV etc. These users are of different categories including-
- Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD)- Users with paid subscription can access streaming video content.
- Transactional based Video-on-Demand (TVOD)- Viewers can watch specific content through the pay-per-view (PPV) purchase model.
- Advertising based Video-on-Demand (AVOD)- Users can stream free-to-watch video content that is monetized through video advertising.
OTT Services: Intriguing Statistics
- The global OTT market is set to reach US $1039.03 billion by 2027
- The OTT app industry tends to grow to US $200 billion by 2024
- More than 51 million US households regularly stream content from an OTT platform
- The global OTT video market will be double in size by 2023
- People spend over 100 minutes on OTT apps every day on an average
- OTT aggregators typically keep about 30% of your revenue!
The Bottom Line
The OTT sector is evolving fast and so are the OTT services owing to the dynamic nature of the audience demand, new trends and other factors. While the main working principle for different OTT services are more or less the same, it is subject to undergo more changes in the near future. And whether you are a OTT service provider or viewer with the goal to open your own OTT platform, staying up-to-date with the present scenario as well as future trends can take you a long way.
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