Did you know that 50% of Wifi-connected homes in the USA use OTT apps for around 100 minutes per day? Isn’t that a good enough reason to launch Mobile & TV OTT Apps for your business? In this blog, we will educate you on the reasons for adopting OTT apps into your video marketing strategy and how to go about it. So, let’s get started.
What is an OTT App?
Over-the-top applications or OTT apps deliver audio/video-on-demand or live content to your smartphone, tablet, or smart TV using the internet rather than the traditional methods of distribution like satellite or cable or satellite.
Once you download the OTT apps, they can change the way your audience consumes your content. Through OTT content, you can provide customers access to a plethora of content at any given moment.
Top Benefits of OTT Apps
An OTT App offers many benefits to both the video curators and viewers. While the content creators get an opportunity to reach out to the biggest audience base, the viewers get access to thousands of content online, without spending heavily on any traditional TV connection. Let’s walk you through some of the major benefits of OTT apps.
Benefits for Consumers:
The consumers get access to a wide variety of content from multiple genres.
They can watch the videos any time they want, from anywhere. They just need a device that can access the internet and has that app installed in it.
The subscription charge of most OTT apps is comparatively lesser than traditional linear TV subscriptions. But they get a lot of content from these apps. So, it is value for money.
OTT apps support the cord-cutting trend.
Benefits for the Content Creators
The content creators can expand their audience base significantly, as now anyone sitting in any part of the world can access their content.
They can use multiple monetization models for their content, including subscription, pay-per-view, and ad-based video streaming.
The Ad-based streaming can generate an additional revenue source for them, apart from the conventional subscription payments.
They get more freedom to generate all types of content on varied topics.
They can globalize their content by adding subtitles in multiple languages.
Why Should You Launch OTT Apps?
According to an OTT Customer Analytics report, 33% of people sign up for a free trial through an app than on the website. Out of the 33%, two-thirds of the sign-ups eventually convert into paying customers. In fact, these conversions are 72% higher when customers sign up through an app.
So, if you start integrating apps into your OTT offering, you enable your customers to enjoy audio/video content on devices they are most comfortable with.
Here are the Top Reasons why you should Launch your OTT App
1. Apps Ensure Better User Accessibility
Since Millenials are always on the move, they prefer streaming exclusive content anytime, anywhere, and on any device.
By launching your OTT own-branded apps, you allow your subscribers to watch/listen to your content while traveling on a bus, metro, or car on their preferred devices.
Your content simply becomes more accessible to your target audience who are constantly on the move. They just have to open the app, tap on the content, and plug in their headphones.
2. Better Brand Visibility
You increase brand visibility to potential subscribers if you have your branded OTT app in a platform’s app store. Being visible in app stores puts you on the OTT map and makes your brand more discoverable to end-users.
For instance, your end-users can directly access your app on the respective app stores and enjoy streaming if you launch your OTT app for multiple platforms like Android, iOS, Android TV, Roku, and Apple TV.
3. Apps Render a More Personalized Streaming Experience
To deliver a personalized experience to your audience, you have to feed your customers with tailor-made communications based on their locations, interests, behavior, and more. With an OTT app, it is easier to treat end-users with a more personalized experience as compared to websites. Having a White Label OTT platform, allows your end users to set up their preferences based on which customized content gets delivered.
Everything is more fun and interactive in an OTT app- from swiping what content to watch to going through the onboarding process to just tapping on the play button. Customers can control everything with just their fingertips!
Personalization can also be achieved by sending app notifications. Both in-app notifications and push notifications accelerate user engagement with the latter stealing the show with a click-through rate of 40%.
In recent times, multiple devices have started supporting OTT apps. From smartphones to gaming consoles, and from smart TVs to VR headsets, videos can be streamed on multiple devices. But all these devices need separate apps to be created, based on separate guidelines.
Most importantly, these devices operate on different operating systems. Each operating system demands its own OTT app. Some of the most important OTT Apps are given below.
OTT Apps for Smartphones
Till 2021, 44% of the VOD content (that is pre-recorded and released OTT content) was consumed over smartphones. In 2022, this percentage dropped to 37%, but still, it is the major device being used to stream OTT videos. Hence, you just cannot ignore smartphone OTT apps.
Among smartphones, the following are the most popular OS:
Android is the most widely used smartphone OS globally, followed by iOS. In 2023, Android occupied 70.89% of the global smartphone market, while iOS had 28.36% in its favor. Probably that is why, most OTT businesses never fail to launch their apps for these two ecosystems.
OTT Apps for Smart TVs
Though the situation of smartphone OS is fairly simple, the situation for smart TV OS is quite complicated. Currently, there are many smart TV OS being used across the globe, with each OS having its own importance in different parts of the world.
In the Americas (both North and South), Roku OS and Roku Streaming Devices are extremely popular.
In Europe, Apple TV (tvOS) is leading the way, along with some amount of market share in the Americas and Asia too!
Android TV is strongly dominating the South Asian market, though it exists in Europe and America too!
Fire TV is also quite popular in the Asian markets, along with all other parts of the world.
LG TV and Samsung TVs are leading players in the South American market, along with some Asian countries.
OTT Apps for Gaming Consoles
In recent years, popular gaming consoles like Xbox and PlayStation have started supporting OTT apps. Though the percentage of viewers is fairly limited, those targeting younger audiences can definitely build OTT apps for these ecosystems.
Which OTT App Should Be Built First?
The devices used for consuming VOD videos (that is pre-recorded OTT videos) have been shown in the graph given below:
Clearly, smartphone is the winner, followed by smart TVs. And, amongst smartphones, Android is the most popular OS.
Hence, you must start with an Android OTT App. It is easier to develop, as Java and Kotlin, the base languages for any Android App, are fairly popular coding languages. Also, using no-code OTT platforms like Muvi One, you can develop your Android App without writing any code. On top of that, Muvi One delivers your app SDK for testing purposes within just 5 minutes!
After launching the Android App, you should start developing your iOS app, which is the second most popular smartphone OS environment.
After launching both smartphone apps, you should focus on smart TV apps. Smart TVs are the second most widely used devices for streaming. You must start with developing an Android TV app for the global audience, but if you are focussing on the American audience, you must build a Roku TV Channel too!
Finally, you can develop other apps too, like Apple TV App, Fire TV App, LG WebOS, and Samsung Tizen apps.
Essential Features of OTT Apps
Just launching a customized OTT app will not help if you fail to create a stunning user experience for your customers.
Seamless Onboarding Experience
In an age where watching scheduled content on TV is becoming almost obsolete and watching content on demand from OTT apps is gaining traction, a seamless onboarding experience has become a must-have UI/UX feature for OTT apps. Since the video monetization models of most OTT apps are based on monthly subscriptions, the onboarding process should be very simple and easy for enticing users to continue paying for their membership.
Almost all OTT media apps for personalizing their interfaces invest in an AI-based recommendation engine to recommend content based on an individual’s watching history. A tailor-made recommendation feature can be provided by collecting data such as what kind of content is being watched or how long a user watches, what kind of device is being used for watching, etc.
With the proliferation of new devices in the market and the rise of mobility, viewers expect video streaming apps to deliver an accessible and flexible content consumption experience as they swap from one device to another. Therefore, OTT apps should provide multi-device compatibility for maximum customer satisfaction. This will help users to enjoy content whenever they want.
Video previews are a must-have UX/UI feature for OTT apps. Not only does it speed up the navigation process but also aids in deciding what content to watch. Having thumbnails that get expanded as a preview screen is a good idea for retaining engagement.
Many times, it is not possible to connect to the internet. So, many users like to download some content for times when the internet will be available. Using the offline download feature, they can download any content available on the OTT apps, and they play them offline whenever they want.
Content Search and Watchlist
Content Search helps your viewers search for the content they want to watch and find them easily in less time. A watchlist helps them to mark their favorite content that they might want to watch later.
Multiple Payment Gateways
Nowadays, most OTT apps integrate multiple payment gateways like FirstData, Stripe, Paypal Pro, Razorpay, Paypal Express, M-Pesa, Authorize.net, Stripe SCA, Giropay, Sofort, and more! These multiple payment gateways help in accepting global payments with ease, and increase consumer satisfaction too!
Integrated Video Player
A video cannot be played without a video player. But, if your OTT app does not have an integrated video player, then your viewers will face issues. You might have to integrate third-party players later, which will be more time-consuming, expensive, and troublesome.
How to create and launch your own OTT apps?
Now it boils down to the main question of how you create and launch your OTT apps. There are two main options you can choose from.
Assuming you can’t develop these OTT apps yourself, we have listed 2 main options:
Option 1: Hire an app developer
Option 2 (recommended): Get a customized app developed by an OTT platform service provider
Option 1: Hire an app developer
Hiring someone to develop your OTT apps is a good option. However, you should be ready with a healthy budget as it’s going to be expensive.
The app will be built from scratch by a coding professional (or team of professionals) to your exact needs. The process is time and labor-intensive and can take from anything between 6 to 12 months and cost anything between $20,000 to $40,000 per app.
You can even use websites like UpWork or Freelancer to find an affordable developer. They should be able to create a basic OTT app for you to work with without breaking the bank.
However, if you are looking for a fully-featured app with exclusive features, you’d be better off looking for a high-end developer or agency. This could again be quite heavy on your pocket though.
So, if you’re on a budget, we recommend you go for option 2- get a customized app developed by an OTT platform provider.
Opting for this method is an easy option as you get to design and custom build your app according to your needs and preferences without burning a hole in your pocket, that too by professional app developers.
An OTT service provider like Muvi One already has all the custom-made features and offers a lot of services including CDN, Analytics, DRM, and much more.
Option 2: Get a customized app developed by an OTT platform service provider
Nowadays, there are many OTT platform service providers, like Muvi One, that let you develop your own customized OTT app in minutes, without any coding. You get the entire infrastructure built in, so you just need to customize the UI and UX design template for your app. Many service providers will do that for you too!
The apps are delivered in the form of SDK files, that you can easily install and test on your device. If you are satisfied, you can ask the service providers to publish the app for you.
Why choose Muvi One to Build your OTT app?
Muvi One helps you LAUNCH your fully featured, branded native OTT app across all platforms like Android, iOS, Roku, Amazon Fire TV OTT app, Apple TV, Android TV, and XBOX IN JUST ONE DAY! Yes, you heard that right.
Let’s take a look at what our customers have to say about us:
“With Muvi One, you can ask for ‘n’ number of customizations while designing the look and feel of your app.”
Founder, Brandpreneur TV (brandpreneurnetwork.co)
“Working with Muvi One has been an extremely rewarding and fantastic experience for the last two years. Especially building all the capabilities into an app that is customized and suits exactly what is required.”
Founder of XPME TV
Apart from user-friendly CMS, multiple payment gateways, and a completely white-labeled service, we have an excellent customer support team and dedicated account managers who can resolve any queries or technical glitches that you might be facing while launching your app.
Rest assured that your premium content is safe with us. We offer a tamper-proof studio-approved DRM solution through which your content library is protected from unwanted piracy.
Steps To Launch Your OTT Platform Using Muvi One
You can launch your OTT app using Muvi One in just 6 simple steps, as given below:
Step 1 – Sign up with Muvi One. After signing up, log in to your CMS dashboard.
Step 2 – Go to the App Dashboard in the App section of the CMS, and choose the apps that you want to build.
Step 3 – After enabling the apps, fill out the app publishing form.
Step 4 – If you want to customize the design of your app, go to the template marketplace, and choose the template that you like.
Step 5 – Upload the content that you want to stream.
Step 6 – Enable the preferred monetization options and integrate the payment gateways from the “Monetization” section of your CMS.
You are now all set to launch your own OTT app!
Hope we have been able to give you a detailed vision of launching your white-label, customized OTT apps.
In 2021, 75% of customers at Muvi One launched their OTT streaming platforms through apps successfully. You can be the next!
What devices can I launch my app on using Muvi One?
You can launch apps for 16+ OS environments covering different devices like smartphones, PCs, smart TVs, gaming consoles, streaming sticks, and more! Some of the operating systems that we cover include Android, iOS, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku TV, Samsung Tizen, LG WebOS, and more!
Multiple monetization models like subscription, ad-based streaming, pay-per-view, coupons, and vouchers can be used to monetize your OTT app with Muvi One.
Can I track the performance of my OTT app?
You can track the performance of your OTT app using the analytics of Muvi One.
Written by: Sreejata Basu
Sreejata is the Manager for Muvi’s Content Marketing unit. She is a passionate writer with a background in English Literature and music. By week Sreejata spends her time in the corporate world of Muvi, but on weekends she likes to take short hiking trips, watch movies and read interesting travelogues.