In the age of Netflix and other streaming-video services, content owners need to launch their own on-demand video services to survive. If you’re a content owner with a rich video library, launching your own OTT platform is the best way forward.
You can create your own OTT Service offering On-Demand and Live Streaming Content by choosing from customizable SaaS solutions and launching and managing your apps on the platform of your choice. While choosing the right OTT platform provider, it is essential to choose one that aligns with your business goals in order to penetrate the highly competitive US market.
Let’s explore the components and essential features to launch your own OTT service in the highly competitive global OTT platform market.
Categories of OTT Services
There are two broad categories of premium OTT services, and each category is characterized by a distinct set of audiences.
Mass-Market Platform Category
Mass-market platforms are targeted towards the general public or mainstream audiences. Their content library consists of general Films, TV and other video entertainment. The growing market for online video will further drive competition among premium OTT services, including Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Following suite, major studio broadcasters like HBO and Disney are also diversifying into the subscription market.
A wide range of niche OTT services also gaining traction in the global market are the ones that are offering access to content that is hard to find and are targeted towards specific fan bases and audience segments. These include independent aggregators, sports bodies, right holders, and even studio broadcasters with access to unique libraries of film, content, and other niche offerings.
Things to Consider Before Launching OTT Platform
The idea of building your own over-the-top (OTT) business is a wise decision given the high level of online viewership. Here are some elements that go into a successful blueprint for starting an OTT business.
Define Your Audience
As basic as it may sound, the first crucial step when setting up your own OTT service is to understand your target audience. Please consider factors such as:
- Whom do you want to offer the content?
- What is your audience interested in? What do they dislike?
- When and how do they enjoy the different forms of content
Even if you already own a big content library, it is crucial to research & analyze your target audience.
Content Licensing and Acquisition
Content is the foundation of your business.
To attract viewers and keep them engaged, you must offer high-value content. If you want to source great content for your business, you will have to master some excellent negotiation tactics. You’ll need to be aware of the information you’ve gathered about your target demographic, how to select premium pieces of content that viewers will value, and how to get your hands on exclusive rights for content that drive viewer engagement.
Building an OTT Platform That Meets Market Requirements
When you are building an OTT Platform, you can choose to build it internally by hiring a team of developers, integrating it with a CDN partner and developing it to meet your needs. Alternatively, you can opt for a third-party no-code solution like the one Muvi offers to meet your requirements. Whether you want to create a new platform from scratch or choose a pre-existing market offering, make sure to consider the following talk points.
How to Package Your Content?
To maximize the effectiveness of your video library, you will need a cohesive marketing plan. You have spent a great amount of time creating or sourcing content that is relevant to your target audience. Now all you need to do is bundle your content in an efficient way and also devise a plan for new and emerging content besides looking at promotion and distribution. Thus putting an efficient pricing strategy is a must when starting out a new OTT platform.
How to Price Your Content?
With prices being one of the major factors deciding the growth of your platform, you cannot just expect that any random pricing will yield you the same results as having a strategic approach. We suggest the best way ahead is to do a thorough analysis of the market, including what your competitors are charging and what would be the affordable rates for the demographic you are targeting. Other factors that you also need to consider are Content Acquisition/Licensing Cost, quality of content and types of services offered. The costs should also be in alignment with the monetization/ revenue model you opt for with your platform.
For example, while you may like to have an AVOD model to cover part of the content licensing cost and the remaining can be recovered by having a subscription model or PPV (Pay-per-view)
How to Market Your Platform and Content?
If you wish to scale your platform and build a prominent market presence with a strong brand recall, marketing is the key. A good marketing strategy can ensure that your OTT platform has a successful launch. To position your platform well, make sure you highlight the key differentiator between your platform and your competitors, your brand’s unique proposition (if any), Your Brand Story, etc. Having these elements helps you to resonate with your targeted audience and help grow your subscriber base.
Tech-Stack Behind the Success of OTT Platforms
As more and more people transition from Linear TV to OTT services, broadcast companies too have started to offer OTT services to reduce their churn rate. Have you ever wondered how companies are able to offer seamless streaming with great user experiences on their platforms. The onus goes to the advanced technologies powering the backend of these platforms. When creating your own platform, make sure you include some of the following essential technologies to scale your platform to the heights of Netflix success.
The success of an OTT video platform is greatly influenced by the hosting service it uses. Before launching a new OTT platform, you should consider whether you will self-host or use cloud hosting. Self-hosting requires advanced skills and proper hardware and software for deployment. Cloud hosting is easier to implement, but it requires more upfront investment in hardware and software.
CDNs are the backbone of streaming services and play an essential role in delivering your content to the right audience. Businesses having a global presence, have the requirement to deliver content worldwide. With effective edge servers streaming, OTT organizations have been serving the best quality streaming content 24*7 uninterruptedly. When setting up your own OTT platform, you should choose a CDN that supports multiple streaming services, balancing user loads to reach every geographical audience.
The streaming protocol is the standard method of delivering multimedia over the internet. A video streaming protocol generally sends the chunks of content from one device to another and reassembles this data into playable content on the other end. The output device and the viewer have to support the protocol to get the content delivered.
To stream the content live while launching your OTT platform, you must include multiple streaming protocols for video delivery like real-time streaming protocol (RTSP), real-time protocol (RTP), etc. While RTSP is used to stream live content, RTP transports media data that is negotiated over RTSP.
Video transcoding is pivotal for any type of video streaming. Video transcoding refers to the video processing activity where a video is transformed or reformatted from one format to another new format. Thus, choosing the right encoder ensures that your audiences get offered multiple file formats with compatibility with most players and platforms.
For your OTT channel to reach more subscribers, your host server will need to work across a range of different devices and browsers. There are so many viewers out there using different mobiles, tablets, and PCs with varied operating systems. Your server would have to support cross-platform support for you to gain maximum content engagement. So, be wise and invest in a server that is cross-device and cross-browser compatible for seamless video playback. Popular platforms of choice nowadays are Web, iOS, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, LG WebOS, Samsung Tizen OS and Casting Support for Chromecast, and Apple Airplay.
Core Features to Include in Your OTT Video Platform
An OTT video platform should have a variety of features to help you launch, manage and grow your video-streaming service. Here are some core features you should look for in an OTT streaming solution before choosing one:
Content Management System
As an OTT platform owner, handling and managing a plethora of video files, storing, organizing, sharing, and monetizing them becomes a daily ordeal. Having a Content Management System or CMS is a software application that allows the creation, management, and distribution of content. And without a robust CMS, managing an ever-growing volume of media assets for all channels will become a great challenge.
Right from the time of inception of your platform, if you are able to have good, structured content management, your potential to maximize your operation increases multifold. A CMS can efficiently carry out all the operations related to media asset management systems, document management systems, blogs and portal systems, and many more.
It’s crucial to find the right video CMS for your online video platform as a properly managed and categorized video library will streamline your workflow saving time, effort, and resources. Having the right tools to help you store, organize, and monetize your content will go a long way in creating a stellar customer experience and maximising your profits.
Build and Publish the OTT App
If you are contemplating building the app in-house by hiring developers, let me warn you that this process is time-consuming and involves a hefty pocket pinch. You should instead invest in a third-party agency or streaming platform provider like Muvi to do the job for you.
If you choose to develop an OTT app, you need a platform that can help you build on other platforms without customizing your own. Especially if you’re building an app for multiple device environments or operating systems. Developing all of them from scratch will be a daunting task. Instead, look for a platform that provides ready-to-use templates and options to customize your own version and make it available on all the platforms you want to reach. You’ll save a lot of time and money on developing complicated OTT apps.
Muvi can help you save hours of development time and expenditures. Launch your own OTT app from any stage of development. Consider signing up for our 14-day free trial of Muvi One and in just 5 easy steps, you are ready to launch.
Once you have figured out your technology part, we can move into the monetisation or revenue generation part. To build your own OTT business, you need to generate revenue or returns on your investment by monetizing your content. You can choose between several monetization options such as
- Subscriptions (SVOD)
- Transactional (TVOD) / Pay Per View (PPV)
- Video Advertising (AVOD)
- Crowdfunding & Donation
- PPV Bundles
- Coupon Codes
- Gift cards & Vouchers
Whatever monetization model you opt for, your platform must be agile enough to support it.
For example, if you choose a video ad-supported (AVOD) monetisation model, the platform must support integration with multiple ad servers and ad networks.
By tapping into multiple demographics, and user bases and providing varied choices of offerings, it would be wise to choose a solution that supports multiple monetization models to ensure your business agility as it goes global.
Muvi supports all popular formats of video monetizations from Subscription (SVOD), Transactional (TVOD) or Electronic Sell-Thru (EST), Video Ad-Supported (AVOD) model, crowdfunding, pre-pay videos and coupons or a combination of all!
Analytics and Reports
Keeping a tab on a few metric indicators can help you determine the performance of your OTT platform. Here analytics plays a pivotal role. Some of the key metrics that can help you keep you up in the game are playback time, audience demographics, subscriber count, content performance and other video engagement metrics.
When you are launching your own OTT platform using an enterprise OTT platform solution like Muvi, you can track multiple metrics to help you determine the best way ahead for your platform based on the insights you gather of these metrics.
Managing user accounts for an online video platform is essential for effective platform management and control. The administrator can set up rules for access, create and remove users, update passwords and email addresses, manage offline viewing of videos, view user activity history and more.
Platform Interface and User Engagement
Three important features to consider when developing an app are its look, feel and functionality. Even if you have a fully stocked rich content library, a poorly designed app will lead to unwanted drop-offs and users will not be able to find relevant content. An uncluttered interface, easy navigation, custom recommendations, search options and high streaming quality are some of the basic features that will make your app stand out amongst the rest.
For more details on UX/UI read our blog Essential UX/UI Features for OTT Apps.
Backend IT Infrastructure
The backend IT infrastructure is said to be the foundation of your platform’s interface. Making sure you have a robust IT infrastructure is the key to the success of your OTT platform. Some of the aspects that you should consider are hosting server, CDN, UI/UX customization options, and 24×7 available IT support. Unlike traditional methods of hosting content which require heavy investments in servers and storage, cloud-based hosting is the most reliable way ahead.
Besides these, it is also important to protect your hosted content. Modern-day platform providers offer various enterprise-grade security measures to avoid piracy and safeguard your content from unauthorized persons with digital rights management (DRM), watermarking and other encryption features.
Another key aspect that determines the success of your OTT platform is an efficient CDN for the seamless delivery of your content. When looking to opt for a platform provider, it is best to choose a provider that has a built-in CDN or can integrate with an external CDN easily.
Muvi provides you with a multi-CDN integration strategy through which you can effectively deliver high-quality videos to users across the globe, effortlessly. We can configure multiple CDNs like Akamai, Amazon CloudFront, Cloudflare and the like to deliver lightning-fast videos to your users through intelligent cloud-based routing technology.
When launching your OTT platform, it is important to have a flexible platform that can quickly adapt to changing requirements. The ability to customize and add features quickly is important for added flexibility in using the platform.
Muvi supports complete design customizations, not only for the website but also for the Mobile and TV Apps. So, when you launch your OTT platform with Muvi you can either customize the design yourself or our design team can help you develop a completely new design which aligns with your corporate theme or a concept of your choice. With this customized design, your platform shall stand out as unique.
Security and Anti-Piracy
With security threats constantly evolving into more sophisticated forms, it is essential to choose a solutions provider that offers best-in-class security customized for your infrastructure. Consider features such as video encryption, digital rights management, watermarking etc. when considering a solutions provider.
Muvi’s end-to-end streaming platform has a secure infrastructure that rules out every possibility of breaching content and user data by using a Multi-level Firewall, Studio Approved DRM, Advanced Encryption, and more.
Multiple Device Compatibility
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.
Muvi is multi-device compatible and provides end-users with the ability to swap devices on the go without compromising on the video-watching experience. With Muvi you can launch your Multi-Screen OTT VOD Platform across your Website, Android App, iOS App, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV as well as Smart TVs instantly.
Support entails a response or someone to reach out to at any point in time and process. It is obvious that as OTT businesses see new heights, elements like scaling, upgrading, training and troubleshooting will come to the fore. A service that supports all these nitty gritty’s while providing round-the-clock support via channels most used is a must.
Building a global customizable platform that is scalable and agile may seem like a herculean task at hand. As the demand for video on demand keeps growing, we will see an uprise in the number of businesses joining the OTT bandwagon.
Muvi is an enterprise-grade end-to-end OTT Platform which takes care of all technical aspects enabling users to launch an OTT platform like Netflix, Spotify or Twitch in just a few clicks without the need for any prior knowledge of coding. It is one of the world’s leading platform solutions providers to build your own audio/video fully featured end-to-end OTT streaming service. Muvi helps its users to launch their own customizable streaming website/mobile or TV apps instantly with zero-coding. Having served over 500+ customers across 40+ countries, Muvi has established itself as an innovator in the OTT streaming space that comes equipped with features like an AI recommendation engine, visual designer, in-built CDN etc. Also, our strength lies in our highly flexible architecture that allows almost any customizations you can.
Its built-in multiple monetization options are a special attraction for enterprises who want to monetize their content by opting for its varied content monetization models including PPV, subscriptions, AVoD and crowdfunding. Despite the online video platform being loaded with high-end features, Muvi offers competitive pricing policies.
So, what are you waiting for? Start your free trial today and take the first step towards building your long-awaited OTT platform.