Are you looking for a Video/Audio streaming platform and in quest of the same landing on super attractive landing pages of streaming service providers filled with tricky jargons? Forget shortlisting one OTT platform, you wonder how you gonna understand the OTT terminologies first. So, is that you?
Well, then just take a deep breath and just know that you are not the only one scratching head and facing the trouble here.
Therefore, we thought why not make you understand the meaning of those terms and what they exactly get used for? Trust us, although seems a lot more technical, their applications are more or less either you know or just coming across every day but never thought it was called by that name. Yes, it’s that interesting! So, here you go, all OTT jargons in layman’s terms. Bye-bye hardship.
First, we will start with the General Terms:
- OTT – In broadcasting, Over-The-Top content (OTT) is the delivery of audio, video, and other media over the Internet without the involvement of a multiple-system operator in the control or distribution of the content.
In simple words, when you are playing any movie or any audio content by tapping on your audio or video streaming app on your smartphone like Amazon Prime Video or Netflix, using the internet, you are using OTT services.
- VoD – Video on Demand is referred to a system that allows viewers to watch a variety of programming-based video content in real-time or download it for later use. In short, you are in complete control of watching video content at your suitable schedule.
If you are watching ‘Stranger Things’ on Netflix at the dead of the night, you are using VoD services.
- AoD – AoD or Audio on Demand is referred to a system where users can listen to their favorite audio content any time anywhere they want via a website or mobile app, using the internet.
Example: when you are listening to Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ on Spotify, you are using an AoD service.
- CMS – CMS or Content Management System is a web interface that allows users to create, manage, and publish digital content directly to the Web.
Muvi uses a dynamic and user-friendly CMS that is highly customizable and lets you manage audio or video content seamlessly.
- Live Streaming – Live streaming is the process of broadcasting real-time, video feed or live video footage to an audience over the internet.
Example: if you are going live on Facebook, you are basically live streaming and showcasing your skills to the entire world at the given moment.
- Metadata – Content Metadata means various properties (information) of a content such as title, description, story, actor, poster, trailer etc.
Example: if you want to watch a movie starring John Travolta on Hulu, just type “John Travolta” and the movies starring the actor will be listed. This happens because the metadata (in this case, the actor “John Travolta” is mapped into the content).
- D2C – Direct-to-Consumer system allows the content to be distributed directly to the customers without the interference of any middlemen.
Example: When you are using Netflix to watch your favorite series, you are using a D2C system.
- Podcast – The term “Podcast” refers to an episodic series of digital video or audio files which a user can download and view/listen to. An audio podcast can be directly played from the website or downloaded as an MP3 or alike format to be played on a compatible mobile device or a computer.
Example: listening to a conversation with The New Yorker’s fiction editor over the internet.
- DRM – Digital Rights Management (DRM) is an organized process to copyright protection for digital content such as video, music, eBooks, etc.
Some of the popular DRMs available today for browser-based video are, PlayReady, Widevine, FairPlay, Primetime, Marlin and CMLA-OMA.
- 4K (Ultra HD) – 4K or Ultra HD is a new resolution standard designed for computer graphics and digital cinema.
Example: Hulu has brought in its brand new 4K Ultra HD feature giving its users an unmatched video watching experience.
- Binge-watching – A common practice of watching episodes of a web series continuously, one after the other on your favorite OTT platform.
Example: You are binge-watching all the episodes of season 6 of ‘Orange is the New Black’ on Netflix.
- Pay-TV – Pay-TV is a subscription-based television service from a satellite, cable or telephone company.
Example: Foxtel is a leading pay-TV provider in Australia.
- OTT device – Any device through which you can watch audio or video content over the internet is an OTT device. It includes Laptop, smartphone, iPhone.
Example: If you are streaming ‘Stranger Things’ on Netflix through your smartphone, your smartphone becomes your OTT device.
- Linear TV – Linear TV is a traditional television service through which scheduled programs are broadcasted over the air by using a satellite connection.
Example: in linear TV services, you can watch any given movie, say ‘Avatar’ on a given channel, say Star Movies, at a scheduled time slot, say 9 PM.
- MSO – MSO stands for Multiple System Operators and is referred to a cable operator which owns more than two or multiple cable TV systems.
- Cord cutters – Cord cutting refers to the process of cutting or unsubscribing traditional cable TV services to avail for online streaming services. If you are using an OTT platform to stream online video and audio content, you are a cord cutter.
Example: you are using Sling TV on your smartphone to watch a live football show on ESPN instead of watching the same on the television, you are using cord cutting service.
- Cord Nevers – Cord Nevers refer to a group of people who have never used a satellite or cable subscription for watching content. They use OTT platforms for watching online streaming content instead.
Example: If you have never paid for watching scheduled television programs broadcasted on air and instead use Hulu or any other video streaming service to watch shows or movies using the internet, you belong to the group of Cord Nevers.
- Millennials – Millennials or Gen Y is a phrase to refer a particular age group of the population preceding Gen Z and following Gen X. Millennials represent the age of digital and social media and are determined by their knowledge of technology.
Example: If you are born between the early 1980s to early 2000s, you are a millennial.
- Gen Z – This group of population comes after the Millennials. This group too has a good knowledge of internet and are comfortable with using social media.
Example: if you were born between the mid-1990s to early-2000s, you fall in the Gen Z category.
- Chromecast – Chromecast is a media streaming device that plugs into the HDMI port on your TV to play your favorite TV shows, films, music, sport, games and more.
Example: Chromecast works with iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Mac and Windows laptops and Chromebooks.
- Amazon Fire TV – Amazon Fire TV is the set-top-box used for streaming media by Amazon. Example: If you happen to have Amazon Fire TV installed in your TV, you can simply use it to watch ‘Mozart in the Jungle’.
- Roku TV – Roku TV is a smart TV with an in-built Roku operating system that uses Wi-Fi or ethernet connection to play your favorite television series, movies, sports and much more.
Example: Just tune into your Roku TV to play any video content on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and so on.
- SVoD – Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) refers to monetization of services that provide unlimited access to a specific program for a regularly charged monthly fee.
Examples of Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD): Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video, HBO Go.
- AVoD – Ad-Supported Video on Demand (AVoD) is referred to monetization of video services that are made available to the end-user at no charge but are Ad-supported.
Example: YouTube. As an end-user, you do not have to subscribe to YouTube as it is free, but while playing videos, a lot of advertisements would be streamed.
- TVoD – TVoD stands for Transaction Video on Demand that refers to streaming services where customers pay for each video on demand program either to access for permanent use or download it on a rental basis for a limited time period.
- Ad Stitching – Ad stitching or server-side ad insertion is a system that helps to insert or stitch ads and video content in the same stream at the CMS level.
Ad stitching is becoming increasingly popular in VoD platforms as it prevents bypassing of ad blockers, increasing revenue for the on-demand video platform.
- Hybrid Model – OTT platforms supporting a hybrid model combines transactional and subscription video-on-demand in a single service.
Example: YouTube follows a hybrid model of monetization as it supports TVoD, SVoD and AVoD for revenue generation.
- PPV Bundle – PPV or Pay Per View Bundle is a monetization feature in an OTT platform where you can select and watch a bundle of movies, popular TV series and the like of a similar genre.
Example: by using a PPV bundle feature, you can club all the series of Jurassic Park or Spider Man movies on your favourite VOD platform.
- Coupons – Through coupons, subscribers can avail monetary reduction in the monthly fee they pay to the VOD platform to access content. Coupons are a way of rewarding subscribers of an online video or audio platform.
Example: Hulu uses attractive coupon schemes for its subscribers for increasing user engagement.
- Vouchers – Vouchers enable OTT platform subscribers to watch or listen to content for free.
Example: Through Muvi, you can create multiple vouchers and even restrict the number of times your user could actually use the voucher.
- CDN – A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a collection of global servers (network) that allows you to stream and download any kind of content at high speed.
Example: Muvi’s in-built CDN helps you deliver high-quality content across any geographical region at a lightning-fast pace.
- Encoding – Encoding is a process of information processing in which data is converted into a particular format for easy transmission and storage purposes.
- Transcoding – Transcoding is the process of adapting encoded digital files from one format to another in order to view content on variable playback devices.
Example: while transcoding movies, the entire file is converted from a WMV format to an MP4 format for compatibility.
- Bit-rate Management – The rate at which bits or data is transferred from one point to another is defined as bitrate. Bitrate can describe the quality of an audio or video file. With bitrate management, your streaming content adapts itself according to the network connection.
Example: a video file that is compressed at 4000 Kbps will look much better compared to the same file that is compressed at 2000 Kbps.
- Bandwidth – Bandwidth is well-defined as the volume of data that can be transmitted from one point to another in a fixed amount of time. Different bandwidths are required for different applications.
Example: standard definition (SD) video (480p) works at 1 megabit per second (Mbps), however, high definition (HD) video (720p) works at around 4 Mbps.
- MPEG-DASH – MPEG-DASH is a flexible bitrate streaming technique which empowers high quality streaming of media content over the internet.
Example: MPEG-DASH is available on Chromecast, Smart TVs, natively on Android through the ExoPlayer.
- RTMP – RTMP or Real Time Messaging Protocol is developed for high-performance transmission of audio, video and data over the Internet between Flash based platform technologies, including Flash Player & Adobe AIR and the Server.
Example: if you are live streaming, you can ingest the live video feed to RTMP server and via CDN and a compatible Online Video Player the feed is played back on user’s devices.
- HLS – HTTP live streaming or HLS is an adaptive streaming communication protocol originally implemented by Apple INC. It provides a mechanism for adapting live stream videos according to network conditions.
Example: if you have poor wireless connection and still wish to stream the FIFA World Cup finale on Sling TV, HLS will allow you to stream a lower quality video, thus reducing bandwidth usage.
- HTML5 – HTML5 is a standard for configuring and presenting content on the World Wide Web.
Example: The newest versions of Opera, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari all support several HTML5 features.
With the growing use of internet and the addiction of online streaming spreading its contagious wings worldwide, the business potential of the OTT industry is booming and is sure to retain its ubiquitous presence in the years to come.
We hope this blog will help you stay abreast of the trending terms that are doing the rounds in the OTT industry right now. Being a niche industry has its own challenges, the learning process being endless. In case there are some terminologies which are bothering you and you are unable to understand, drop a comment and our expert will simplify it for you.
In the meanwhile, if you are planning to build your streaming channel, sign up with Muvi and stream for 14-days completely free!