Top 5 things to consider when launching your OTT platform

Launching an OTT platform can be daunting to begin with, but you can rest assured knowing that moving towards OTT will not just widen your audience reach, but maximise your revenue stream, allowing you to build a highly profitable business. With the global OTT video market set to double in size by 2023, developing and launching your own OTT platform couldn’t come at a better time.

To recap on the basics, we’ll cover what OTT is, and delve deeper into the top five things your business should consider when launching your OTT platform to content-hungry viewers.

What is OTT?

OTT stands for ‘Over-The-Top‘, which refers to any streaming service that offers media to viewers via an internet connection, as opposed to traditional cable, broadcast or satellite TV services. Developing OTT apps allows viewers to instantly stream their favourite content via the internet on their connected device of choice, whether that be on Smart TVs, Set-Top-Boxes, mobile devices, or video game consoles.

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1. Starting off simple

If you are new to the world of OTT, it’s best to start with the basics and add to your service offering as you develop and gain deeper insights into your audience to allow you to better cater for their needs and desires.

It’s crucial that you start simple in order to allow your business time to understand the current business model(s) you should be using, such as SVOD, TVOD and AVOD. You could look to begin with between one and three content distribution platforms and one monetisation model (i.e. subscription-video-on-demand or SVOD), and as you gradually increase your revenue, you can start to scale and explore other avenues based on data and analytics from your audience.

2. Content is King

Without a library of high-quality content, what are your users expecting when they subscribe to your service? You may have a stunning app with incredibly clean visuals and an outstanding UI, but without quality content, what are users gaining from subscribing to your platform? To ensure you stay ahead of the game and draw in subscribers, top-quality content is a must.

It’s incredibly important to create a loyal base of viewers who thrive off of watching your content and ultimately are happy to pay for your service. A successful OTT platform works on a powerful recommendation engine and offers rich functionalities that enable viewers to find the right content.

Not only does top-quality content draw in and retain viewers, but it also creates a buzz and will no doubt get people talking. Through word-of-mouth marketing that gets people talking about your amazing app, jam-packed with quality content, you can build a strong and loyal viewership that more and more people will be keen to become a part of. Remember, ‘Content is King’.

3. Having a marketing plan

If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. Among many things, a solid marketing plan for your platform is crucial to its success, and without a plan in place to capture viewers and convert them into subscribers, your platform could see you being left behind amidst a rapidly expanding industry.

With an astonishing 88 hours of OTT content consumed on average per month in the UK in 2020, you simply cannot afford to enter into this market without a solid strategy of how you are to attract viewers and convert them into subscribers or loyal viewers as competition is fierce. Therefore, you must consider implementing a marketing plan into your OTT strategy that aims to create a buzz, capture viewers and turn them into subscribers, ultimately generating revenue.

4. A multi-device viewing experience

In today’s world, people are busier than ever, meaning convenience has never been so important. As this is the case, it is important to consider delivering a multi-device viewing experience to your users to allow them to consume content on multiple devices, no matter where they may be.

For example, with the rise in popularity of Smart TVs which saw a 115% increase in viewership in Q1 of 2021 compared to Q1 of 2020, launching your OTT platform on these devices is definitely worth considering. With multiple options available to launch your app across, and considering the convenience factor that people crave, make sure you are driving the value for viewers by being where your audience is. This way you can consider other platforms such as Connected TV, Set-Top-Boxes and games consoles, alongside the more traditional web and mobile options. Although not every platform is relevant to your business and strategy, it is crucial to do research regarding how and where your viewers want to access your OTT app.

5. Research, research, research

Research is incredibly important when it comes to launching your OTT platform, and if you consider the scope of the current OTT landscape, research is crucial.

With a deluge of OTT platforms, it becomes incredibly important to understand the competitive landscape to help you understand features that already exist and work, as well as help you to avoid any downfalls across these other platforms that you will come to learn of through research. Understanding and researching the competition can help you better understand what your unique offering could be compared to these other platforms, helping you gain a competitive advantage.

Aside from competitor research, it’s equally important to consider researching your potential target audience. To design user-centric experiences for your viewers, understanding them is crucial, so take time to research who they are, what they are after and how your platform can benefit them in comparison to other OTT platforms currently available on the market. That way, you can better understand how to cater to your viewership, building a loyal base of viewers who benefit from subscribing to your platform.

Conclusion: Launch your platform with confidence

When considering the current state of the OTT market with an estimated market value of $195 billion by 2025, the opportunities that OTT presents are plentiful. As OTT continues to increase in popularity, more and more businesses will develop their own platforms to engage with viewers, meaning that the market will continue to become more competitive in the years to come.

There are many things to consider, but by taking into account these key considerations, you can craft a state-of-the-art OTT platform that is fit to take the market by storm, allowing you to go head-on with your competition.

FX Digital is an award-winning Connected TV-first technology company, specialising in strategy, UX, design, development and quality assurance, helping you to reach millions of new customers by deploying premium quality OTT applications. Get in touch with us today to see how we can work with you to develop your OTT application and elevate your business to new heights.