2020 also to be known as the craziest year of the 21st century so far. While most of the things have started moving backwards, OTT has been one of the few things that got the unexpected boost moving forward. OTT has been on the steady growing path for the past decade or so, picking up speed in the past few years, but this year the lock-down gave it the extra nudge.

As a result, everyone started looking into the benefits of being present online with their content, mostly because everyone else started doing it. What was a long term plan for some providers, suddenly became a short term objective, to get a streaming service up and running in order to stay competitive.

So, we have a necessity for the service on one end and more and more saturated market on the other. Well, what is a new operator to do in order to start an efficient and sustainable service and what to look for in their OTT platform provider?

There are several factors involved in the decision making process some of which we will mention here.

Firstly, do you have enough content? Regardless of the scale of your OTT service, if you are not providing your viewers with enough engaging content the service will fail, period. It does not matter whether you have a small scale specific niche-type of service or you cover wider market, at the end of the day, if there is no sufficient content even the best looking, feature-packed solution will not keep you from losing viewers.

Next, do you just have the content and looking to be completely in cloud, or you have state of the art infrastructure just waiting for the on-site instance installation, or are you somewhere in the middle? Here you would have to make sure that your solution provider can provide you with a scalable solution that can preferably be used in all of the mentioned combinations. Coincidentally, AVIION HS5 OTT platform is perfectly suited for all types of initial setup you might have. Plus, with our experience of over 30 years as a system integrator in multimedia and broadcasting industry as well you get the perfect solution to know-how combination. Each OTT service is specific so experience in the industry plays a vital role in ensuring that it will be fully functional and provide a great experience for your viewers. Make sure to work on this with a company that can respond efficiently to any kind of change during the set up process, and later.

Next step is to figure out your monetization strategy. To oversimplify basically, you need to decide whether you will be going for a subscription-based model, decide to focus on making money from advertising, or sell individually, usually premium, content. Most often those models are referred to as SVOD, AVOD and TVOD respectively. However, if you also have live channels than VOD (video-on-demand) is maybe not the best term. Anyway, these days we are going to see more and more services moving into hybrid combination of the mentioned models, as all of them have some advantages and disadvantages. SVOD in itself is good for having a steady monthly income but if the viewers start consuming more content without new subscribers being added then you might have an increase in operational costs (CDN, DRM and so on…). AVOD is becoming more popular because of the saturation of the SVOD market and willingness of users to have too many services’ subscriptions. However, this is more volatile model dependent on the market and the presence of the actual advertisers. Finally, TVOD never gained as much popularity and is pretty much reserved more for premium specific type of events like the UFC. Again, you need to choose a service provider that can offer you all of the mentioned models.

Ok, you decided on the business model. Now you are probably anxious to get your app out on the market. While you need to have a provider that can get you up and running fast, you also want to make sure that you covered all of the necessary aspects of the OTT service because quality of service is the most important aspect. Also, make sure you are prepared to provide the solution provider with all the required information regarding the OTT service you wish to have as that in itself will speed time to market immensely. But even with that it does take time make no doubt about it.

You definitely want to make sure to educate yourself on all of the elements of an OTT service to match the expectations with the size of your project. OTT service is an investment, so if you are looking for a cost-effective solution you might want to start with more basic and less costly set of features that will enable you to spend more money on marketing the service and growing your customer base. That means that solution provider has to offer you a modular solution that you can build on with different elements as your OTT service grows.

However, you always need to make sure that the solution provider you are working with is providing you with the state of the art OTT solution. That means that the offered solution is user friendly on all devices and platforms, so that when you switch from your android phone to your ipad and then to fire stick and use the app with absolute ease.

Another important aspect is getting plethora of data from your service as this data about the service usage, who, when, what, how much… will provide you with the invaluable set of info that will enable you to make the best decision regarding your service in terms of where to put your marketing and sales focus in making your OTT service a great success.

Make sure that your solution provider has a strong development department that is constantly working on adding new features and optimizing the OTT platform because you need to have your viewers constantly get the latest and most popular features and not lag behind other OTT apps. Yes, the content is important, but you need to have it delivered in the best user-experience way possible.

Since, you are investing your money in the project it is crucial that you have all hands on deck in actually managing the service you are providing. That means that a great OTT solution always has a very versatile admin management console that gives you a maximum degree of independence in running your service where the solution provider is just your support, and help in case you need it. Administration, geozones, languages, devices, metadata, on-demand content, live content, trailers, posters, analytics, catalogs, packages, in-app communication, personalization, visual appearance and so much more needs to be available for you to manage yourself.

In the end, you want to make sure that your OTT provider has great references especially if you are in the works for starting a big OTT project. There are many aspects to consider and you want to have a trusted partner that can deliver the best solution for your customers.

A great OTT solution provider will have all these elements available, and be your partner in the project, not just a vendor. AVIION can show you how a great provider should approach any OTT project. Just get in touch with us.