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The Rise of Over-The-Top (OTT) Video Content

In the tech industry, it is almost a cliché now to call new developments in media “the future”. It always begs the question, is this going to be a mirror of the virtual reality overhype of the nineties or is it going to have a lasting impact like digital music services?

One of the newest developments is the offer of OTT services. But what does OTT mean? What does it actually do? How will I benefit from it? Is OTT here to stay?

OTT simply stands for ‘over the top content’, in essence, a way for viewers to watch media via the internet alone, without having to rely on traditional satellite broadcasters. You already probably use OTT services without even realising: Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime are all examples of OTT.

In October 2016, OTT accounted for only 8%, and in just one year the proportion spent on OTT has more than tripled and is set to rise again by the end of 2018. If you haven’t already, OTT is worth sitting up, reading more and taking notice of.

The history of OTT is fascinating in and of itself, with the possibly apocryphal story of Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, being laughed out of the offices of Blockbuster after pitching a partnership in which they would manage Blockbuster’s online content. However, this piece is more to discuss what OTT means for the modern business. OTT has been with us for a solid decade now and it looks like it is here to stay.

Since 2008, more and more people are switching from cable and pay TV to OTT services, with 2013 marking the year that the number of pay-TV subscribers falling by a quarter of a million in the US alone. Consumers are ‘cutting the cable’ and switching over to OTT, but what does OTT do better than traditional television broadcasting?

The answer is the convenience to the user. OTT streaming delivers what we’ve come to expect from other online and mobile apps; a personalized experience that knows what we like and delivers it on demand. Take a look around you on the train, you will see the majority of people now catching up on their favourite series while commuting, allowing them to no longer rely on TV schedules and can now view video content at any time, anywhere.

But how does OTT benefit you, as a business? OTT offers a way for you to connect to a much wider audience through the internet so that your content has a more ubiquitous presence, while still allowing you to maintain the same level of control and quality that can be found through traditional broadcasting channels.

All of your digital media can be integrated within your existing website with branded players, ensuring that your corporate image carries over to all of your content. You can decide how to monetise your content, whether that means people need to subscribe to receive content or use revenues generated from advertising, it is entirely in your control!

No longer do you have to rely on vague reporting tools either, OTT allows for your teams to understand your customers viewing habits on an unprecedented scale. Know exactly how many people are watching, how long for, how they found your content and where they are watching from. Thus your marketing strategies can be adjusted accordingly with all this fascinating data, helping you to further increase that magical subscriber/viewer count.

StreamAMG has had a hand in creating a wide variety of OTT services ranging from the Institute of Engineering Technology’s IET.tv, offering a huge range of educational materials which meets the goals of the Institute in aiding the public to understand more about their great work, to the Professional Darts Corporation’s PDCTV-HD subscription-based service offering live streams of matches as well as on-demand highlights. With the majority of the UK’s football clubs using our technology, we have been well embedded in the world of OTT and hope that more and more join us in this fantastic development. The question you have to ask yourself is, are you making the most of your video content?

If you would like to hear more about how StreamAMG can empower your business and monetise your online video content, please get in touch. Email info@streamamg.com or call us on 0800 061 2361.