Cable TV is losing its grip on content connoisseurs and there are no second thoughts about it. However, the positing is rapidly being captured by OTT services that offer content distribution models, consumable via subscriptions. Simply explained, OTT or Over the Top models are more like digital broadcasts, allowing users to view content on-demand, regardless of the device they are using.
The likes of Hulu, Netflix, Apple TV, Disney+, and Amazon Prime are some of the leading OTT providers. However, the list isn’t restricted to these names alone. Moreover, unlike cable services that require corded transmissions, OTT services are pretty flexible. While people can use them on smartphones and Smart TVs, they are slowly but steadily optimizing the visual experiences of non-Smart TV users, courtesy of the streaming devices.
OTT and the Growth Prospects
Over the Top content is growing at an enviable pace, putting the service technology at par with some of the leading global trends. The ease of access followed by the widest-possible content selections makes OTT services stand-out in an era of endless possibilities. Not just that, content options galore with OTT as several providers even offer access to regional and international media, at highly competitive prices.
As the rates are manageable and the subscription model allows individuals to use services at will, the popularity of OTT platforms has permeated even to the smaller cities, thereby bridging the gap between expectations and reality. Not to mention the benefits offered to the filmmakers as they could launch and release most of their creations over select OTT platforms, even when theatrical releases weren’t possible due to the coronavirus.
Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to state that content distributors are slowly lining themselves up for the streaming renaissance and with 5G on its way, OTT culture will be one of the bigger global happenings to watch out for.
Benefits of OTT Platforms
With a couple of top-of-the-line installed on your Smart TV, you are never expected to run out of content. Unlike cable TV and even certain video-on-demand services, OTT platforms are way more indigenous in their approach. For instance, the likes of Netflix allow you to sort and filter options based on the genre, country, and even the nature of the content.
Besides, censorship is hardly an issue as OTT platforms aren’t restricted by the standard broadcasting norms.
Clubbed with AI, OTT platforms have grown even more intelligent with time. In most cases, they are good at gauging the preferences based on the viewing history, and therefore, shows and movies are suggested accordingly. Moreover, the recommendations are strictly personalized and the concerned individual is even notified of new and relevant launches.
- Better User Experience
OTT platforms are known for their excellent user interfaces. Take Netflix as an example where you literally have the option to see the newer releases, upcoming shows, and other segregations as per preferences. Moreover, you can even select the number of users using the account at the same time, which then calls for varying subscription fees. Overall, with OTT it is the consumer who is in charge of the content.
OTT services are easy to procure and can be used regardless of the device you are using. While most smart gadgets including TVs and Phones offer built-in access to certain services, you can still use them with non-Smart traditional televisions. The likes of streaming devices, including the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Chromecast, Apple TV 4K, Roku, and more are playing a major role in pushing OTT across diverse verticals.
While most top-of-the-line OTT services are already available on select streaming devices, with Fire TV Stick being our favorite, you can even install a few third-party ones as per requirements. Then again, the process of installing something on a normal TV might sound overwhelming but you can always look up this great article from FireStickTricks.com on Jailbreak Firestick to get a headstart.
Therefore, none of the OTT services are out of reach, unlike cable TVs that offer curated content in select locales. Therefore, the next time you are stuck with a choice between Cable TV and a streaming device for a basic Television, we expect you to make a wiser decision.
OTT Medium and the Advertising Renaissance
The vitality of OTT platforms isn’t restricted to the consumers but it also makes sense to the businesses, courtesy of the advanced tracking and targeting attributes. Moreover, businesses promoting their products and services on relevant OTT platforms are expected to reap the benefits of hyper-segmentation, thereby seeing higher conversions, as compared to the hidebound strategies.
Not just that, OTT allows businesses to deploy strategic lead generation and monitoring tools like CTR analysis, attribution rate monitor, and video completion rate determiner, which offer a new and improved perspective towards viewing analytics.
However, we are still at the tip of the iceberg when the business-centric potential of the OTT platforms is concerned.
Advanced Features for better Viewership
Despite discussing at length the upsurge of OTT platforms, we haven’t yet covered the specialized features that actually make them special. These are the differentiating attributes that are facilitating widespread adoption of this new breed of entertainment over the likes of traditional resources.
- Content Modulation
OTT platforms were one of the early adopters when content modulation was concerned. This means an OTT service allows you to pause, play, and even forward the content at will.
- Multi-Gadget Compatibility
This is the feature that makes OTT services one of the more special and intuitive initiatives. Unlike cable TV that is restricted to a single device, OTT allows you to enjoy content pieces across devices. As they offer subscription-based services, you can access the same from another smartphone or TV, provided you know the ID and Password. Most importantly, each of the settings and content recommendations will still be available as they are stored in the centralized, cloud database.
Unlike services that need to be paid upfront and cannot be deactivated when not in use, OTT platforms allow you to enjoy access based on the budget and for a specific duration.
- Global Content
Most OTT platforms that serve international content allow users to experience multi-lingual support. For instance, Blacklist, one of the popular TV shows currently streaming on Netflix has an international audience base as the content is also available in Spanish and German. Besides, you can also access the subtitles for select shows, thereby taking the language barrier out of the question.
- Live Content
Select OTT platforms have scaled beyond the basics of video-on-demand. Instead, they also have an IPTV catalog to flaunt, allowing users to experience live matches and massive global events in real-time. This attribute further minimizes the inclination towards cable TV services.
- Original Content Access
Things start getting more tempting from here as OTT platforms periodically shell out original content that is extremely appealing and often critically acclaimed. Moreover, first episodes are often offered for free, making subscriptions almost imminent if the viewer enjoys the initial look and feel of the show. Not just that, you even end up getting recommendations for the original shows, if and when they are launched.
- Customizable Content Quality
Last but not least, this feature has a direct relationship with the device you are viewing content on and even the internet connection you are using. Most OTT platforms allow you to select the type of content you want to download to the device for viewing at a different time. Moreover, you can even decide the streaming quality based on the internet speeds.
As seen and even experienced, OTT is the next big thing when media consumption is concerned. Besides, unlike cable TV and related programs, premium OTT subscriptions are mostly free of advertisements and frequent hiatuses. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to state that OTT services are here to stay and the market is expected to grow up to $332.52 billion rather soom.
Plus, the streaming capabilities associated with these services offer the best-in-class user experience, irrespective of the device the content is being watched on. This way, even content creators and distributors are continuously migrating to OTT Platforms to gain the trust of the viewers, which is more relevant in the post-Covid19 landscape.