In the age of Netflix, the online audience is constantly looking for on-demand videos. For content owners, launching their video streaming service has become a necessity from a good-to-have functionality. If you are a content owner with a rich video library and have a plan for launching your OTT Platform, building it from scratch is not a great idea when there are actually other brilliant options out there.
You can create your own OTT and Live Streaming Platform using customizable white label solutions, and launch and manage your OTT apps. While choosing the right white-label OTT platform, it is essential to choose the one that aligns with your business goals and needs as the website is going to be the base for everything. Let’s explore the components and essential features to launch your own OTT platform in the highly competitive US market.
Categories of OTT Services
At a high level, we can distinguish two broad categories of premium OTT services and envision a distinct set of industry contributors delivering each category of services.
Mass-market services focus general film and TV entertainment content typically targeting mainstream audiences. As the market expands, the major premium OTT aggregators like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu will be undergoing increased competition from various incumbents. Major studio broadcasters like HBO now, Sling Television, etc. and media platform providers like Sony PlayStation, are diversifying into subscription services.
A wide range of niche OTT services are gaining traction across the US market targeting well-defined fan bases and audience segments offering access to the content that is hard to find. Categories of providers include independent aggregators, sports bodies, right holders, and even studio broadcasters with access to unique libraries of film, content, and other niche offerings.
Things to Consider Before Launching OTT Platform
The idea to build your own OTT business is a wise decision during this time where viewership is moving online. Here are some elements that go into a successful blueprint to build your own OTT business.
Define Your Market
This may sound obvious, but it’s critical to set the base for some successful OTT offerings. You must understand who you want to offer content, what your audience is interested in, what they don’t like along with when and where they like to enjoy different forms of content. Even if you already own a large amount of content, careful research to analyze your target audience is essential.
Content Licensing and Acquisition
This is the soul of your business. You must master some excellent negotiation tactics to get the best content for your money if you are sourcing content from somewhere.
You will have to refer to the information you have gathered about your target demographic to select the right pieces of content that viewers will value. Most importantly, you will have to know what blend of local and regional content you plan to offer, how to get hands-on premium content, and how to accommodate exclusive rights for content that drive viewer engagement.
Building a Platform to Meet Market Requirements
When it comes to launching your OTT Platform, you can build a video platform internally, integrate, and adapt a current platform for your new market and business, or use a third-party platform that meets your needs. If you want to build a platform from scratch, or adapting an existing on internally, make sure to consider the number of internal resources you will have to allocate for an undertaking.
How to Pack Your Content?
You will need a cohesive plan to promote your handpicked video library. You have spent the time creating or sourcing the content you feel is the most relevant to your target audience. Now you need an efficient way to bundle your content, and figure out the right plan for emerging channels to promote and distribute special types of content. Besides, your content packaging must go together with your pricing strategy.
Pricing Your Content
You cannot simply choose a random price for your content you think that resonates with your market. It must be based on the scientific research you have gathered. To price your content, the best way, analyze what your competitors are charging for similar content, how many competitors are in the same market, the quality of the content and services you get, what is the cost to acquire your library of content, etc.
Packaging and pricing your content must go in alignment with the revenue model you choose. The market size and the number of subscribers and viewers you attract will give you an idea of what type of advertisers you can attract.
Market Your Content
Marketing your OTT service may seem unnecessary, but is critical to building a strong brand identity. If you want to create your OTT platform, you must include marketing as an essential competitor to launch your OTT service. Marketing is one of the crucial pieces for a successful launch. If you build it, you must market it as well. Positioning your service in the market by highlighting key differentiators, narrating your brand story, and stating how unique it is from your competitors will resonate in the minds of your targeted demographic and will grow your subscriber base.
Leveraging Your Demographics
If you have been planning to build a platform, source content, create a dynamic marketing plan and have everything in place, then it’s time to iterate. Utilizing the knowledge you have gathered in demographic research will help you further to define your market and create benchmarks for future performance.
The use of analytical along with the basic information you pull from the viewer’s engagement will help you direct the next steps. It will also allow you to target the experience of each audience. You can integrate your brand story in sync with the everyday behavior of a viewer so that they will turn to your service first. The right data analysis will set you ahead of the competition.
The Rise of OTT Platform- The Real Benefits
Out of the major benefits of OTT, the most significant one is its potential ability to engage with a younger and larger online media-consuming population than you could engage through traditional TV broadcasts. Here are some of the other benefits of OTT services.
OTT Viewing Experience Over the Traditional Cable TV
Video-on-demand has transformed the way of experiencing video content over the internet. The OTT platform contributes to revolutionize the way we watch TV. The popular OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu as taken the viewing experience through high speed streaming content and access to their preferred channel online.
OTT Leverages Businesses and Enterprises
The trend of the OTT is also expanding its reach to enterprises and facilitating them to communicate with each other for an affordable cost and sometimes at no cost. OTT services play a critical role in holding businesses and enterprise-level apps. Also, they offer some exclusive features that attract viewers and flexibly to accentuate business growth.
Data Transparency and Micro-Targeting
While traditional TV consumption metrics were based on larger sample size and interpreted data, OTT advertising is more transparent regarding who is watching the delivered content. Not only the OTT service providers can know who is watching, along with other valid data but also know what they are watching when they are watching, and on what device they are watching. This gives the ability to target your ads very specifically to garner the highest rates of return.
Further, viewers like the ability to choose and feel to have more control or their media consumption including the ads they view. Most OTT media companies offer the ability for viewers to choose between potential ads during an upcoming content break. This not only leads to a better sense of engagement by the audience but also allows your message to reach them better.
Augmenting Over Sports and Education
Sports and educational industries are the major ones benefiting from a niche OTT platform. The wider distribution of dedicated broadcasting of sports with Pay TV, streaming of rich live content is made simple and more user-friendly. Launching your own live streaming platform that focuses on educational content rather than entertainment amplifies the online connection of students and teachers to leverage online educational activities.
Most of the OTT platform providers are using Amazon Web Service (AWS) cloud services as their premier cloud storage component. The cloud-based solution helps businesses in launching the OTT platform to extend the scalability and consumer engagement to magnify the business revenue. Some solutions also come with integrated CDN which offers great performance on a real-time basis.
The Powerful Technologies Behind the Success of OTT Platforms
With more people choosing for OTT services over TV packages, televisions have evolved into OTT services to reach the audience where they are. Have you ever wondered how OTT services deliver such a flawless user experience to the audience? The credit goes to advanced technologies that power services like Netflix. When you create your OTT platform, there are some essential technologies to include in your OTT platform for your business.
Hosting is one of the major factors in deciding the success nature of any OTT video platform. Before building your own OTT business, the importance of hosting is a major factor whether you tend to depend on self-hosting or any other ways. The plan of hosting will affect the difficulty of deployment, where cloud hosting will be more straightforward and self-hosting requires adequate skills and dimension levels.
Choosing CDN is another essential factor that delivers the right content at the right time to the right type of audience. It’s not that all the CDN support all the streaming choices; choosing the right multiple CDN support balances the user loads to reach every geographical audience.
To stream the content live while launching your OTT platform, you must include multiple streaming protocols for video delivery like real-time streaming protocol (RTSP), real-time protocol (RTP), etc. While RTSP is used to stream live content, RTP transports media data that is negotiated over RTSP.
Choosing the right encoder is important in offering multiple file formats that are compatible with all platforms and players. Ensuring a better positive user experience is vitally important after successfully building your own OTT business.
Offering access to the platform on various mediums like Laptops, Smartphones, Tablets, connected TVs, etc. helps initiate and performing the playback at any time, and anywhere.
Core Features to Include in Your OTT Platform
An OTT platform that powers your video streaming service must have a myriad of features essential to help you launch, manage, monetize, and grow your video streaming service. These are some core features you must look into an OTT streaming solution before choosing one-
Content Management System
A CMS is the most important feature you need to look for in an OTT solution that can help you with all aspects of video content management like importing, managing, and curating content. A good CMS helps to upload and to manage data easily by saving time. It must also offer the option to connect your platform with social media accounts and automatically distribute videos to the properties owned and operated by you through a simple dashboard. The platform must also offer the flexibility to set your own content rules that will allow or deny playback of your videos by geography.
Build and Publish the OTT App
If the platform you choose just offers an API, you have a herculean task ahead to custom develop the apps across all the platforms you want to reach. Instead, look for a platform that has ready-to-use templates and options to customize and adapt your own theme to speed up the time to market. You will end up saving a lot of time and money on developing complicated OTT apps.
You want to build your own OTT business, but how do you want to monetize your content? Your OTT platform must support whatever revenue model you choose. For example, if you plan to offer ad-supported VOD, your platform must have an inbuilt ad-server to manage, prioritize, and set up campaigns.
It must also support all ad formats like videos, banners, native, overlay, etc. In short, you must choose a solution that supports all monetization models such as subscription on-demand (SVOD), transaction-on-demand (TVOD), advertisement on-demand (AVOD), or even hybrid model to ensure you get the adequate flexibility within the platform as your business expands. Ask about the monetization models as supported on the platform, how easy it is to set up the ads yourself, whether it supports hybrid monetization model etc.
Analytics is a crucial part when it comes to managing your OTT platform. If you are looking for different answers about how to launch your OTT platform, look for a solution that gives you metrics around multiple areas including video engagement like total playback, viewer demographics, average playback, device info, etc.
Other metrics include total revenue earned, the total number of subscribers, content performance, consumer engagement, etc. Potentially the platform must give you the essential insights to drive key business decisions.
User management is a necessity for any OTT platform, it must have the admin setup to control user access, on-board/off-board users, subscription management, set/reset the password, update the email address of users, set up rules, and a lot more. If you consider the user’s perspective, the key is to manage multiple profiles under a single account, offline viewing, viewing history, etc.
Video Interface and User Engagement
How your viewers engage with your OTT platform? This is an important aspect of controlling the user experience when launching your OTT platform. While delivering media content, the most important rule in interface design to abide by is – don’t make your viewers think too much.
For example, Netflix allows users to consume what they want, how they want, and whenever they want. There is no form of interruptions like advertisements in between or any time restrictions. This is where Netflix went one-step ahead of traditional cable services. They created originals and allowed viewers to binge-watch entire seasons and without any ads, that too for an affordable monthly fee.
When it comes to IT infrastructure, cloud hosting, security, CDN, storage, built-in marketing tools, customization, support, and social sharing are some of the aspects to consider. Compared to traditional servers, cloud servers are much more reliable and ensure the OTT platform relies on a powerful cloud-based IT infrastructure to offer the necessary servers and storage required to run your streaming service.
Users, at the same time without any latency issue and must scale up its rising demand. Additionally, look for a platform that offers security options like digital rights management (DRM), and encryption are the most common security system that plays a crucial role in protecting the content from unauthorized access to the content and copyrights.
Another important factor to consider is the CDN, which is essential for uninterrupted video streaming. The best CDN offers great performance on a real-time basis and must be highly efficient to aid you in giving the right user experience. Look for an OTT and Live Streaming Platform that comes integrated with CDN; it might be a good idea to gauge the platform’s bandwidth capable before choosing one.
Built-in Marketing Tools
Built-in tools for marketing helps to build enduring value for your OTT website and apps. If it’s optimized for SEO, it helps you score higher in search engines and the rank sustains over time. A platform with this tool is always a value-added choice.
Subtitle and Caption Support
In the United States, the laws require closes captions for some video content. In the US, section 508 is the law-governing closed caption requirements. For online video, live content that is simultaneously broadcasted on TV is legally required to include subtitles and captions.
Especially in the educational niche, captions are becoming a legal standard as well. So how to integrated closed captions to your OTT content. First, you must ensure that your platform supports closed captions.
If you are learning about how to launch your OTT platform, it is recommended to evolve and adapt quickly as your changing requirements need a platform with flexibility. The ability to customize and quickly build the extensions is important to add a customized feature with ease.
Security and Anti-Piracy
After launching your OTT Platform, how are you going to protect your content from piracy issues? Distributors in the United States alone have lost over $9 billion in revenue a couple of years back due to piracy issues. By 2022, the number is expected to rise by almost 30%. To offer high security and protect your video content from piracy threats, there are several legitimate options available in the market like encrypted video streaming, digital rights management, dynamic watermarking, password protection, etc. Securing your videos from illegitimate video downloaders online can be the most significant task once you start proprietary content.
Availability Across All Devices
Viewers expect a quality broadcast experience across all devices during any time of the day. However, how do you ensure your OTT content is accessible across multiple devices at the same time? To be able to offer a seamless user experience, your OTT platform must be able to recognize the devices that make the request and must be able to stream content accordingly. This involves keeping a copy of every video in different formats of different devices and screen sizes.
As your OTT business grows, you need user support from your OTT solution provider in all factors like training, troubleshooting, maintenance, and upgrading. Most importantly, the response has to be instant and must be able to reach out to them via all mediums. Choose a solution that offers constant support and regularly updated via your preferred medium of communication.
The success of your OTT lies in the customization of your OTT platform according to your business needs. Building an OTT platform and establishing yourself in the competitive US market isn’t an easy task, but at the same time, it doesn’t need to be complicated, as well.
As the OTT market is evolving and expanding, you need a reliable partner to create your OTT platform. It all depends on the right strategy and business value to capture the OTT market.
Putting together an OTT service is only a small part of the story. Scaling, engaging, and supporting the platform as you grow is equally an important, time-consuming, and expensive task. If you are a content creator or have a rich sourced content, it is best to leverage a white-label OTT platform for your streaming service and focus on making and engaging great content.
Managing our OTT service becomes easy as you can use a single platform to manage all your content, ads, payments, etc. The best platform allows you to have full content over your videos, monetization strategy and lets you keep 100% of your revenue. Choosing the right partners can reduce your workload and offer you the time to focus on other aspects of your business. Learn more about launching your own secure OTT platform by reaching out to us.