OTT systems are one of the largest markets currently around the world as it grossed $121.61 billion in 2019. These statistics are projected to continue growing stronger since these systems are being spread out across all countries moving to third-world economy zones.
The financial projections of this market might encourage you to launch your OTT channel. Is it possible to do so? Yes, it completely possible to launch your own OTT channel but before you jump in, here is the full scope on launching a system of this kind in 2021:
What is an OTT channel? Why you need to create one
An OTT is the exact opposite of cable systems that distribute audio or video content using Multiple Service Operators. Instead, the system uses internet signals to transmit the audio and video services to its end users.
A great example of an OTT service is Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and so forth. Audio OTT providers include Tidal, Deezer, and Spotify. These services have become very popular and this has shrunk profit margins for cable systems since users have switched over to internet-based systems.
Advantages of an OTT channel, Why create one?
The main advantages of a private OTT channel include the profit that is at stake to make. Since users are switching over to these systems, they are abandoning their cable TV subscriptions.
The reason is that there is more variety and customization to OTT channels than using an MSO service that tries to cater to a large number of people. You can choose what to watch and when to do so and even customize your playlist.
Also, each business industry would utilize an OTT channel differently, from monetized gated content to better brand awareness OTT media streaming has something for everyone. Television as a piece of equipment is the most common media sharing channel along with smartphones, and OTT caters to both equally, it thus makes OTT be widely accessed and personalized.
In doing so, you will be penetrating the market in a meaningful and very profitable manner. At the same time, the approach would be trying to minimize the exposure to the risk of the disadvantages detailed above.
Disadvantages of an OTT channel
What are the disadvantages of creating an OTT channel? One of the major disadvantages includes the rough competition you could be facing in this sector from corporate OTT providers. The target market is most likely used to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and all of these large names that are currently established and growing rapidly.
Also, it involves a lot more effort than simply trying to establish an MSO channel since the infrastructure is already established. Another disadvantage is that currently available OTT channels do not cater to third-world markets as their technological infrastructure and data speeds do not provide for a seamless streaming service experience.
How to create an OTT channel?
An OTT platform is not an easy undertaking and it could take years to fully develop and launch, especially if you do not have a dedicated team. However, with persistence and determination, and skillful working, you can complete the OTT channel project with huge success.
The OTT architecture includes components such as DRMs like Google WideVine. It also cloud-based computing with CDNs to speed up the time it takes to buffer the media content all around the world.
Creating an OTT channel yourself
The first thing to consider when undertaking an OTT app development project is the type of content you will be sharing. From there, you can get a DRM and start devising the OTT business monetization strategy, which includes pricing.
During that time, you will determine whether it is viable to continue with the development. If it is still an economically viable business strategy, you can then move on to designing and developing the user interface. From then, you can connect the middleware and third-party extensions with the relevant APIs.
Hiring a developer
Hiring a developer can streamline the project workload and shorten the projected timeframe. A developer would be dedicated to the OTT app development phase, which includes developing the user interface and features.
Getting a developer familiar with media output development and cloud systems is a prerequisite for a successful project. However, it is good to bear in mind that only one developer might also cause the project to drag on a little longer. A team of developers can hasten the work, but only one developer can also suffice if you are on a tight budget.
Hosting on a third-party platform
An OTT App development project can be simplified greatly with third-party platforms that host the entire system on your behalf. You can customize the appearance and functionalities according to your own preference but extensive programming experience is not a prerequisite.
These third-party platforms work like Content Management Systems, which can manage the digital distribution of your media through a ready-to-use and highly customizable OTT channel app. You can have a multi-screen online content library and everything that comes with it without stressing about an elongated development phase. That helps aspirant individuals start OTT-business activities much easier in relatively much less time.
What do you need to build an OTT channel?
With some of the technicalities and development options discussed, what do you need to build an OTT platform that brings in revenue? There are some hoops that you need to jump to reach the launch of your service. What are those hoops?
Profitable business plan
The first and most important step is drafting the business plan, including how you can monetize it down to the last-minute detail. From the operational plan to financial projections as well as the project layout, you should document everything.
Also, draft a marketing plan relevant to the service you will be providing and focus on building a brand. You must do this before you delve into the technical components of the service. In that way, you will be making OTT for business profitability and success with minimized risk of failure.
After you have drafted a watertight business plan and considered all aspects of the business, you can then move on to the development phase. You can choose from a variety of options to develop the app, website, and user interface.
For example, you could either do it your own, outsource it to a developer or get third-party hosting from established platforms. The latter also has a wide variety of options to choose from and you can assess each service provider to choose the best one.
Fulfilling legal obligations
Depending on the type of content you will be sharing, some legal obligations need to be fulfilled. One main legal obligation is getting legal rights to broadcast the content on your platform.
That is why having a Digital Rights Management (DRM) system is paramount to the success of your streaming service. If you do not have the legal right and permission to stream the content, you’ll be infringing copyright laws. The developers of that content have the full right to take legal action and shut down your business.
How to make your OTT channel launch a success?
The hard part of launching a digital service is trying to manipulate the response of the customers to your favor. Developers and business owners might think that there is little you can do to make your OTT channel launch a success. Whereas, you can create a stir to make the reception of the service favorable to you:
Kick-start marketing efforts before the launch
Once the project is nearing completion, start creating a stir about it on social media and other digital outreach channels. Create captivating visuals that intrigue customers and also start building a brand identity while doing this.
You can even market a launch event that could attract the press to get more traction. Arrange radio and even TV show interviews if possible to generate awareness about the service you are developing.
Summarize the competitive advantage in just a few words
OTT providers have a common way to get more customers that become part of their community. They do this by concisely highlighting the benefits. For example, Spotify highlighted their no-ad system, which drew a lot of people to their service. You can also highlight the competitive advantage in just a few words that would be ingrained in the minds of the target market.
Launching to a global audience
To make your platform launch a success, ensure that you’re launching to a global audience instead of focusing on a certain region. That will help you use the hype you’ve generated when kick-starting marketing efforts to get more users from the onset. Targeting a global audience can help you reach more customers since they will fear missing out on the global trends.
Developing an OTT channel in 2021 has become simplified greatly with third-party systems that can manage your content easily. You can still go for the process, which gives you more control of the kind of platform you’re developing. That option is developing the system from scratch either by yourself or through the help of a developer. In any case, thinking carefully about how you are going to monetize it is very important.