Technology is improving and innovating constantly. The fact hits home the hardest when the resources we commonly used are upgraded, connected and made immeasurably more accessible. The television is the biggest example. The television industry has been at the leading edge of constant digital disruption. The digital transformation of the media and entertainment industry has given rise to a wide scope for OTT streaming services to rival the traditional pay-tv powerhouses.

“Over-The-Top” or OTT has become the popular name in the entertainment industry right now. It sits at the center of the inevitable and unbeatable merger between the worlds of television and digital video. In the modern media industry, OTT represents the future of entertainment- one that is already unfolding.

What is OTT?

OTT stands for “Over-The-Top”, the term used for delivery of film and TV content through the internet without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pat-TV service. In other words, it refers to the productized practice of streaming content to customers directly over the web. OTT media service offers streaming media as a standalone product. Though the term is commonly applied to video-on-demand platforms, it also refers to audio streaming, messaging services or internet-based voice calling solutions.

OTT services dodged traditional media distribution channels like telecommunication networks and cable television providers. As long as you have an internet connection, you can access the complete service at your leisure.

Why Use OTT?

The delivering of films and TV services directly in connected devices denotes the evolution of connected TV. The number of players in the worldwide OTT streaming market is steadily rising. The OTT market which shows huge consumer uptake through providers like Netflix, Hotstar, Voot, Amazon, etc. is expected to increase fourfold in the coming years by looking at the increasing demand. Consequently, the global over the top OTT market will get competitive and congested. Some of the reasons why it is more appealing than the traditional alternatives are:

  • High-value content at low cost

Streaming services are greatly considered as a reasonable and cost-effective alternative to the traditional cable TV packages.

  • Original content

OTT providers like Hotstar, Netflix, etc. have begun to produce original content which is available through their services. Also, the favorite TV shows will be there in front of you anytime with exclusive streaming licenses.

  • Compatibility with multiple devices

Unlike the cable television programs which require a television set, OTT contents are streaming in a broad range of devices. Any account holder can enjoy the same OTT experience from a smartphone, tablet, or smart TV.

OTT: A new revolution in the technology

Today, companies who want to stay relevant must address the growing and changing demand for entertainment at any time anywhere. Consumers have taken ownership of how they are watching content and the industry is adapting. This rapid transformation is forcing broadcasters and networks to shift their strategies.

The consumers have become accustomed to a seamless viewing experience across their devices at the simple touch of a button. As most content providers engage with an international audience, they must provide the standardized demands of the consumers even when there are spikes in web traffic. OTT platforms should be a reliable infrastructure and following this, the providers are looking into developing a business strategy that goes beyond curating content to digital infrastructure and deliver it in the highest quality viewing experience

Opportunities and Challenges of OTT platforms

The generation is currently witnessing a new wave of diversification across OTT markets. This creates opportunities as well as challenges. Video streaming services are rising globally. The brands like Netflix and Hotstar are at an impressive growth both nationally and internationally. Beyond the global adoption rates, major opportunities exist for them in the non-entertainment markets as well.

Recent surveys have shown that 50% of OTT subscribers pay for educational content, which is usually in the form of instructional streaming platforms. The immense potential is also there for the streams that emphasize children’s programming or health-based content. It has been proven that performance marketing is a successful method of attracting subscribers to OTT platforms in a way that is scalable and predictable for marketers.

However, this increased the demand for the OTT platforms which brings challenges for them along with the opportunities. The increased competition among them is one such. Studies suggest 50% of OTT customers are experiencing “subscription fatigue” from engaging with so many platforms. This will motivate the customers to become more selective with their subscriptions. Thus, the growth of OTT platforms leads to unwanted competition to gain the top position.

Over-the-top media services have been with us for many years. The increased diversification and competition suggests that the market is healthily growing. Many opportunities still remain unexploited. No matter which one you select, it is becoming a complex ecosystem and is clearly representing the future of media.

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