How To Start Your Own OTT Streaming Services

The best way to capitalize on prospects and opportunities is to start your own OTT streaming services. But the task is easier said than done. So, grab the golden chance to pull more potential customers to your platform and reward yourself with generous ROI.

What is an OTT Streaming Service?

An over-the-top (OTT) streaming service helps content creators bring their content to viewers via the Internet.

OTT is short for “over-the-top.” This method of media distribution serves as an alternative to traditional satellite or cable television.

OTT technology is distributing more and more media each day. In fact, it has redefined our media distribution channels to the extent that most media is not delivered to consumers via the Internet. Some industry leaders even advocate that we stop differentiating between OTT and broadcast and cable TV, entirely.

OTT streaming services are apps or websites viewers use to access their favorite programs and movies. These services are accessible on all internet-enabled devices, including smart TVs, gaming consoles, computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

Typically, OTT video streaming services limit access to paying viewers using one of these methods:

TVOD: Viewers pay for access on a pay-per-view basis.
SVOD: Viewers are granted unlimited on-demand access to the platform on a subscription basis.
AVOD: Broadcasters monetize their content with sponsored advertisements, making the content free.

Benefits Of OTT Platforms

These are some of the benefits of using OTT platforms.

1. Convenience and Flexibility

OTT platforms offer convenience and flexibility to viewers. They allow viewers to access content with an internet connection anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

This means viewers can watch their favorite movies, TV shows, or documentaries while on the go, during their commute, or relaxing at home. Additionally, OTT platforms offer the flexibility to pause, rewind, or fast-forward the content, providing a personalized viewing experience.

2. Wide Range of Content

OTT platforms offer a wide range of content, including movies, TV shows, documentaries, and original programming. This variety of content caters to different tastes and preferences, making it easier for viewers to find the content they enjoy.

Additionally, some OTT platforms offer regional and international content, providing access to a global content library.

3. No Ads Or Limited Ads

Some OTT platforms offer ad-free or limited-ad experiences, providing a more uninterrupted viewing experience. Viewers can enjoy their favorite content without distractions or interruptions from ads, making for a more enjoyable viewing experience.

4. Cost-Effective

OTT platforms are often more cost-effective than traditional cable or satellite TV subscriptions. Viewers can choose from various subscription plans, including monthly or annual plans, which are often more affordable than traditional TV subscriptions.

Additionally, viewers can subscribe to multiple OTT platforms, allowing them to access a broader range of content without the high cost of traditional TV subscriptions.

5. Personalization

OTT platforms offer personalized recommendations based on the viewer’s viewing history and preferences. This makes it easier for viewers to discover new content they may enjoy.

Some OTT platforms offer customizable profiles, allowing multiple viewers to use the same account while receiving personalized recommendations.

6. Accessibility

OTT platforms are accessible to a wide range of viewers, including those who may not have access to traditional TV subscriptions. This includes viewers in remote areas, international viewers, and viewers needing help to afford traditional TV subscriptions.

7. Original Content

Many OTT platforms produce original content, such as TV shows and movies, exclusive to their platform. This original content is often critically acclaimed and has won numerous awards, providing viewers access to high-quality content they cannot find anywhere else.

8. Easy To Use

OTT platforms are easy to use and require minimal technical expertise. Viewers can easily navigate the platform and find the content they want to watch.

Additionally, many OTT platforms offer user-friendly interfaces and intuitive search functions, making it easy for viewers to find the content they want.

Why Create Your Own OTT Streaming Services?

IAre OTT video services a profitable business model? For the answer, look no further than the average time spent per day on subscription platforms in the US.

From 2019 to 2020, this metric jumped by 50%. The average time spent on OTT platforms has grown from 44 minutes in 2018 to 67 minutes in 2021.

Take the global OTT market size. It touched $171.36 billion in 2020 and is expected to cross $1 trillion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 29.4%.

What makes these stats even more important is that launching your own OTT platform has never been easier. Let’s take a look at how you can start your own OTT streaming services.

1. Choosing your Niche
With plenty of niches in the OTT business, they are almost always in demand. While it’s best to pick an evergreen niche, anything that you can provide value on is a brilliant choice. Some common examples include entertainment, fitness, sports, lifestyle, and e-learning.

But it’s important to keep in mind that before choosing your niche it’s important to conduct research for parameters like key market players, demand, supply, growth factors, and so on. Conducting a detailed competitor analysis will also help you understand the video streaming market and OTT business in depth.

If your business has a USP, that’s another plus point! It is also advisable to check out various subscription plans, pricing, and business models of your competitors. That will give you detailed insights into how you can set your own.

2. Building Content
Even though it has become such a cliche, but the content was, is, and will always remain the king. Every business owner who plans on having OTT streaming services of their own should make content a top priority. It should match user expectations and be relevant to what your niche promises.

If you start creating exclusive content available on your OTT platform, it will increase your user retention. Besides creating highly valuable content, your OTT streaming services should always show personalized content according to user preferences. If you just get relevant suggestions based on their likings and what kind of content they usually prefer to consume, they’re most likely to get hooked to your platform. You can also create regional content for better and localized targeting. The rule of thumb is that your content should always have high quality and should be interactive and engaging.

3. Narrow Down Your Target Audience
Once you are done with your content creation strategy, it’s time to target who can benefit from your videos. The ultimate goal of every business relying on an OTT streaming service is to offer a quality experience to users that serves the purpose they want to fulfill. For example, if it’s a mystery TV show, the target audience is going to be mystery lovers that have watched similar shows. If it’s fitness, sports fanatics, gym freaks, and yoga lovers would be your right target audience.

4. Know The Necessary OTT Streaming Functionalities and Attributes
If you trying to formulate a successful OTT business plan, here are the functionality and features both advanced and basic you must consider.

  • User Profile
    Users should easily be able to create multiple profiles and easily manage segregating content according to their preferences. Virtual dashboards make obtaining key insights and having smooth navigation possible.
  • Registration and Sign In
    Users should easily be able to create verified accounts using their email, phone number, etc to access the content.
  • Search
    Very often, users just have something in their mind and they want to search for its availability. That’s where the search bar comes into the picture. It should also have a drop-down menu of multiple genres to further categorize the content.
  • User Interface and User Experience
    Two of the most crucial aspects of smooth streaming include UX and UI. That’s why all OTT platform owners should focus on delivering the finest viewing experience to their target audience. Personalization is a cherry on the icing!
  • Screen Mirroring
    Screen mirroring is an important feature that enables users to access the video content of their choice on different screens and devices. Incorporating this will help expand your business by removing restrictions.
  • Watch Lists
    If someone isn’t able to watch a particular piece of content instantly, they can add it to the watch list and finish it later with the help of this feature.
  • Video player, Creating and Managing Videos
    Integrate reporting and analytics features into the video player for better insights. There should be a clear video library and easy content management for glitch-free access for viewers and easy uploading and organization of content for creators. Robust analytics tools can help keep track of performance and engagement.

5. Creation of The OTT App and Website
Your app or website will handle support tickets and queries along with collecting payments. Having a website automatically increases customer trust to a manifold no matter what business it is. The same thing applies to OTT streaming services as well. Always remember that your website design should be responsive to maintaining a seamless user experience and cross-device uniformity. The same thing goes for an application. However, you might have to do some extra research to discover what kind of devices your audiences are using to access your application.

6. Finding the Right Secure Video Hosting Service
Finding the appropriate and secure video hosting solution is a crucial component of starting your own OTT platform. Professional video hosting enables OTT platforms to measure their success by tracking engagement and views. It also helps businesses with the effective and efficient delivery of video content.

A professional video hosting platform is always better than mainly uploading videos on blogs and websites since they’re specifically designed for streaming and hosting videos. In other words, they offer video editing options and features available exclusively with video hosting platform. Benefits include better search engine optimization, improved engagement, enhanced branding, higher control, and a rocketing ROI.

Some other striking benefits include:

  • Variety of customizable options
  • Integration with the social media networks of your choice
  • Video CMS for a hassle-free organization and management of video content
  • AES encryption
  • Password protection
  • Dynamic watermarking
  • DRM

If you want all these features and a lot more under a single umbrella, take the no-strings-attached trial version of VdoCipher.

6. Choose Your Business Model
Using the right business model is crucial for streamlining the monetization of your videos. Let us take a look at the different business models for OTT platforms that will help you make an informed decision based on your business needs.

Subscription Model
As long as users are paying a fixed amount for a set duration in the form of a subscription fee, they can access the offered content. Amazon Prime Videos, Hulu, Netflix, and other OTT giants work on this very business model.

Transactional Model
The transactional model usually offers free sign-up but charges to allow access to content similar to pay per view. This model helps maximize short-term profits by holding a one-time payment and allowing users to download or own content.

Advertisement Model
It’s a proven fact that advertisements are one of the most profitable income sources across the globe. Especially if you have a wide audience base, an advertisement business model can work well when your target audiences don’t really prefer to regularly pay for content.

Hybrid Business Model
The Hybrid doesn’t model is a combination of subscription, advertisement, and transactional models. All-in-all, it caters to the interest of your potential customers and helps businesses increase their ROI.

How Do OTT Platforms Make Money?

OTT platforms are digital streaming services that provide video content to viewers online. Here are several ways these platforms earn from.

1. Subscription-Based Revenue Model 

In a subscription-based model, viewers pay a monthly or yearly fee to access the content on the platform. Netflix and Amazon Prime are examples of OTT platforms that use a subscription-based revenue model.

These platforms offer various subscription tiers to cater to different customer needs, and the revenue generated depends on the number of subscribers and the subscription price.

2. Ad-Supported Revenue Model

Some OTT platforms offer free access to content in exchange for watching ads. In this model, the platform earns revenue from advertisers who pay for ad placement.

Hulu and Pluto TV are examples of ad-supported OTT platforms. The revenue generated depends on the number of ad views and clicks.

3. Transactional Revenue Model 

Some OTT platforms offer content on a pay-per-view or rental basis. Viewers can access the content for a limited period after making the payment.

iTunes and Google Play Movies are examples of platforms that use a transactional revenue model. The revenue generated depends on the number of transactions and the price of the content.

4. Freemium Revenue Model 

Some OTT platforms offer a basic version of the platform for free but charge for premium features or additional content. Spotify and YouTube are examples of platforms that use a freemium revenue model.

The revenue generated depends on the number of users who upgrade to the premium version and the price of the upgrade.

5. Licensing Revenue Model

OTT platforms can also generate revenue by licensing their content to other media, such as cable or satellite TV providers. This revenue model is standard for content producers like Disney, WarnerMedia, and ViacomCBS.

The revenue generated depends on the licensing fee charged and the number of licenses sold.

6. Product Placement And Sponsorships 

Some OTT platforms use product placement and sponsorships to generate revenue. In this model, the platform partners with brands to feature their products in the content or sponsor specific shows.

The revenue generated depends on the number of brand partnerships and the price for product placement and sponsorships.

A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing an OTT Streaming Platform

Choosing the right OTT (Over-the-Top) streaming platform as a beginner can be overwhelming, but it’s essential to make an informed decision. Here’s a beginner’s guide to help you pick the right platform:

Content Library:

  • Consider what type of content you enjoy, such as movies, TV shows, documentaries, sports, or original content.
  • Look for platforms with a diverse and extensive content library that aligns with your preferences.

Free vs. Paid Services:

  • Decide whether you’re willing to pay for content or prefer free, ad-supported platforms.
  • Many OTT services offer a mix of free and paid content.

Device Compatibility:

  • Check if the OTT platform is compatible with the devices you own, such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and gaming consoles.
  • Ensure there are dedicated apps or web access for your preferred devices.

Content Discovery:

  • Evaluate the platform’s content discovery features, including recommendations, search capabilities, and categorization.
  • A user-friendly interface with intuitive content discovery is essential for a satisfying experience.

Streaming Quality:

  • Look for platforms that offer high-definition (HD) or 4K streaming options, depending on your device’s capabilities and internet speed.

Offline Viewing:

  • Check if the platform allows you to download content for offline viewing. This can be useful for watching content without an internet connection.

Subtitles and Language Support:

  • If you require subtitles or content in specific languages, ensure the platform provides adequate support in this regard.

User Profiles:

  • Some platforms offer multiple user profiles under a single account, which is useful if you’re sharing your account with family members.

Cost and Subscription Plans:

  • Compare the pricing and subscription options. Consider factors such as monthly or annual plans, free trials, and discounts for longer commitments.

Original Content:

  • If you’re interested in exclusive or original content, look for platforms that produce and showcase their own shows and movies.

Customer Support:

  • Research the availability and quality of customer support. Look for platforms that provide responsive customer service in case of issues.

Security and Privacy:

  • Ensure that the platform maintains strong security measures to protect your personal information and payment data.

Reviews and Recommendations:

  • Read reviews and seek recommendations from friends or online communities to get insights into the user experience and content quality.

Trial Period:

  • Take advantage of any free trial periods to test the platform and see if it meets your expectations.

Cancellation Policy:

  • Understand the platform’s cancellation policy and any associated fees, should you decide to discontinue your subscription.

Local and International Content:

  • Consider whether you’re interested in regional or international content and check if the platform offers a diverse selection.

Updates and New Features:

  • Look for platforms that regularly update their apps and add new features to enhance the user experience.

Remember that your choice of an OTT streaming platform ultimately depends on your personal preferences, budget, and content interests. Be willing to explore and try out different platforms until you find the one that best aligns with your entertainment needs.

The rise of OTT platforms is relatively new and by now it’s clear that the trend is not going to go away anytime soon. In fact, it might be one of those evergreen trends that last till the end of times. Due to their evolutionary nature, it’s important to keep updated with the necessary prerequisites of OTT platforms.

It’s no secret that businesses today don’t have a hard time branding if they know the do’s and don’ts. OTT platforms have emerged as one of the best ways to spread a message whether it’s information, entertainment, or literally anything else. If you still haven’t tested the waters of this powerful way to increase brand recognition, gain new customers, and retain loyal ones, what are you waiting for? Tick all the items on the checklist based on the above info and get started!


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