How To Launch An OTT App

Published July 25th, 2017

Over the top (OTT) television is changing the way people watch video. Whereas television screens were once used almost exclusively for linear TV, today’s viewers use may connected devices, media adaptors and Internet TV apps to consume digital content.

The average American, per eMarketer, watches more than 12 hours of OTT content each week. That figure is expected to grow to nearly 19 hours by 2020.

From a consumer perspective, this growth shouldn’t come as a surprise. OTT is a convenient medium, one highly immersive and tailored to the viewer’s tastes in terms of content and advertising.

Broadcasters and content owners can no longer reach their audiences solely through traditional channels. They need OTT offerings that enable viewers to access their preferred content on any device, anytime.

Unfortunately, building a good OTT app can be easier said than done. Throughout the development process, video publishers must navigate a number of key choices that will ultimately make or break their execution.

1. Be Where Your Target Audience Is

The always-connected consumer is driving cultural changes in content consumption that impact how companies connect with and engage consumers. Chances are, your audience watches OTT content across a massive number of mobile devices, smart TVs, consoles and media adapters.

To be successful, you need one app for each device. The right digital agency can provide a future-proof template solution that allows you to quickly get to market with personalized apps for a variety of digital environments.

Once you’re up and running, this technology lets you seamlessly launch new channels across multiple devices, as well as \publish and monetize content with a tailored template.

2. Personalization Is The Key To Engagement

A critical ingredient to OTT success is establishing a one-to-one relationship with consumers that turns viewers into enthusiastic “fans,” those more passionate than your average loyal subscriber.

By creating a user profile for every viewer, you can deliver personalized recommendations that guide customers through a potentially overwhelming content library.

These users return to your properties every day, creating a cycle that allows you to learn more about your customers and deliver highly personalized experiences. This means monetizing your service more effectively and broadly.

3. Each Screen Has Its Own Unique User Environment

In OTT, every screen you stream presents the user with a unique viewing experience. For instance, the relatively large size of TV screens creates a much more immersive environment for users, making these devices perfect for long-form content and binge watching.

Tablets and smartphone devices allow content providers to take advantage of interactive features not found on the big screen. Mobile devices are also a great place to stream short-form content tailored to the individual user.

Each device is likely to have different kinds of people watching. For instance, kids and Millennials watch video almost exclusively on tablets and smartphones. Tailor accordingly.

4. Help Audiences Find Your Content

Even if you have quality content and a great user experience, your app won’t be worth much if no one knows it exists. Buy promoted placements on the homepages of OTT platforms like Roku. This gets your app in front of viewers at the precise moment they’re deciding what to watch next.

It’s also important to open additional lines of communication beyond the OTT channels. By establishing email contact, you can drive repeat viewership by letting people know when you’ve added new content to the app.

5. The Way To Measure Success

Consumers are extremely sophisticated about the quality of the video services they use. With access to more video than ever before on any device, people expect a more personalized service and a flawless viewing experience. If you fail to meet these expectations, viewers won’t return.

It’s important to measure how many people are watching your content, how long they’re engaging for, and how smoothly they’re receiving your video feed. If users encounter buffering every time they try to stream your content, they’re not going to stick around.

OTT is a fast-moving space where content owners need to remain flexible in order to keep up with the latest innovations and consumer trends.

Millennials have a Netflix account. Gen Z is playing video games.

More Americans are using more devices, regardless of age. Which age group is most keen on what varies and could have a profound effect on the future of devices.

In general, smartphones are the most pervasive technology measured among all age groups, according to new data from measurement company Nielsen, which tracks American households that have TVs.

Seventy-three percent of people aged 2 to 20, known as Generation Z, have video game consoles, 7 percentage points more than the next-most-likely gamers, millennials. Generation Z is also fondest of tablets, with 78 percent having one in their homes. But as Gen Z is still so young, it’s possible they’ll lessen their video game and tablet habits as they grow up. People between 2 and 20 account for 26 percent of Americans and is the most racially diverse age group.

Millennials (age 21-37) are the most likely to have access to video-on-demand services like Netflix. Relatedly, they’re most likely to own multimedia devices — technology like Chromecast or Apple TV that streams online content onto TVs.

PCs are most popular among Generation X (age 38-52), 85 percent of whom have one in their homes.

The only device measured that saw substantial declines among all age groups was, unsurprisingly, DVD players. Still, DVD players are available in 62 percent (millennials) to 81 percent (boomers, age 53-70) of households.

Smart TVs and multimedia devices are the least pervasive gadgets among all age groups, but they’re still relatively new. They also have very high growth rates (24 percent to 31 percent year over year).

Source: Recode