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Transforming the media industry
Driven by the availability of high-speed connectivity and the increase in mobile devices, OTT platforms are changing the way the world looks at the media industry
Over-the-top or OTT services are on-demand platforms that offer streaming of audio and video content over the Internet without the need for a traditional television subscription. By giving users access to a variety of information that can be viewed at any time and on any device, these platforms are revolutionising the way people consume media.
On the technology front, OTT players rely heavily on the digital infrastructure for the service framework, operator engagement, service delivery, and hyper-personalised user experience. In fact, technology has played a massive role in the evolution of the media industry and OTT platforms. Unlike traditional television, which requires expensive infrastructure and equipment, OTT services rely on the Internet, which is more accessible and affordable. This accessibility allows for a greater level of diversity in content, which can be tailored for specific audiences.
OTT platforms have taken advantage of technological advances, including the rise of high-speed Internet, better compression algorithms, and cloud-based services.
The OTT platforms have also been able to take advantage of technological advances, including the rise of high-speed Internet, better compression algorithms, and cloud-based services. These have led to better user experience, thereby contributing to the expansion of the overall industry.
Service framework of OTT offerings
With the growing dominance and popularity of smart devices such as smartphones and smart TVs, the rising demand for video-on-demand or VOD content and rising user payment rates are the main reasons for the rise of streaming services. The service framework of OTT offerings typically consists of three tiers: free, freemium, and premium. The free tier offers basic content that is supported by advertising.
While the freemium tier offers a wide range of content, often without ads, it requires a subscription. The premium tier on the other hand offers the highest quality content, including live events and original programming, and requires a higher subscription fee. To improve engagement on platforms, operators can offer a range of features, such as personalised recommendations, social media integration, and interactive content. These characteristics promote user interaction and add a sense of community, which in turn fosters better loyalty and retention.
Technological scope for service delivery
Technology has been the major force behind OTT service delivery and constant innovation in the industry. One of the most important technological advances is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in powering personalised content discovery. This technology is critical for providing a faster content search and enables stickiness to the platform. This also helps in creating user profiles for better market automation to reduce churn, and enable the targeting of subscriptions, content and advertisements for advanced monetisation.
API-based integration is another important technology that is increasingly being used by OTT providers for OTT app content aggregation. This technology enables content from partnered OTT apps to be presented in the apps more efficiently and effectively while enabling SSO and content discovery of choice in a single app rather than downloading multiple applications.
By leveraging content aggregation technology, providers can easily scale their services to meet changing content demand, without the need for significant investments in content acquisitions.
User experience as a priority
The quality of experience is critical for any OTT service. With consumer viewership being driven more towards digital as well as connected devices, traditional devices delivering linear streams are on the decline.
Subscribers are now streaming content on a variety of screens. Multiple screens also allow users to share the same streaming service while enjoying their favourite shows. Therefore, the platform should be compatible with a wide range of devices while supporting multiple profiles of users.
They also need to personalise their entire journey, retrieving information from various devices while ensuring the experience is seamless across all touchpoints.
Technology has been the major force behind OTT service delivery, including the use of AI and ML in powering personalised content discovery.
API-based integration is an important technology that is increasingly being used by OTT providers for OTT app content aggregation.
To achieve this, OTT providers are making significant investments in creating user-friendly interfaces that facilitate finding and viewing content better. Factors like identifying the right target groups, understanding user challenges, and implementing a data-driven design to create an optimal and personalised user experience thus become imperative.
Future growth of OTT and trends
OTT has a promising future and is likely to move ahead on the growth trajectory in the years to come. The transition towards Advertising-based Video on Demand or AVOD has been fueled by the success of platforms like Jio Cinema which attracted 32 million viewership for the FIFA World Cup final and the successful adoption of Free, Ad-supported, Streaming TV services or FAST in the US. This is one of the most important trends in the ever-evolving media industry.
More providers are likely to focus on the AVOD-driven service offering, especially for Live sporting events and there will be continued growth in originals to draw in and keep users. Other future trends include OTT app aggregation, proliferation in user-generated content, deployment of 5G technology, development of virtual and augmented reality technologies, and more interactive and tailored content.
In conclusion, OTT services have revolutionised the way people consume digital content. With their focus on digital and technological advancements, service frameworks, improving user engagement, and personalised content recommendations, they have established themselves as a major player in the entertainment industry. As the demand for digital entertainment continues to grow, we can expect OTT platforms to play a more significant role in the coming years.
Practice Head for OTT