OTT: The Economic Power Of Simplicity
There are many reasons for a stand-alone branded OTT video service; an online TV channel, an online film or movie service, a sports service, lifestyle – food, fashion, festivals, et al – or brand entertainment and addressable TV advertising destinations.
An OTT service offers a more entertaining, easy and immersive way to engage with consumers. And with the right content, it offers a way to get into the living room, on the TV and ‘shared’ across social media in a way that a website was never designed to do.
However, creating your own OTT service presents a challenge. Whilst creating apps on Apple or Amazon TV, Roku, Vewd or TiVo, mobiles and tablets, is not difficult, even this requires money, time and resource to implement. But this is a long way from creating an OTT ‘service’ that is administered by cloud systems that allow co-ordinated publishing of fresh content across all these devices, taking payment, inserting adverts (video and banners), registering users, presenting detailed analytics from top grossing sales to individual consumer views and reconciling wholesale billing of acquired content etc.
If you want an OTT service, and not just an OTT app, it seems it’s far easier to stick to a YouTube channel.
But a YouTube channel has its own limitations. For many OTT objectives (TV, film, long-form video, content protection, in-app purchases, advertising, brand ownership, etc.) YouTube alone falls short. In these cases, YouTube should be part of the story, a showcase, an audience generating hub to a far more extensive, exciting and exclusive OTT destination that can deliver these additional benefits.
YouTube needs to be creating ‘audience’ and OTT destinations converting them to ‘customers’ where income can be derived in multiple ways without restriction (subscription, in-app purchases, advertising, sponsorship etc.). One where the proposition can be operated within the service’s own brand journey, with rich menus, collections, and playlists driven by your own editorial objectives.
OTT; too complicated? Think again
Setting out to produce an all-in-one offering means pre-building the OTT eco-system. One where cloud servers, hosting video, formatting, protecting and distributing video are already integrated, multiple device apps are already built, and all necessary management tools are fully developed and available.
This is an objective we’ve achieved at Easel TV, and it’s not just about making it super easy to launch and manage a standalone fully owned OTT offering, it is also about the economic benefits that come from a supplier being able to offer and support a ‘complete’ end-to-end OTT service.
The approach naturally leads to rapid deployment which in turn saves money on build costs, brings early returns and allows clients to beat competitors to market, this factor alone could be significant in hitting ROI and investment targets.
Having just one online management dashboard reduces complex systems integration, removes multiple logins, multiple user interfaces and enables easy administration. Avoiding complex integration through this approach also leads to stability and higher quality, all of which contribute to lower costs.
One User interface based on one consistent navigational paradigm across all administrative and editorial tools means it is also intuitive to use, training is simple, fewer mistakes are made, and no technical or expensive resource is required, again saving money and encouraging editorial changes which ensure a consistently fresh and exciting consumer offering.
An additional benefit, and no small one, is that one supplier leads to lower costs, full ownership and no excuses between suppliers. Furthermore, being a multi-tenant solution also leads to lower (shared) costs.
This is not about a lack of functionality either, in our own case OTT services will allow you to support multiple commercial models or mix up transaction (in-app) purchases, with subscription payments, advertising (both banner and video), sponsorship and vouchering.
Certainly the landscape is changing and whether you’re out to compete with Netflix or just generating a pop-up brand campaign as a destination for addressable TV advertising, the benefits of a creating your own brand OTT video service has never been more economically viable and easier to execute.