OTT is an enabler; watch what you want, when you want, on pretty much any device you want (assuming your OTT supplier has a full range of device player apps).

For existing broadcast channel providers, one of these; watch ‘when you want’, is often the primary driver to add a complimentary cloud VOD/OTT service. All too often though, there is an absolute belief that you also need to include within the service the pre-existing broadcast channel as a ‘live’ linear stream.

Besides the fact that, with the exception of real-time live events, this stream is in reality just a collection of VOD assets anyway (albeit editorially managed in a different way), encouraging linear viewing could not only prove very expensive but it also potentially limits consumer discovery, targeted and personalised experiences.

The fixed linear broadcast implies all your customers are the same, they want to watch the same thing at the same time; which frankly destroys the whole ethos of OTT as an enabler. It also encourages ‘leaving the telly on’ syndrome where expensive CDN streaming costs get to dilute the potential ARPU of your OTT service.

Curated and/or personalised linear VOD playlists, streamed out as a linear experience, on the other hand, take advantage of the personal connection OTT offers, and can limit open ended streaming and direct consumers to what they really want.

Perhaps it’s time to rethink your OTT strategy, reap the power of the medium, reduce operating costs and start making money from it.

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