Live and Linear; one is real-time the other fixed-time, one is an event the other continuous stream (probably 24×7). But probably the biggest difference of all is their commercial opportunity.

It’s not difficult to see the difference between a continuously streamed ‘linear’ channel and a one-off ‘live’ event. It’s not that a linear schedule couldn’t include a live event or generate the same value from it, but when it comes to OTT there are differences worth understanding.

Previously I’ve touched on the costs associated with 24×7 linear streaming, especially set against a fixed monthly subscription model. The danger is all the time the linear stream is being unicast to an individual consumer they are running the CDN tap. Every minute erodes the fixed monthly subscription income until the individual margin is gone.

Selling tickets to live events of the other hand is TVOD; known streaming costs with arguably fixed margins. This is clearly a better business case if you can attract the audience. 24×7 linear steams have their purpose, but when it comes to improving margin over streaming costs it will pay to also make sure your OTT service is set up to quickly create and monetise live events.

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