“I want more — everywhere — for less.”
These are the immortal words of every user of any product everywhere. For content creators, it’s not just the war cry of the masses trying to get at your content, and it’s also a view of HOW they want to consume your product. If you read really closely in between the lines, “more,” “everywhere,” and “for less” are spelling out your secret to viral success.
Let’s break it down.
More is the easy one — it’s incredibly straight-forward. They want MORE videos, MORE viral moments, MORE hours from your unique perspective. Are you at capacity for delivering more?
Everywhere is equally easy — they want to stream wherever they are. And not just on the TV, but increasingly on their computers, and on mobile. Are you making that happen?
For less — who doesn’t want everything for less? You need options for getting your content to your viewers at a value they can understand. Are you delivering content in a way that lets your viewers know they’re getting a deal?
But I’ve gotten ahead of myself — how does this all come together? One word: over-the-top.
Over-the-top (OTT) is a term used to describe how content providers are distributing and streaming media directly to viewers over the internet. If you’re a watcher of Netflix, or you’re hosting your content on YouTube, you’re already familiar with what OTT does. Put really, really simply, OTT is when you get content to your viewers without going through traditional cable providers, and if you noticed the two content giants I’ve already name-dropped, you’ve got a sense of what exactly OTT does, and how successful it’s been with the current market.
For someone who is trying to hit their viewers with “more,” “everywhere,” “for less,” OTT is where you want to direct your focus, and here’s why:
1. OTT is a way to be in more places all at once.
There was a time when your content would’ve been regulated to a slot time on a television station. If your viewers missed it — that was it. Even in the early Aught’s, when DVR reigned supreme — you had to remember to tape something every time it came on, or like video waves, you’d just miss it. One of the greatest things about OTT is the ability to navigate around this bothersome eventuality. Do you want to watch “Stranger Things” at 3 AM on a Monday night? That’s your prerogative — OTT isn’t going to stop you. What about replaying your favorite Vine compilations on YouTube over, and over, and over again? Again, we’re not judging. With OTT, viewers are no longer on a time frame — and creators are no longer on a timeslot.
So what does this mean for your viewership? It means getting your audience “more.” With OTT, your options for content are literally endless — you’re not confined by one timeslot, once a week, for the length of your contract. You can get as many of your videos to your audience as often as you want, and then they can watch it whenever they want. Sounds great, right?
2. OTT is “out of the box.”
OTT offers to stream across more platforms than TV currently provides, and totally aces that “everywhere” demand. While some cable networks are chasing after OTT capabilities, there is still one thing companies like Netflix, Hulu, and even Amazon Prime are doing better than traditional cable networks like Comcast or Cox — they’re putting your content everywhere you can get the internet. Instead of having to watch at home, viewers are tapping into content wherever they want, on whatever devices they want: phone, tablet, computer, you name it.
Want your viewers to connect to your sitcom about life in the big city on the subway as they head home? Want them to tune into your meal prep videos from the grocery store as they’re picking out ingredients from your most recent post? With OTT that’s not just possible — but it’s already happening.
3. OTT offer more options, for content you really want.
Remember when the cable company used to dangle HBO access at the very top of the premium channel package, and if you didn’t shell out the big bucks for the top bundle you weren’t getting anywhere close to “Sex and the City,” or “Rome,” or “The Sopranos”? ESPN was another channel at the top of the list — the cable company held all of the power when it came to what you watched, how you watched, and how much you were paying for it. The beauty of OTT is in the ability to choose. If you want to watch the big game, you can subscribe just to the OTT providers that are showing it.
As a creator, OTT can make a huge difference for your viewership because if you can bring your content to your viewers without making them jump through hoops, you’re going to build a better customer experience. Plus, the likelihood is that your OTT subscription service can bring the content they want for a price they really like — and it’s not going to be in the hundreds. And when you do that — pair great content at a price that’s valuable to your audience — you win viewers for life. At the end of the day, it really is all about getting more of everything for less. And with OTT, why shouldn’t you, and why shouldn’t your viewers?
If you’re ready to explore your OTT opportunities, Endavo is a video distribution automation (VDA) platform that launches your content toward success by optimizing OTT streaming, social video, multi-channel network (MCN) features in one, centralized location. It’s like Netflix meets YouTube but custom, and so much better.