“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 carefully in between the lines, “more,” “everywhere,” and “for less” are spelling out your secret to viral success. And the answer is OTT platforms.
Why use an OTT platform? 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?
So, how does this all come together? One word: OTT platforms.
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 an OTT platform does, and how successful it’s been with the current market.
Top 3 Reasons Why OTT Platforms are Better Than Cable
1. OTT platforms enable your content 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 platforms 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.
Top 5 OTT Platforms in 2020
From major players like Netflix and Hulu to emerging platforms like Apple TV+ and Disney Plus, here are the top five OTT platforms going into 2020.
Longtime market leader Netflix continues to churn out quality original content since it started producing its own back in 2013. It will be interesting to see how the streaming behemoth adapts, however, as its licensed content shifts to competing networks.
Is there anything that Amazon can’t do? With cover 150 million Amazon Prime Video users as of January 2020, subscribers can access original content, a wide selection of movies, kid-friendly content, and more.
Hulu’s claim to fame is big-name TV shows from networks like ABC, NBC, Fox, Bravo, and more. Choose from an ad-supported version at $5.99 per month or upgrade to the $11.99 plan for no commercials.\
4. Disney Plus
Newcomer Disney Plus has already exceeded expectations since its launch last year. By the end of 2019, the service reportedly gained a quarter of a million users — a figure that doubled to 50 million by April 2020.
5. YouTube TV
As one of the most popular streaming services with over 163 million monthly average users, YouTube’s subscription offering gives you around 60 channels along with cloud DVR functionality.
OTT stands for over-the-top, a term typically used to describe content media platforms or programs that send content like videos directly to users through the internet. In simple terms, it’s how YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, etc. have been streaming their videos from the very beginning — all to say it’s incredibly successful and super important to consider if you’re currently creating content. Learn more about OTT here.
Absolutely! If there’s one way content creators are going to grow their revenue stream in the future, it’s by going OTT. Right now, audiences are changing their habits with video content thanks to OTT, so there’s a huge opportunity to create bigger, better, and more video content by optimizing your delivery. In fact, you should consider AVOD, TVOD, and SVOD as well, and you can learn more about these three terms here and how to grow your own OTT revenue here.
Honestly, we think what a creator needs in a platform is totally up to one, very important thing: you, because only you know what your audience needs and what your content deserves to be successful. That being said, a platform that can support the kind of freedom you need will offer things like customized apps, SEO optimization tools, revenue opportunities. And if this platform is really good, like Endavo, it’ll all be available on one, streamlined platform. Check out what personalized options we offer for creators here.
If you’re working with Endavo, and if by “picked up” you mean syndicated, then yes, 100%. All of our content creators — whether they’re streaming on a host site or have their own customized platform — have the opportunity to think even bigger than their current audience with syndication opportunities through our channel partners. Learn more about that here.
OTT (over the top) is the way you’re distributing content, and in this case, over the internet. An MCN (multi-channel network) is more about how content is managed by an organization, for example, a network that works with video platforms to handle promotion, partner management, monetization, and more. With Endavo, both of those terms come together for a single, optimized platform that brings in the best of both worlds to deliver content creators the freedom they need to grow. Check out how that works here.
Endavo is made to enable both individual creators and communities better harness the power of Video Distribution Automation to reap further direct benefit from their creative geniusness. Want to see how Atlanta is showcasing their city dripping with talent and culture? Visit THEA Network OR Check out digital influencer Noah Wilson whose hooked on working with Footprint Network to grow his following to more than Youtube users and pilot his own channel in just a short time!
Ready to Monetize? Here are 7 Ways to Get Started on OTT Platforms.
Part of what makes Endavo unique is our commitment to options, and that extends directly to our monetization options, too. Where most platforms will offer only one preferred payout option, we’ve compiled the best of OTT platform monetization strategies in one platform so that you can choose the monetization strategy that works best for you — whether that’s just one strategy or a combination of all of them. Here’s what we can do:
1. Offer traditional advertising.
Traditional advertising works, plain and simple. With Endavo, you can offer your partners brand awareness packages that include banner ads, commercials, previews, and more so that you can optimize your position in front of your consumers.
2. Fund your OTT platform content with direct sponsorships.
Have a partner that’s funding your entire endeavor, or are you looking for one? We can help you find the right partners for your brand so you can use your skill set to get sponsorships and funding for each of your content pieces.
3. Consider a subscription service.
Love the way Netflix and Amazon Prime offer subscriptions? Good news. Endavo offers subscription services, too. Choose rates, build custom packages, and work toward your long-term financial goals.
4. Make one-time purchases available.
Trying to grow your audience and convert viewers into paying customers? Consider the one-time purchase options available on Endavo, which includes pay-per-view, content rentals, live event coverage, and more.
5. Give viewers donation options.
Feel like your audience would do well with a patron tip jar or donation-style option? We can program your platform to accept direct donations right on the pages where they watch, optimizing your popularity and influence.
6. Get syndicated on other OTT Platforms.
One of the best parts of Endavo is that you don’t have to choose between streaming your own content and getting syndicated — we can offer you both options. From one custom platform, you can upload your content, and deliver to many different OTT platforms effortlessly.
7. Deliver a la carte channel subscriptions.
Here’s the truth: Everyone wants to watch how they want to watch. With a la carte channel subscriptions on Endavo, you can make it easy for people to customize what they watch, when they want to watch it.
“It’s all about control, curation, self-distribution, and management. And not only that, but the Endavo OTT platform opens up the options in terms of how you monetize. That’s the OTT layer, right? Which has been our core competency for a decade; which says you’ve got your channel, you’ve got your content on our platform. Whether you’re syndicating to other networks or you’re doing your own OTT, you can monetize through advertising. You can do sponsorship. You can do subscriptions. You can do transactional, you know, or even develop a tip jar. So there are all the different ways, and it’s not an either/or situation. You can figure out what works best for you, your content, and your audience, and monetize.”
Editors Note: This post was originally published February 2019 and has been updated to include an FAQ section.