What is OTT?

The acronym OTT stands for Over-the-Top. This means streaming across different devices whenever we want is possible because of “over-the-top,” a convenient little term that explains the new delivery method of film and TV content over the internet without the need for traditional broadcast, cable or satellite pay-TV providers. In simple terms, we’re talking about people paying an internet provider, like Xfinity, for internet access to watch Netflix, without paying for cable TV.

Everything You Need to Know About OTT:

It’s important that OTT not be confused with video streaming – because they are 2 different levels of content and experience.

Video Streaming

Is when content is simply streamed across an array of devices like smart TV’s, mobile devices, computers, and OTT devices as well. YouTube is the most popular platform for video streaming.

OTT

Is when premium content and a superior experience is made available by an OTT provider, like Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and so on. No matter the provider, OTT content can also be streamed on the vast array of today’s devices. Which ones? We’re so glad you asked!

How OTT is Delivered?

The accessibility of OTT content is one of the many reasons it’s so popular. To stream OTT, customers only require a high speed internet connection and a connected device that supports apps or browsers.

Mobile OTT Devices: Smartphones and tablets are able to download OTT apps to stream on-the go.

Personal Computers: Consumers can access OTT content from desktop-based apps or web browsers.

Smart TVs: The most common examples include Roku, Apple TV, Firestick and more. Game consoles, like PlayStation, also often support OTT apps.

 

Why is OTT Better Than YouTube?

1

Control.

OTT means control over your content, brand, user experience, audience, monetization and, most of all, your data. YouTube just doesn’t give you that.
2

Ad-Free Content.

OTT has opened up the possibility for ad-free content, by enabling subscription services (SVOD), one-time purchases (TVOD) and more monetization strategies. Even if advertising (AVOD) is your preferred model, OTT provides the power of targeted advertising and control over your campaigns and inventory, including direct sponsorships.
3

Direct to Consumer.

OTT is the ultimate platform for reaching your targeted audience directly with your content and delivering a premium video experience that you control. With OTT, providers can get immediate user feedback through direct engagement and interaction. What’s more powerful than that?
4

Consumer Freedom.

Consumers are now in the driver’s seat, due to OTT. More than ever, consumers are able to find exactly what they want to watch and only pay for the content and services that they want. OTT provides the flexibility to adjust your models to the market for maximum uptake.

There’s so much to know about OTT and streaming platforms, so if you want to learn more, checkout this Complete Guide to Streaming Platforms blog!

What’s the Outlook for the OTT Industry?

If there’s one thing that American culture is synonymous with, it’s the culture of cool. In post-WW2 America, it was bubblegum, Coca-Cola, denim jeans, and TV dinners in front of the Andy Griffith show. Families would pull out the dinner trays and prep at the microwave before sitting down and spending quality time in front of The Tube. We’re going to go ahead and call it: Watching the latest must-see TV show is the real American pastime. It was the weekly ritual, and it was a cultural cornerstone by every means of the word.

But cool isn’t always about pastimes — cool is also about what’s next. And the world no longer consumes TV as a family, once-a-week, together around the television. Now we’re all streaming our content across our favorite handheld devices as much as we’re watching it on our computers and televisions. And the best part is that we’ve got the added bonus of watching our content whenever we want. It’s cool, and it’s shaping (if not leading) our need-it-now mindset and culture from the inside out.

That’s not to say everything is going smoothly — obviously, the cable companies are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to the new opportunities,

As are the big broad networks like ABC, CBS, and the like. However, instead of becoming extinct, the demand for content is merely pushing these companies to consider different ways to market and deliver. Cable providers are still in the mix since many are providing internet services, and the main TV channel networks aren’t giving up their broadcast streams, they’re just ALSO going after the OTT audience with digital streaming through apps, platforms, and more. Why does that work? Because SO many people need content and it’s not changing anytime soon. According to Cisco, online video will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017 — by 2022.

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Those are big numbers and it’s a big transition, with many more implications than just cutting ties with the cable service that holds HBO goodies in its clutches. Not only has it changed the way we get television, but it’s changed the way we watch it too. And if there’s any story that is good at telling the OTT phenom, it’s Netflix.

CASE STUDY

Endavo Media’s FOOTPRINT Network Brings Entertainment and Lifestyle Content Creation to Life

FOOTPRINT Network began as Footprint.tv, a platform designed to leverage the opportunity of OTT technology to support and power local content creators. By building a unique platform using Endavo Media’s innovative infrastructure, Footprint.tv provided creators with the ability to establish their brand without having to rely on the major distribution channels like YouTube and Vimeo.eo.

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How Did Netflix Shape the OTT Industry?
The Netflix Effect

There are a lot of success stories that contribute to the streaming movement — YouTube, we’re looking at you — but one of the greatest stories of the OTT saga is Netflix, the little streaming platform that could.

There was one story that caught the eye of many Generation Xers and Boomers alike, even some Millennials, on their daily scroll: There’s only one Blockbuster left in the world. For anyone who was born before 1990, Blockbuster was an integral part of the weekend plan. You’d pop by the video store, spend hours perusing titles row by row, and then you’d rent. It was how the world saw movies at home — one tape, then DVD, at a time.

Up until the early nineties, Blockbuster was solid. But something interesting happened toward the end of the nineties — both Blockbuster and Netflix (known then as a “niche” platform) weren’t doing so hot. It was a sign of market transition. And it was then, in 2000, that the CEO of Netflix offered up Netflix to Blockbuster for $50 million. No deal.

It was a HUGE mistake.

In 2007, everything changed when Netflix first went OTT, catching onto a new wave of customer demand for untethered, streamed content (it was only two years earlier that YouTube launched as well — what a time to be a video nerd!). From then on, Blockbuster (despite trying to go OTT a few different ways) was constantly wiping its face clear of Netflix’s dust as it sped past.

If you’re curious about how Netflix accomplished this, this video from Techquickie explains how the platform works.

What did Netflix do right? They recognized the monumental shift in how people consume content. Blockbuster waited until the trend caught on, at a time when not only Netflix was changing the world as we know it, but YouTube and Facebook were making their marks on our ever-changing culture too. It was the dawn of the age of everything: faster, stronger, more. And it was moving SO fast, that a few years of stagnation was a complete death sentence.

In hindsight, it’s a lot easier to say Netflix made a good decision where Blockbuster made a bad one, but now that OTT has fully arrived and the world is consuming it in numbers beyond imagination, it’s not about just recognizing the trend, it’s about figuring out how to feed the beast. And there’s a lot of people out there stoking the flames and going after what’s next.

OTT + The World of Tomorrow

We all know that Netflix isn’t the only big guy out there now — Disney is sprinting out of the OTT gates with Disney+, Amazon Prime and Hulu have moved to take over TV, and even the indie-darling Sundance is making a splash out of its festival favorites and more. The world is recognizing the potential of OTT, not just for the big players like Netflix and Disney.

Smaller Creative Communities, like the city of Atlanta, are recognizing the power of OTT. As the first of its kind, THEA is taking the idea of OTT and, using Endavo, is pushing it to cultivate a community of creators — ones that are bolstering the metro economy with each piece of video that they create. Launched at SXSW in 2018 and powered to go OTT by Endavo, the platform is already boasting some incredible numbers. Currently, the platform is free, but with incredible monetization strategies in the line-up, it won’t be that way for long. Like all OTT platforms, once the audience comes, so do the opportunities to capitalize.

 

 

 

So what’s next? It’s still time for those “niche” communities to shine. Maybe it’s the local sports team looking to go global with its all-star numbers, or perhaps it’s a city with a lot of incredible stories to share with the world.  Beyond communities, OTT means it’s an era for video content creators to thrive. It’s never been easier to build your own OTT network to host all of your videos AND distribute them to video platforms as well! We’re talking people like a couple of brothers with a love for Stephen King just looking for an audience who shares their love for 80s nostalgia. Whatever it is, it’s getting shared OTT, and it’s transforming the world.

In the wake of COVID-19, OTT has also presented a unique opportunity for live streaming large events like concerts, music festivals, conferences, and more that would have otherwise been canceled. With a platform like Endavo, creators, event organizers, and businesses alike can deliver their content to a much larger audience with the option to monetize. 

Whatever streaming’s future holds, it’s getting shared OTT, and it’s transforming the world.

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Today, cool may look a lot different than it did in the 1950s when TV went big. It may look like an iPad getting played at dinner, or an Android getting watched while standing at a bus stop, or even a killer big screen OTT streaming the latest princess-meets-zombies flick at a middle school slumber party. But it’s power over American culture — and really, that of the world — has remained ever the same. OTT is the opportunity to bring people to stories, and more importantly, bring people together. It may be in references and “guess what I watched” play-by-plays, but the moments are still shared. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s really all about?

TL;DR: What you need to know about OTT

What does OTT mean?

OTT stands for “over-the-top,” as in going above and beyond streaming on YouTube and social networks. OTT is streaming, yes. This content can be streamed on computers, smartphones, and other OTT devices. But the difference is “premium”. Premium content and experience delivered over the Internet.

What are some examples of OTT?

There’s a wide range of OTT platforms, including Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Peacock, CuriosityStream, Pluto TV, and so many more.

Unlike OTT platforms, YouTube is a social video platform that was originally designed to allow everyday consumers to share moments caught on video. YouTube has attempted to enter the OTT market a number of times with limited success, since the market clearly sees YouTube as a place for free content.

What’s the difference between OTT and TV?

While TV requires a subscription to a cable service, OTT content is streamed directly over the Internet and paid for directly by consumers. Consumers can stream OTT content anywhere, at any time—a big perk over traditional TV programming.

How do OTT services work?

There many ways you can access OTT services, including via your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV, or gaming console. You don’t need a subscription to a pay-TV service provider—but depending on the OTT service, you may need a subscription to the OTT service. This is the case for services like Netflix and Disney+, where users can access curated content at any time with a monthly or yearly subscription.

What is the difference between Endavo and other OTT platforms?

Endavo gives creators more control over their content and business models. With Endavo, creators can take advantage of more content management and publishing capabilities, monetization options, helpful analytics, branding, and more. Unlike social-driven video websites like YouTube, TikTok or Instagram, Endavo is designed to keep viewers on your channel and brand—instead of jumping from creator to creator.

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