How Media Brands Can Expand Their Audiences Through Standalone OTT Apps

Pamela Morgan, Media and Entertainment Tech Outlook | Friday, September 03, 2021

When lockdowns were implemented last year, those confined to their homes turned to their favorite television shows for solace.

FREMONT, CA: Comscore estimates that 69.8 million homes utilized OTT apps in April 2020, up 5.2 million from the previous year. Americans watched 1.4 billion extra hours of OTT entertainment in 2019 while they were cooped up at home. The top five streaming services—Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video—all reported increased viewership and were joined by newcomers such as Peacock and Discovery Plus. Even cable providers such as AT&T are getting involved.

When Netflix went digital in 2010, it carved out a distinct niche for itself. However, the OTT industry is rapidly approaching the density and fragmentation of the traditional cable TV market or possibly the web itself. Media businesses of all sizes are vying for a piece of the OTT pie, as audiences have come to expect the opportunity to watch their programming on any device.

On the other hand, NBCUniversal and Disney do not have the resources, franchises, or commercial muscle that NBCUniversal and Disney do. This raises the question of how smaller media businesses might compete in the OTT space.

To obtain access to their big audiences, some will partner with major OTT service providers. However, in an oversaturated OTT world, are media brands capable of remaining independent with their own OTT apps? Yes, it is. Consider the following points for media companies considering the launch of standalone OTT apps:

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Unique content

Content, as the adage goes, is king. With OTT apps, the followers may watch the contents whenever and wherever they want. If media brands have a specialty, exclusive content, and dedicated following who are anxious to watch it, OTT is the ideal approach to keep those viewers engaged.

Live streaming is another effective method of retaining listeners' attention. Live streaming increased 400 percent in 2020, according to our data. This tendency is expected to continue in 2021. Media businesses, in particular, in verticals such as faith, fitness, and sports, are well-positioned to leverage live streaming on OTT apps.

Scalable and Frictionless Workflow

Today's audiences are insatiably hungry for content. To meet demand, media firms will require flexible, frictionless, and scalable workflows that enable them to offer a constant supply of new content.

An ideal workflow imports content and information automatically, avoiding human error and easing workloads. Additionally, the specifics of when and where various types of information will be released can be automated. Further, these processes can be connected with the monetization mentioned above data to optimize revenue-generating content distribution.

The critical component of a successful OTT deployment is an API that connects OTT applications to any existing in-house applications. Additionally, APIs enable integration apps seamlessly in the future to add capabilities such as analytics or ad targeting, making the OTT platform future-proof.

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