There’s no one recipe for a successful OTT service. Just like you could never order a single lunch for your whole office and expect everyone to be happy, every media business is going to have its own needs, priorities, and focuses. Fortunately for hungry people everywhere—whether for lunch or great content—today’s OTT services can be built more like meals from those restaurants where you choose all your own salad or rice bowl ingredients. Pick a base, choose your protein(s), and then go nuts with toppings until you have your perfect meal. Need something different tomorrow? You can always go back and change it around.
1. Choose Your Base
Are you a rice person? Greens? Noodles? The fundamentals of your solution will be determined by what your current strategy is. So figure out where you are now…and where you want to go. Are you a digital publisher looking increase your reach? Maybe a media company who wants to go direct to your customers? Or are you a broadcaster looking to leverage your MSO connections? Your starting situation will determine your strategy.
2. Choose Your Monetization(s)
Just like protein powers your body, monetization powers your service. But while it might be weird to ask for beef and shrimp in the same dish, there’s no reason not to combine monetization methods into a hybrid approach. Using multiple approaches will not only increase your revenue streams but insulate you from changes in the marketplace.
You might think that the typical ramp up would be:
Authenticated service > Ad-based monetization > Subscription
But this isn’t a recipe—you don’t have to follow someone else’s steps. Instead, choose what works for you. Mix and match any combination of the elements – authenticated service, SVOD, AVOD, Freemium, TVOD – to build the strategy that works for your audience.
3. Choose Your Ingredients
Now it’s time to really customize. It’s not just a matter of which you pick—you also need to choose how much. Some want a light sprinkle of cheese; others want a thick gooey coat. Here is where you augment and leverage the basic OTT model. For each category, it’s up to you how many additional elements you want to include. In some of these categories, you might even want two or three choices. For every aspect, it’s important to decide for yourself what to focus on to build an OTT service that will appeal to your audience—and fulfill your strategy.
What About Tomorrow’s Lunch?
What works for you today isn’t necessarily going to work for you tomorrow. Just like a morning workout might leave you craving heftier fare, you may want to scale up fast as you succeed. Your platform will need to grow with you. You’re not the only factor, either. Fashions shift and markets change. Your platform will need to shift accordingly. Changing a business model will impact your workflow, your service flow, even your user experience. Whether you’re looking for a fast-deploying, lightweight OTT solution or a carefully constructed, fully customized OTT experience, you need an OTT platform that’s both strong and flexible, future-proofed with all the features you might want later.