Monetizing Your Content: Must Have Features for Your IPTV/OTT Platform

When you are offering products and/or services to your clients, you obviously want those products and services to be the very best that they can be. However, that is not possible unless you, yourself, have a good provider through which to access these services and then through which to provide them to your clients. As such, you must absolutely work hard to find the best possible service products if you are going to keep your clients happy and to meet all of their needs and wants, as well as to maintain a positive reputation for your business.

In order to make sure that you can satisfy all of your clients, you want to make sure that you have excellent IPTV middleware that makes both your experience and the experience of your clients a positive one. And, to be honest, a simply "positive" experience isn't enough; you need to be able to provide a great experience that will keep clients coming back and that will make them choose you and your services over all of the (extensive) other options that are out there.

Because the pressure is on to get and receive clients, you need to do everything you can to make your service the best, and that all starts with carefully choosing the right IPTV Middleware.
1. A Classy, Consistent Interface
The first thing that your clients are likely to notice when they sign up for and start using your service is the interface that your programming option offers to them. With good middleware companies, all offered programming will be presented in a way that is attractive, modern, and easy to navigate. Not having these features is a pretty easy way to frustrate clients and to end up with them going elsewhere, which is the last thing that you want.

In addition to ensuring that clients' interfaces are attractive and easy to use, you also want to make sure that they are fairly consistent, even if the client upgrades or begins watching programming in a new way or on a new device.

Your customers shouldn't have to feel unsure about their interfaces each time they use a new app or upgrade their systems; that can actually, in fact, steer people away from upgrading. Therefore, even when you upgrade or add extra features, always make sure to keep at least certain things consistent and easy to use.

This will not only aid in helping to keep your clients happy and comfortable, but it will also go a long way toward building your brand and giving it something that it is "known"for.
2. Control
Another thing to keep in mind is that it is very important that you have full control over the services/products you are offering to your television customers. You need to be able to actually see the program you are offering, to work on the real backend, and to view the front end, apps, and more. This is the only way you are going to feel truly secure that you are providing your customers with an excellent viewing experience and good service all around.

The best companies will allow you to do a free trial with their services. That way, you can fully check out what a particular service will offer to your customers before making the decision about whether or not it's the right fit for your business. And, when you do make that decision, you'll be doing so with full knowledge, making your decision a smart and informed one.
3. Affordability
Another thing you'll have to think about, of course, is the overall cost of providing a specific service to your customers. While you obviously want to provide your clients with the best viewing experience possible, you are also still running a business and need to be able to make a profit. Thus, check up on what your operating costs would be from one company to the next in order to find the best deal and the deal that is going to enable you to make the highest profit possible while still providing quality services to your clients.

Also, when setting rates for your television services, make sure you know what other providers are charging. You can go somewhat above the norm IF you offer something extra that none of the others have, or you can play it safe and offer the lowest price in town. Whatever route you go, though, knowing what the competition is doing is important.
4. Playback Platforms
You should also be able to offer your clients set-top box platforms, as well as other platform options that they may like; most providers will have a few different platform options available so that their clients can choose the right one and the right package that works for them.

When you are offering a wide variety of playback platforms, you can reach a much wider audience and keep each and every client happy. Clients will love that they can access television through a standard, familiar set-top box and/or through more modern applications, like Smartphone or other mobile apps. In general, the more playback platforms you can offer to your users, the better!
5. Security
No matter how you offer content or how much of it you offer, the bottom line is that the things you offer to viewers need to be absolutely secure. Security is a concern with this type of technology, but with responsive multi-DRM tools, you can keep information secure and also reduce the risk of piracy and other illegal actions that could end up getting your business in trouble. In this regard, having good security measures in place will protect both you and your clients, which makes it extremely important to do so.
6. Integration
These days, customers don't JUST want television services from their television service providers. It has become standard in the industry to also offer internet services, pay TV services, and more to consumers. For this reason, it is a very good idea to use a provider that allows you to integrate your services along with 3rd party services easily. When you have this option in place, you can offer other necessary products and services to your clients to keep them happy and to earn you more money. And, when integration is truly easy for you, you can regularly release new products and services to draw in more clients and to get more business from the clients that you already have.
7. Engagement
Regardless of which services you offer, the fact remains that you absolutely want your clients to be satisfied with and to enjoy the services that you are providing them. This is the only way to keep your customers. Plus, thanks to the Internet, word can and will spread quickly if your clients are not satisfied with what they are getting from you.

The most engaging products and services usually tend to be personalized, customized, and capable of providing access to new content and helping consumers to find new content which they can then enjoy across a wide range of devices. Keep in mind, too, that you can also add in advertisements that engage users with products and services they may be interested in. Not only will they be grateful for the specialized advertising that keeps them interested, but this also gives you a chance to earn more money as well.
8. Future-Proofing
It's no secret that technology changes rapidly, and that is particularly true in this industry where it seems like businesses are regularly offering or attempting to offer new and better items and services to their consumers. To protect your investments and your services, make sure they are all"future proofed," meaning that, if you decide to later, your technologies could easily be expanded to full OTT, to a hybrid system, or to a multi-screen system, etc.
9. Manageability
You should be able to manage absolutely everything about your business and the services you offer in one convenient place and through one easy to navigate platform. This includes determining what content is and should be offered to which clients, business management tasks, and other important day-to-day work and management. The last thing you want is to have to use and pay for a variety of different services to manage your business. You should be able to get everything you need from one service to avoid hassle and stress and to make managing your business as easy as possible.
10. Channel Packages
Of course, what matters most to consumers is what you offer them, and one thing you definitely should be able to offer is access to a variety of channel packages. Viewers should be able to subscribe to many different combinations of channels or channel packages. You should be able to control these offerings based on region, customer payment plans or subscriptions, and other factors. Being able to easily control who sees what and at what price makes it easier to give your customers what they want while still making a profit for your own business in the process.
11. Video on Demand (VOD)
VOD is very popular with today's consumers, which is why your business absolutely needs to be able to offer this service. Otherwise, you run the risk of clients going elsewhere and looking for a company that can. Plus, VOD services are a great way to earn more money from your customers. Some of the types of VOD that you should consider offering and that most major providers offer include the following:

  • Subscription VOD: movies and other subscription-related programming available on demand.
  • Ad-Supported VOD: programming offered for free, providing that viewers are willing to view ads.
  • Transactional VOD: programming that can be purchased and added to the customer's monthly bill.
  • Free VOD: truly free programming designed to increase customer satisfaction and improve engagement.
Obviously, there is quite a bit to think about in terms of what you will offer your customers and what you need to look for in your own service. However, by choosing the right IPTV middleware, you can ensure that you are giving your customers what they want and that you are also making your own work easier and less stressful. Keeping this information in mind will help you to select the right middleware and have a great experience with it in the long run.