Tips for Choosing an OTT TV Platform

If you are considering offering OTT TV to your clients, you should know that this is a very smart step to take. The market is prime for those offering OTT television services with daily growth at a much faster pace than the traditional television industry. For proof of just how popular OTT is becoming and that it truly is the "way of the future," just look at the huge names in the industry, such as Netflix and Hulu, and their immense popularity.

Obviously, OTT television is extremely popular right now and a great way to "up the ante" of your business. However, you certainly can't offer OTT programming without the right OTT platform. Platforms are simply technical software and/or hardware components that are used to organize and broadcast programming to subscribers for a regular fee.

The platform through which you offer your services will go a long way toward determining how people feel about your services and whether or not they are satisfied with them. Thus, it is very important that you choose the right platform and that you also offer all the things your clients could want through that platform. If you don't, then you will easily and quickly lose out to the competition- and there is a lot of competition out there, so don't make that mistake. Strive to be the best, and understand that being the best starts with choosing the right platform.
Full and Complete Service Offerings
To start off with, any service that you offer to your customers and through any provider or venue, it needs to be absolutely, entirely complete in terms of what it offers. Once you have done the job of deciding which content you want to offer, you need to make sure that your provider is going to do everything else. This includes AT LEAST all of the following tasks:

  • Transcoding
  • Content distribution
  • IPTV system management
  • Utilization of adaptive streaming protocols
  • Offering content on various platforms/devices and through various front end applications
If a service is not capable of taking care of ALL of that for you, then it is probably not the right choice. While you could find other services to take care of different tasks, the last thing you want to have to do is to go through several different providers and to pay and coordinate all of them. That is just too much work and hassle, which is why it's a much better choice to find one service that can take care of all of the needs that you and your clients might possibly have. Remember, if something is going to be difficult for you, it's going to be difficult for your clients as well, which is the last thing you want and which can easily ruin your reputation and detract clients away from you.
Viewer Engagement
Speaking of your clients, it is also incredibly important that, whatever service you go through, that it has the same goals in mind as you do: maximizing viewer engagement should be the main one. If your service can't do that for your customers, then it is certainly not worth using. Look for a service that offers personalization of the viewing experience, such as proven, researched viewing recommendations, content discovery options, and the ability to stream and work across a wide range of devices. If you can't offer all of these things through your service, you run the risk of being passed over easily in favor of better options that offer more to customers, so it is absolutely indispensable that you take heed of this very important tip.
Easy Management
Another thing to keep in mind is that you should find it incredibly easy to manage your content and other cloud-stored data, and, even more importantly, so should your customers. That same rule mentioned earlier applies here as well: if something is difficult for your customers, there is a very good chance that it will be even more difficult for you and vice versa.

When you deliver a system that, through another system, makes it possible for viewers to access all aspects of their desired content on whatever platform they want and that makes the business management aspect of it easy for you, everything works out.

Ideally, you should be able to easily manage your system without paying additional costs to do so. All management tasks should be included in your package, not something that you are charged extra to access. Good providers want to make your life and your work easier, not harder. Furthermore all of the things that you are able to offer should be offered via an in-house team that you can contact at ANY time, NOT only via some remote team or customer service department that you can only reach during certain hours or that doesn't truly know how to deal with, and, even more importantly, fully resolve your issue.

When there is a problem, you and your clients will want and deserve answers right then, not just when someone is able to "get to it." Demand easy manageability from any service you employ, not just for your sake but also for the sake of your customers as well. If you can do that, then there is a good chance that every aspect of managing your business and your content and of allowing your clients to do the same and keeping them happy will be easier and less stressful to handle.
Money-Making Ability
While most people don't really like to talk about money, the fact remains that you are a business and that you are, at the end of the day, offering a service and relying on the successful offering of that service for your living and the success of your business. As such, you most certainly need to find a service that is going to help you make money and to capitalize on everything that you offer in every way possible.

To begin with, you should be able to deliver content quickly. People probably are not going to be willing to pay extra to view or stream an episode of their favorite show from two weeks ago, but they may very well be willing to pay for their favorite episode from last night, which is why quick time to market is incredibly important with any service. You also want to regularly be able to offer (and charge for) new services, which is why it's important to find a modern company that has its finger on the pulse of the latest offerings and that regularly offers new technologies and services, which you, in turn, can offer and charge for. Things that your service should regularly offer, thus giving you the chance to offer as well, and improve upon include:

  • Subscription Video on Demand (VOD) services/programs
  • New channels and new channel packages
  • DVR/viewing features, such as catch-up and/or start-over services, which regularly improve
  • Pay-Per-View options
The bottom line is that, the more you are able to offer to your clients and the more frequently and regularly you are able to offer new products and services, the more money you are likely to make and the more satisfied your customers are likely to be. For these reasons, finding a company that regularly supplies you with new ways to make money off of your clients and to offer them quality services in return is incredibly important.

And that last factor- quality services- is just as important as WHAT you can offer your customers. If you offer them a lot but with bad quality, that's just as bad as having a narrow selection of options. Good quality services and a lot of them, as well as an ever-improving rotation of them, is what will win you clients and make you money in the long run.

If you are able to keep these simple tips in mind, then you should have great success, no matter which OTT service you choose for your business and your customers.