History and challenges of OTT

Nowadays, OTT or Over-the-Top, seems to be the new trendy term in the digital and media industry. The word refers to the delivery of films, series or any other video content via internet without the use of traditional cable or satellite TV services.

Through the years, our way of watching video content has changed. Initially performed by telecom operators, and slowly moving towards the Internet, TV broadcasting switched from terrestrial networks to wire-based This technology,added to the development of high speed networks and mobile internet, allowed the birth of OTT. Youtube was, for a while, the leading provider of video content on internet allowing the users to be in control of their audiovisual content for the first time.

With a wide variety of available content and an extensive range of pricesand viewing options, OTT services attract more and more consumers, as opposed to TV. According to MediaMétrie, about 21% of web users are subscribed to a SVOD platform on 2017. 2.8 million households have all the necessary facilities to use OTT services, making OTT one of the leading, fastest-growing markets.

But since we’re not in a glitter and unicorn world, one should know that it’s also leading to some big challenges:

Ryan Red says, “In OTT especially, there are multiple platforms to deal with. In mobile, we have the duopoly of Android and Apple. In connected TV, you have to cater to Roku, Amazon, Apple, Xbox, PlayStation and smart TV manufacturers. There are a lot of different hardware platforms, and it creates a technical challenge. And there are probably 20 different hardware platforms that your OTT video goes to, which is a logistical challenge”.

In addition to this technical challenge, we are facing difficulties with:

  • The medias’ quality that depends on things beyond our own influence, such as internet speed and routers.
  • Content’s security against piracy problems
  • The need to improve the flow of the user experience
  • Customer acquisition next to big giants such as Netflix
  • Complexity regarding regionalization of the OTT service (distribution laws, multilingual…)

The OTT’s influence is booming, but some parameters are to be taken into account.

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