Over-the-Top Is Good: What is OTT Content and Why Does It Work?

Over-the-Top Is Good: What is OTT Content and Why Does It Work?

Multi-screen use is more popular than ever. But what is OTT content and how does it fit with changing media consumption behavior?

You’ve probably watched Netflix countless times or at least heard of it before. What you may not know is that you were watching OTT content.

OTT content is evolving at a rapid rate with Amazon Prime and Hulu as two more great examples of it.

So exactly what is OTT? Read on to find out.

What is OTT?

OTT means “over-the-top.” It refers to a process that delivers content via the internet rather than the traditional cable or broadcast providers.

Even though OTT and video may be intertwined, they are two different things. OTT is a channel used to deliver video content to end-users.

Even though it’s commonly applied to video platforms, it goes beyond that to audio streaming, internet-based voice calling and messaging services. Over the top services are usually monetized through subscriptions with exceptions such as advertising or in-app purchases. Ad-supported OTT is currently one of the biggest advertising platforms in the digital space.

Netflix remote

How Does OTT Work?

Given the internet-based delivery system, OTT services are able to bypass third-party networks. Users can also access OTT content through mobile devices, personal computers, smart TVs, or digital media players.

As long as users pay for these services, they can have access regardless of where they are. They only need an internet connection.

Some platforms have taken advantage of this fact and made their services mobile responsive. This way, people can watch or listen to what they want at any time they please.

What Are the Perks of Using OTT?

OTT content is global with massive audiences all over the world. There are several reasons why it’s taken the world by storm.

To begin with, it offers high-value content at a very low cost, making it an attractive option. Most people consider streaming services cost-effective compared to cable services.

Originality and exclusivity are two more reasons. In recent years, platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime have been offering original content exclusively available via their services.

Similar platforms like Disney+ and HBO have exclusive streaming licenses. Better yet, OTT services are more accessible as they are compatible with multiple devices.

Cable TV requires a television set, but OTT services are available on any device with broadband services. As long as users have a subscription, they can enjoy their content on smart TVs, gaming consoles, laptops, and mobile devices.

What Type of Content is Suitable For OTT?

Video streaming is by far the most widely used OTT service with ad-based services such as YouTube, storefronts like iTunes and platforms like Netflix. However, audio streaming is possible and podcasts and online radios are some great examples.

OTT instant messaging services are also prevalent and users bypass mobile SMS services. They link users directly via the internet. Some familiar examples include Google, WeChat, Facebook, Skype, among others.

Voice calling is also possible with platforms like Skype, which use internet protocols. When integrated with mobile networks, they enhance certain features, making the experience even better.

YouTube play button pizza

Will OTT Replace Traditional Media Distributions?

You’ll find that most OTT services do cord-cutting. This means canceling TV subscriptions in order to focus more on web content. While this has increased the OTT user base, traditional networks will not get cut off completely.

Even with Netflix and similar services, most customers still maintain their cable services. OTT services are still very new into the market and there may be significant changes in the future as practices are refined.

OTT TV Business Models

Over the top services have gone beyond TV services to other business models. Some are better known than others and have different objectives. They include:


These are subscription-based services. The most popular examples being Netflix, HBO On Demand, and Hulu. These offer unlimited access to films and series at a monthly or yearly subscription cost.


These are transactional services with examples being Google and iTunes. These allow users to pay for individual content pieces, which is known as pay-per-view.

Free / AVOD

This stands for advertising video on demand. It offers advertisements or branded content services.

Why Svod is More Prevalent

SVOD services are the most prevalent option and for good reason. They have more content to offer through multiple devices, giving them a larger customer base. Platforms like Netflix have subscribers all over the world.

Multi-screen marketing is one of the biggest shifts in customer behavior in the past few years. There has been an explosion of devices and screens in people’s lives.

This has made a huge impact on media consumption and how these platforms are reaching their consumers. Marketers are using SVoD benchmarks to compare themselves to their peers and reach their customer base. This has increased its popularity compared to the other services.

Learning from video streaming of educational content

The Biggest OTT Opportunities

The OTT tech has very high potential and everyone wants a piece of the pie.

Video streaming services are on the rise and there are major opportunities in the market still to be explored. A recent study showed that 50% of OTT subscribers are more interested in educational content, mostly in the form of tutorials or instructional content.

There is a huge potential in health-based content and children’s programming. The SvOD services are gaining power by the day. Even though they may face challenges, this is going to expand exponentially over the next few years.

Content owners need to focus on producing great content, protecting their subscribers, increasing their revenue, and growing their businesses.

OTT also comes with tiered monetization benefits. The services are based on subscriptions, consumers also make in-app purchases. OTT marketers attract customers through performance marketing, which is not only predictable but scalable as well.

OTT is the Future

Hopefully, you now understand exactly what is OTT. Over the top services are making a breakthrough in the media market and there is still much room for growth. With an increase in competition and diversification, the market is growing and a ton of opportunities still remain unexplored.

More and more people are joining the bandwagon. Whether you are looking to tap into the market yourself or just enjoying what it has to offer, one thing is clear; OTT is the future of media and more is yet to come. B

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