Media is one of the most sought after content in the universe. Videos, audios, and other contents are means through which information is transmitted. Some services are organized to provide cord-cutters with the best video and audio services outside cable. Netflix is a common example of these services, which provides streaming services for customers easily. These services are increasing daily and are a source of users’ entertainment. Therefore, this article will introduce all you need to know about OTT networks, their benefits, and more. Are you looking for a way out from that expensive cable service? Read on.
What is OTT Networks?
OTT networks are online media providers that provide streaming services to internet users. OTT, meaning over-the-top, involves bringing media services to users over the internet. Hence, video access is gained without a subscription.
The OTT term is applied to every platform that allows video communication between a sender and receiver. It can include internet calling services, audio, and video streaming. It is applied majorly to video-on-demand platforms, but it functions beyond video distribution.
The OTT networks are different from cable networks because they do not require a third-party for connection. The user or subscriber connects directly through the internet to access available streaming services.
Why We Use OTT?
Various subscribers love OTT networks for certain reasons; these reasons have kept users high. Some of these reasons are:
Subscription fee: Netflix, as an example of OTT networks, is known to have a very low subscription fee when compared with other services. The low rate of these services is one of the advantages, as consumers get the value for money.
Accessibility: Accessibility is another factor that draws users to OTT services. This streaming network can be accessed from multiple devices and at any time.
Content originality: Taking Netflix as an example, this company produces its own video content. This unique content is interesting and consumer entertaining. People get value for money through this media.
VOD vs. OTT
Most users of online streaming services would have prior knowledge of these terms. Although very similar, they do not mean the same thing. To compare VOD vs. OTT, let’s access what VOD is.
VOD is the shortened form of video-on-demand. These services provide customers with the video they want, anytime, and anywhere. However, VOD allows users to playback lists of videos over and again at their convenience.
The other is OTT; this means over-the-top. This service also provides streaming services for customers over the internet. Now to the difference.
OTT is a subset of VOD; VOD services do not occur only over the internet but also through cable and traditional services. However, the subscription is a major feature of VOD services, and it is not necessary for OTT networks.
How is OTT Content Accessed?
OTT content is accessible through several devices, and this is one of the advantages of the service. The streaming service is delivered through the following ways:
Mobile gadgets: Smartphone and mobile devices can access OTT networks either through apps or mobile browsers. They are a convenient method of content delivery.
Smart TVs: Smart devices have features that allow them to stream web content easily. These devices using OTT can access video and audio.
Personal computers: Laptops and desktop PCs can be used to access online OTT contents easily. This access can be either through supported apps or web browsers.
Digital devices and consoles: PlayStation consoles and some other digital devices are designed to allow streaming apps. OTT contents can be delivered through this medium.
How is OTT Media Popular?
OTT media has become so popular over the years for several reasons, one of which is their easy setup.
As a new OTT user, getting your gadget or device setup requires no professional or installation fee. You do not need a walkthrough to know-how; it is very easy. Compared to setting up a cable network, which may require professionals to setup.
Cost is an advantage compared to cable and traditional services. Nevertheless, this affordability and flexibility keep users pumped and satisfied.
However, it is no longer new that many streaming services have been launched to provide OTT contents. Making the stream of providers wider and difficult to keep a note of. Gone are the times when Netflix was the only OTT service. Companies have joined in providing new series and TV shows to engage their users.
Nevertheless, the freedom provided by these networks that allow users to watch shows whenever they want is still remarkable.
OTT Networks: Kinds of OTT Services and Apps
Do you that there are different kinds of OTT services? These platforms are:
TVOD, which means transactional video-on-demand, is a platform that indulges users in paying based on their viewed content. This means that you don’t pay a definite fee but pay-per-view. Using this service may not attract charges at the onset but eventually will require that you pay for watched content.
SVOD, known as subscription video-on-demand, is another kind of OTT network, the opposite of TVOD. It involves payment before service, as you pay a fixed charge before the service. This unlocks a certain range of access based on payment.
SVOD payment is classified based on duration and series type. It could be daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. Netflix and Amazon prime are the two most popular subscription services on this platform.
AVOD means ad-supported video-on-demand. It is the involvement of specialized ads on video content. This service is mostly free, but ads included. Owners earn through ads revenue and video monetization. Examples of this platform are Sling TV and Roku.
Is OTT a Replacement for Traditional Media Distribution?
Cord-cutting is a usual occurrence in users of OTT services. Cord-cutting involves canceling TV and cable usage to switch to a preferred alternative. However, an increasing number of OTT users have decreased in traditional users’ numbers. It is not a replacement.
Many customers prefer to enjoy the flexibility of Netflix, Amazon prime, or any other OTT networks alongside their cable packages. Notably, some OTT providers have also aligned with cable services to bring their packages to cable users.
Hence, while many users may prefer the affordability and flexibility of OTT services, it cannot be considered a replacement.
What are the Biggest Opportunities for OTT Networks?
Several OTT opportunities are available to users of the service. Despite the competition that may exist within the service, some potentials are undeniable.
Globally, the adoption of video streaming services has exponentially increased over the years. With the increase in internet access is the increase in the numbers of OTT users. Moreover, as one of the best service providers, Netflix is experiencing international growth and is expanding beyond the US.
Aside from the growth potentials in transforming the entertainment landscape, there are also some entertainment opportunities. Using OTT services also explores the educational sector. Students and teachers find instructional videos that can help them in their lectures and school works.
Including more sectors other than entertainment in this platform is a way to grow beyond current ratings. Its flexibility, accessibility, and affordability have proven that it has many potentials and opportunities to explore.
Entertainment has taken a universal level with the use of OTT services. Users do not need to be tied up to enjoy their favorite shows anymore. OTT networks have shown promise in the media and other sectors, as many opportunities remain untapped. Undeniably, it is one of the best improvements that the media has experienced.
However, the following years will include several developments in these services. Also, there are increasing service providers with competition in the service increasing daily.
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