6 Key Features that Make an Efficient OTT Platform
February 26, 2021 at 11:40 AM EST
Content Management; Monetization; Streaming Infrastructure; Analytics; Marketing Tools; User Experience
Indisputably the live video streaming and OTT platforms are experiencing unprecedented growth in recent years. The COVID19 lockdowns across the Globe gave an additional boost to their development. This situation made video streaming account for over 80% of the total internet traffic in 2020.
OTT platforms vary from subscription-based streaming services to proprietary custom-made solutions developed to fit the client’s specific requirements. While the first, in general, are not very flexible, the tailor-made ones take some more time-to-market (TTM) (although not as much as it used to). What both options have in common are the main features they offer to their customers. Of course, effectiveness, adaptability, and scalability are what make the difference.
Here’s a list of features and tools which, according to our experience at Bianor, are crucial for a successful OTT platform: Sophisticated Content Management; Secure Monetization; Superior Streaming Infrastructure; Multilayer Analytics; Integrated Marketing Tools; Pleasing User Experience.
Sophisticated Content Management
Content Management (CMS) 6 Key Features that Make an Efficient OTT Platform is crucial for every streaming platform. It caters to various aspects and empowers media operations such as ingest, search, edit, enrich, related image processing, geo-blocking, distribution, and content curation. Besides, it aggregates and unifies metadata from various sources.
Apart from the streaming quality, which might be more critical for an OTT platform end-users, is the secure payment. Integration with trusted online payment operators such as PayPal and Stripe is part of the solution. Also, in-app purchasing with Apple, Google, Roku, Amazon is a very well welcomed option by the end-users.
A flexible streaming platform should offer more than just payments but various billing options. Subscription-based monthly and annually billing, Pay-per-View for premium live events, time-limited movie rentals, and free trials are essential for gaining customers’ trust.
Of course, the coin of monetization has its reverse side. It is called advertising. Advertising allows keeping the streaming service free for the OTT platform end-users. One can achieve this via a VAST/VPAID/VMAP integration with any ad network or via mediation and in-house ads serving through Google DFP. An elegant solution is when the OTT platform offers multiple ad formats and positions to keep them efficient while not disturbing the viewers.Superior Streaming Infrastructure
The quality of streaming is a crucial success factor. The way to achieve it is by developing an intelligent streaming infrastructure of servers and applications working in synergy. The infrastructure should ensure reliability, scalability, and security of the stream, as well as compatibility with all end-users’ digital platforms.
Streaming over HTTPS connection is the least that an OTT platform should provide for any live stream or VoD service. Chunks encryption with unique keys adds to the security of the stream. The system should give short-lived authorization tokens and allow restrictions to the user’s device, IP, and geo-location. Forensic watermarking applied by real-time tools for live streams leakage protection can save many juridical complications.Multilayer Analytics
Analytics is the automated feedback that we receive from the end-users. It is essential for keeping the OTT platform growing and enhancing the streaming service. The analytics should include average viewing time and total playback time, viewers’ location and demographics, engagement, and device information, but should not be limited only to these.
An OTT platform providing integration with GTM, Google Analytics, GMP, Google Ads, Facebook, Bing, Twitter, Adjust, Firebase gives a 360° view of the end-user behavior. Custom data collection and clickstream analysis using tools like Amazon Redshift, for example, is a useful addition to any OTT analytics tools.Integrated Marketing Tools
Integration of marketing tools is very tightly connected to the analytics feature. Based on the analytics data, the OTT platform should be able to trigger the most proper ads and marketing activities to the correct viewers. The Integrated Marketing Tools include but do not limit themselves to campaigns automation, anti-churn tools, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
It is evident that it is not just about streaming anymore; it is about the experience. The optimal user experience will bring the viewers to the video streaming platform and keep them there. Machine-learning engine based on TensorFlow, for example, and algorithm classes such as RNN, Hybrid Matrix Factorization can provide smart user recommendations. The users highly value personalized communication via mail or push notifications. Intuitive search and auto-complete are the small add-ons that will bring more delight to the OTT platform users.Conclusion
The feature set of the modern OTT platform providing live video streaming or VoD services is continuously growing. The market competition and the increased audience’s demands lead to a consistent evolution of the service. To stand out, an OTT platform, be it ready-made or a custom one has to offer more and more appealing features. The above-discussed list includes the essential features and functionalities but is not complete and a subject to improvements and future developments.Contact Information: