How To build and Launch Your Own OTT Platform In 2021. A Complete Guide.

Selling video content online has grown tremendously over the last few years and there are no signs that it's slowing down. Do you have everything in place to start monetizing your videos?
How To build and Launch Your Own OTT Platform In 2021. A Complete Guide.

What is OTT?

So, you want to launch your own OTT video platform? After all, why wouldn’t you? People consume video at an increasingly high pace and the revenue generated from video content — such as OTT— should not be neglected by any content-producing brand.

It’s 2021 and video is bigger than ever with no signs of slowing down. By 2022 its estimated that 82% of all traffic online will be generated from video.

The method that we consume media is changing constantly with conventional platforms such as cable being dropped in favor of different forms of streaming.

You might be wondering, “What is a video OTT platform really?”

To put it simply, an OTT video platform is a platform that delivers video content via the internet instead of using traditional distribution methods such as cable and broadcast television.

This allows users to stream videos via browsers on desktop and mobile or through their own apps on smart phones, tablets, tv, gaming consoles. Content is able to be accessed in an easier and more personalized method.  

Think Netflix.

Business built on OTT platforms are quickly growing and becoming some of the biggest media companies out there. Not only are more and more companies creating their own OTT platforms, but customers are also hooked.

There are 715 million people subscribed to video-on-demand services globally. A trend that will only grow in the future. Modern consumers prefer the instant accessibility that OTT platforms provide and enjoy customizing the content that they view it.

Rather than pay for a lot of unnecessary videos or channels, like in a cable bundle, OTT platforms allow viewers to pick and choose the content they crave.

So why are video OTT platforms important to you as a content creator?

The rise of video OTT platforms has created a change in video consumption behavior. Anything that isn’t on demand and accessible on multiple devices is seen as a hassle to consumers that have gotten used to a culture of instant consumption.

Viewers want to spend their Friday night watching the Mandalorian on their smart TV together with their friends. Not browsing through endless TV channels filled with irrelevant ads.

They want to be able to perform yoga together with their online instructor in peace and quiet before going to work in the morning. They don’t want to wait all day to try and catch an evening episode of meditation techniques.

In fact, the average person with an OTT device spends more than two hours per day watching video. Content is easily accessible and ready to view anytime the consumer wishes to view it.

Combine that with the fact that the average household has 12 internet connectable devices – you need to be available across devices.

And the number of OTT devices is predicted to grow in the future as the number of households that currently use devices such as streaming boxes and smart TV is still fairly low.

That’s great news! Right now, you are ahead of the curve providing features that your competing video creators are not.

On the other hand, that also means that in a few years an OTT platform will go from a nice-to-have to a must.

Don’t wait until OTT platforms are a necessity to start building your own OTT platform — begin now in order to put your business ahead of the competition.

Advantages of launching your own OTT service

The benefits that come from launching your own OTT services are innumerable and can do more to elevate your brand to a higher level of performance than you might even realize.

OTT services give you a direct connection to your customer base that other platforms lack, allowing you as the creator to have more influence and a greater connection with your audience.

Modern customers demand accessibility in all of the content they consume, and by creating your own OTT service, you create a way to instantly provide your content to them.

However, it’s not just the ease of use that makes launching your own OTT service a must-have for any content-creating based brand.

Monetize Your Content

Building your own OTT platform gives you economic ownership over your own content.

Rather than rely on another platform to build your revenue, creating your own platform to display your content puts the power in your own hands.

As popular video services, such as YouTube, become more challenging for creators to reliably profit from, it is essential that all content creators find ways to monetize their content.

An OTT platform allows creators to retain more agency over their content compared to other services.

Build Your Brand Image

Growing your brand and reaching new audience members is essential for media-based businesses.

The more platforms your brand appears on, the more cohesive your brand image appears to consumers.

By creating an OTT platform for your content, you can build interest and loyalty to your brand.

Customers respond well to high-quality content delivered reliably, such as through an OTT service.

The scale of your content can also help build brand image and improve your business’s performance.

By creating an OTT platform for your content, more opportunities for content-creating and customer interaction open up.

Rather than limiting your business to conventional platforms, OTT services give your business room to expand and grow.

Maximize Time and Reduce Cost

Rather than waste time and money on altering your content to suit different platforms, building your own OTT service can help streamline your business.

An OTT platform designed specifically to match your brand’s content and audience base is overall more effective than spending your resources on different technology.

Step-by-step guide to launching your own

Now that you’ve determined how beneficial building your own OTT services can be to your brand, it’s time to consider all of the different factors associated with launching your own.

Carefully consider how to best suit your own brand and interact with your own customer base while earning consistent revenue.

Determine Your Niche:

Clarify the niche audience that you want to target with your content in order to earn revenue and increase the performance.

There are a number of high-performing niches that are currently popular —such as eSports, lifestyle, and eLearning— that you can consider targeting using your OTT platform.

Remember that there are billions of people out there who all have their own interests and hobbies that they are willing to pay for.

Select Your Business Model:

The success of your OTT platform is heavily dependent upon the business model you choose. There are two primary business models that many businesses use, the transactional model and the subscription model.

Transactional model: In the transactional model, each video or piece of content can be purchased separately. Platforms such as iTunes use this model.

Subscription Model: In the subscription model, customers can get access to a wider range of content for a fixed fee. Platforms such as Netflix use this model by charging a monthly fee for access to movies and shows.

However, monetizing your business isn’t just limited to the transactional and subscription models. You can also use live monetization.  

Live Monetization: You can also sell access to your live streams on a pay-per-view (PPV) basis and include them in your subscription.

This is a great way of monetizing if you sell videos within fitness, music or gaming. 

Choose How to Build Your Platform

There are different ways that you can build your OTT platform. We’ll take a closer look in the next section about the variety of methods available to content-creators when developing their own OTT services.

Creating your own OTT platform

There are three main methods if you want to create your own OTT platform.

1.    DIY

2.   Hire a coder or agency

3.   OTT Platform provider

We’ll look at the advantage sand disadvantages of these three options so that you can decide for yourself which method is best for your business.

Do it yourself

If you are the kind of person who likes to have total control over your projects, then this may be the way for you. If you know how to build websites and apps for multiple devices, even better.

If not, you will have to teach yourself. There are great free resources available for use such as Youtube, Codeacademy.

But this will require you to search for and collect the content in order to teach yourself, which can be a waste of time and energy.

If you expand your search to other sites, you will most likely stumble upon an eLearning website such as Udemy or Skillshare.

With eLearning websites, you will be able to find structured courses with an online instructor to help you along.

But this will require you to invest in various courses which can become expensive in the long-run. It also requires you to try and determine which courses suit your ambitions.

After all, nothing is more frustrating than spending valuable time and money on taking a course that doesn’t even teach the right skills required to build your own OTT platform.

Building your own OTT platform can be very time intensive. You will have to learn all aspects of developing websites and apps as well as being responsible for all of the maintenance on the platform.

Learning all these skills and developing your own service can take anywhere between 12-24 months.

If you’re trying to get your content produced quickly and beat the curve of content creators jumping to OTT services, then doing it all on your own might not be the best solution.

This is time you could have spent on producing video content and growing your business.

Hire a developer

If you don’t want to invest the time to do it yourself, you could always hire a developer. There are plenty of agencies out there that can help you build your own website and apps. Better yet they will help you create a fully customized look and feel.

The right developer can transform your vision into a reality and allow you to spend your time focusing on other important aspects of your business.

But be ready for:

-      Paying anywhere from $15,000 to 60,000 depending on complexity of your project.

-      3-6 months delivery time.

-      Incur monthly maintenance fees from the agency. 

Working with a developer is best suited for those who have a healthy budget for developing their OTT platform and aren’t in a rush to start selling video content online.

If you want a cheaper alternative to hiring an agency you could also look at hiring a freelancer. A freelancer has lower costs as they do not have overhead fees or a larger company to support with their revenue.

There are plenty of websites where you can hire freelancers for a specific project, such as Fiverr.

With Fiverr you can post your project with a description of what you are looking and have freelancers send you offers with price and time.

You can also browse through the profiles and contact a specific freelancer to see if they have the time and resources to finish your project.

Be sure to look at their portfolios of their previous work and ratings before choosing.

Nonetheless, platforms such as Fiverr or Upwork are a valid option and cheaper alternative to approaching an agency.

Whether you choose an agency or freelancer you will be able to take a hands-off approach to developing your own video OTT platform.

But this will take some time to create and will require a dedicated budget.

But if you are looking for something more budget-friendly with a shorter time frame then you might be excited for the next alternative.

Use an OTT Platform Provider

Rather than wasting valuable time on building a DIYOTT platform from scratch or risking an investment with a developer to complete the project for you, leasing an app from an OTT platform provider can save time and money for your business.

An OTT platform provider, such as Streampal, offers content-creators such as yourself a complete website to sell your videos on both desktop and mobile and other OTT apps such as Apple TV.

It allows creators to use a well-designed platform and upload videos without dealing with the hassle of creating and maintaining their own OTT service.

By leasing an app and using an OTT platform provider for your business, you are guaranteed a high-quality product and consistent support.

Leasing is a great option for nearly all content-creating businesses as it requires less budget than hiring a developer to build and does not require the time-investment of learning coding all on your own.

Conclusion 

Building your own OTT platform might seem challenging to complete, but the results are more than worth it. Don’t miss out on the chance to expand your business to new potentials and rapidly increase your customer base.

The future of media is already shifting away from traditional platforms and moving onwards towards on-demand streaming services.

Instead of limiting your brand’s reach, build up your image and monetize your content by launching your own OTT platform in 2021.

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