Creating an OTT business is a unique process that requires a unique optimization approach. Whether you’re creating an over-the-top (OTT) network for the first time or optimizing an existing platform, there are some elements you expect to remain constant in your strategy. However, as we’ve seen in other industries, rapid changes occur in the way consumers access TV and movie content. If you plan to launch your own OTT platform, here are some essential tips that can help you build a successful OTT business.
- Have a clear monetization plan. This is the secret of success for any online business! When choosing a monetization model, consider where your users are from. For the US market, it will be appropriate to use a subscription model. If you plan to reach out to the audience of European countries, advertising and pay-per-view models work best there.
- Remember that not all users are ready to pay for content. Therefore, consider creating different types of subscriptions with limited access or ads with an option to remove them for a fee.
- The most important thing is to understand that the choice of the model at the initial stage is not final. Be prepared to change it as your business develops and the market evolves.
- Regularly analyze user data and their behavior on the platform, comments, and reviews about the content. This will help improve your product and make it more popular among users.
- A convenient application with a user-friendly interface will attract more customers.
- Security is also important: protection against piracy and leakage of user information. In addition, you need to think about how your product will look on different devices (smartphones, tablets and TVs). Protect your content from piracy using one of these methods: digital watermarking or DRM (Digital Rights Management).
- Collect user data and make sure it doesn’t get into the hands of third parties. It must be your property. You will not be able to run your streaming platform without collecting user data: login and password, email address, contacts, payment information, device ID, IP address, etc. This data will help you better understand your users and their needs.
- It is also necessary to consider all possible risks because the OTT market is very volatile due to the high competition. The success of Netflix, HBO GO, Disney+, etc., inspires more and more companies to create their own platforms. So be prepared for changes in your monetization plan because the market situation may change at any time.
- YouTube was the front-runner in the video streaming space. However, when you look around now, you’ll see that it’s not just YouTube anymore. OTT (Over-The-Top) video streaming is gaining serious traction. So those looking for a shift from the YouTube platform to OTT will need OTT middleware. YouTube does not have any restrictions about your content being streamed to other sites. Whereas OTT platforms offer exclusivity with regard to content distribution. So if you’re someone who wants your content available only on your site, then an OTT platform is ideal for you.
What is Middleware?
In the cable TV industry, middleware is used commonly as a middle man between two or more systems. The main aim of using middleware is to allow different applications and systems to communicate without being constrained by the differences in language or whether one is a legacy system. Middleware formats the information to be easily understood by both platforms. This is mainly done by mapping message interface definitions for one platform onto similar messages for another platform.
OTT Middleware Solution
An OTT middleware is a software solution intended to enable different platforms or products to talk to each other effectively and efficiently. Middleware achieves this by creating an interface for separate systems or applications to use. It can be used to connect different appliances and equipment, such as MP3 players talking to each other or operating on various operating systems such as Android phones and tablets communicating with each other.
Middleware can have separate functions, but typically it acts as a “bridge” between different forms of communication. For example, they may take data from one source and make it usable by another source. It is a software used to manage subscriber status, provide ordering and playback controls, configure player control algorithms, and perform other advanced functions, such as a member management module.
Features of the Middleware Solution
As the name suggests, Middleware connects all the components of an OTTIPTV. It is like a traffic cop that connects the video-on-demand service, end-user software and video server by providing a smooth on-demand interface and thus manages the flow of data. End users access video and audio content on-demand through OTTIPTV Middleware via game consoles and mobile devices. The functions of such tools are to implement their algorithms and share the information, hence connecting the different components of the OTTIPTV service. Following are the key features:
- Easy User Interface (UI)
The Middleware solution provides a user interface to control the broadcast channels and VOD content. The UI is available for a wide range of set-top box devices.
- Multiple Payment Support
The Middleware solution supports various billing systems, including pre-paid and post-paid billing. It also supports complicated payment structures such as pay-per-view, monthly subscription, rentals, free trial period, discounts, etc. It can also integrate with more than one payment gateway (e.g., PayPal) if you need to offer multiple payment options for your subscribers. Integration with the billing system enables real-time authentication of end-users, allowing for various payment methods.
- Advanced Features
OTT middleware can be integrated with existing content management and delivery systems, enabling an OTT provider to easily set up and deliver seamless video-on-demand (VOD), live, catch-up TV and time-shifted services over any network. It can have the monetization mechanisms such as a subscription, pay-per-view (PPV), or advertising can be changed through the OTT middleware.
Other features include:
- Monetization capabilities (Pay-per-view, Pay-per-channel/playlist, monthly subscriptions, advertising videos)
- Subscription management
- Content categorization
- Interface determination
- User account management (social media integration, password resetting, etc.)
- Search engine and recommendation engine for content discovery
- Security functions
With a complete range of features, good pricing, and the ability to easily integrate the system with existing business software, it provides an overall excellent experience.
The Bottom Line
With Middleware in place, you don’t need to spend significant time adding new features—you can simply make updates through your admin control panel. They have more flexibility and better security than relying on a third-party vendor.
A reliable Middleware solution is the backbone of any successful video streamingonline business. It makes sure that all the aspects of your OTT platform are working smoothly and efficiently. OTTIPTV Middleware keeps updating and upgrading your applications, so you don’t have to worry about them.