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Why it’s time to go over the top with Over The Top TV

by Tom Weiss , 31.07.2015

Many pay TV operators are starting to feel that Over The Top (OTT) services may be overrated. Their TV Everywhere services just aren’t winning over enough subscribers in some markets.

Yet, the OTT viewers are out there. In fact, they’re growing in number, and fast. Adobe reported in its Inaugural Video Benchmark Report that US pay TV subscribers viewing multi-screen video content nearly tripled from 4.4% to 12.5% between 2013 and 2014 *. The real problem for those with disappointing revenues is not a lack of viewers, but a failure to attract them. OTT viewers are being monopolized by subscription Video on Demand (VoD) services such as Amazon Prime and especially Netflix. Meanwhile just a handful of operators, such as Sky, are making their TV Everywhere services work alongside pure play offerings.

The rewards too, are there for the taking. Successful TV Everywhere offers have proven to cut churn, and in some cases, even raise revenue per user through VoD sales. Viewed that way, OTT starts to look like a vital revenue stream to offset the potential risk being inflicted by the pure play operators on traditional pay TV packages.

So if the viewer appetite and returns are in place, the important question for those losing out is: why aren’t viewers watching our OTT? In our experience, it comes down to one word: quality. Or rather, invest in creating quality content, then you can invest in promoting it. A shop in the busiest street in the world won’t succeed if customers don’t like what you’re selling.

A case in point: a European operator recently contacted us for help understanding why their OTT service was under-performing. A significant number of consumers were using the service only once. We identified two issues, quality problems on low-end Android devices and failure to promote multi-screen content sufficiently. As a result, the operator was able to rectify the quality problems, identify the one-time viewers and convert them into repeat customers by promoting personalized content. The big picture? The operator now has satisfied, regular OTT users and a healthy ROI.

Our message for operators, then, is simple. Don’t be halfhearted about OTT offerings. Commit. Invest. Craft. Create a beautiful user interface, offer personalization, and serve a quality of video that you’re proud to put your name to. Because you’ll only reap rewards when you go OTT with your OTT.

To find out more about how we can help you with OTT, click here or contact Tom Weiss.

*U.S. Digital Video Benchmark 2014 Inaugural Report, Adobe Digital Index, 2014.