What is OTT? The Future of Mobile Marketing Through OTT Services

People accessed information from television and newspapers until the emergence of the internet. TV series, movies, and documentaries meant mostly television. As the Internet entered our homes and our phones over time, people had access to information much faster.

With the increased use of the Internet, plenty of platforms for video content have emerged. Platforms such as Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook started to offer different content to end-users. Nowadays, the rate of watching short videos, movies and TV series on the internet is increasing rapidly. New content and new platforms offering these contents are constantly emerging.

In recent years, the idea of an alternative to traditional television broadcasting has emerged. Meaning a platform for broadcasting content such as TV series and movies on the internet. This service, also known as over-the-top services has attracted the attention of users with the principle of “anytime, anywhere, on any device”.

To sum up, over the top (OTT) refers to tv and film content provided via a high-speed internet connection rather than a satellite provider or a cable. OTT does not mean free, but usually, a subscription-based pay, as the term encompasses services such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and HBO Now.

The term over the top (OTT) became more popular with Netflix’s distinct growth as it evolved from simply showing old movies and television shows to developing its own original content and distributing licensed content more quickly than before. Its fast-growing popularity and profitability, especially with younger audiences, has created a wide-ranging competition.

OTT contents can be accessed directly on a computer, web-enabled television,

or through an internet-enabled device. Smartphones have become ever-present in modern society, and the device shelters an outsized potential to drive video streaming. Also, smartphones are especially powerful when it comes to catching and holding the attention of the viewer.

To move any further and discuss the effects of over-the-top services in mobile marketing, first, we should describe OTT.

What is OTT?

OTT is a subscription-based video service model that allows content providers to push Video on Demand (VoD), movie, and series content directly to the end-user on the internet without any need for paid TV operators. In addition to watching online content such as videos, movies, series, and documentaries, it is also possible to watch it offline by saving to the device.

Most of the OTT providers have their own app, website, or a page of some kind in which a user can log in to connect the content available with the subscription.

OTT Service Providers put importance on three issues while developing services. These are:

1) Quality of Content

2) Great User Experience,

3) Low Distribution Cost (Overall Cost)

Why is OTT Important?

OTT is hugely popular. As soon as it was available for its customers, over the top services quickly became one of the most popular ways to consume video media. And we can safely say that OTT service providers, especially Netflix, changed the way we consume TV and video. And they continue changing. Viewing platforms continuously change and evolve to achieve the best user experience. They greet users with more options, more availability, and more easy access.

No more commercials. This is the best advantage of OTT from the user’s perspective. When you are watching your favorite show on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video your experience is not interrupted with commercials. This is one of the most important reasons behind the rise of over-the-top services.

You can have it all! When you look at what OTT is, you realize there is no need to limit your subscription to only one service provider. Many people subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu together, for a few different reasons. The reason behind this is OTT services are highly affordable. These choices make OTT services more important.

Here are other reasons why OTT is important:

  • Research by Allied Market Research shows that the global OTT service market is growing at a CAGR of 16% (from 2018 to 2025) and is projected to reach more than $300 billion by 2025.
  • Deloitte’s survey states users now have over 300 streaming video services to choose from.
  • Data by eMarketer suggests the number of digital video viewers in the US reached 235 million in 2019, which represents more than 70% of the population.

Available Ad Models For OTT

Let’s start discussing OTT advertising by seeing some advertising statistics about OTT. A recent report by Video Advertising Bureau says advertising makes up 45% of all online video revenue and it is projected to grow to almost 60% over the next 10 years. And while streaming content on a device, 65% of viewers use a second screen to look up info about a product being advertised during their program. Here is the power of advertising!

There are two predominant ways you can deliver advertising on OTT platforms. These are:

  • Server-side ad insertion
  • Client-side ad insertion

Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Before choosing which ad insertion to choose, first find the perfect audience for your mobile app.

Client-side ad insertion is when the ad is loaded before the episode or film is shown. This ad insertion is more frequently used, but since it is from an outer source and not part of the stream, it is prone to hackers and blocking. The client-side ad insertion is less flexible, though you still get many of the benefits of an OTT service.

Server-side ad insertion is when the ad is integrated seamlessly into the frames of the media in an OTT advertising. Meaning it isn’t possible to use ad-block. It is a much more technically challenging proposition to support server-side ad insertion, therefore it is still preferred rarely.

How Will Mobile Marketing Be Affected by OTT?

OTT is the rising star of recent years and it is only going to get bigger. As COVID-19’s effects continue, we see positive growth in the installs and sessions in entertainment apps as the world is staying at home more and more. This presents a huge opportunity for mobile marketers everywhere.

One opportunity for the future of OTT is its integration into augmented reality. Many Snapchat or Instagram users are familiar with AR and they are in need of more augmented reality in their lives. Mobile marketers that use AR features in their stream will have a chance to get ahead and attract more users to their mobile app.

Another opportunity for mobile marketers is experimenting with possible ad types and finding the best one suitable for your users. For example, Hulu just announced that Hulu viewers will soon start seeing ads when they hit pause on a show.

Once you understand what is OTT and the benefits of OTT, as a mobile marketer it is time to begin formulating a mobile marketing plan. This way, you can achieve maximum efficiency in your mobile ad campaign.

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