The OTT video industry has been great news for today’s viewer – combining diverse, informative and entertaining content with intuitive and modern user interfaces writes Dan Finch, Chief Commercial Officer, Simplestream.

Now, video consumers have immense freedom in what, how and when they watch their favourite content. A recent report by Cisco finds that 70% of mobile traffic is expected to be video-based by 2021.

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Dan Finch, Chief Commercial Officer, Simplestream

While OTT has delivered much of this freedom, it hasn’t always been such good news for niche broadcasters and content owners. The market for OTT platforms has traditionally been skewed in favour of large, global players – such as Netflix and Amazon – who have the capital investment, infrastructure and personnel to build, deploy and manage them.

These video giants are dominating the market, spending billions of dollars on original content (Netflix spent 6B USD in 2017) with the smaller guys finding it harder to gain audience share. For instance, in the US alone, there are nearly 100 video subscription services now available.

The demand for additional content services beyond broadcast continues to grow, and it is crucial that channels and networks of all sizes can meet this need. So how can smaller, niche broadcasters compete for market share?

The answer lies in cloud technology; it makes every part of the content acquisition, production, distribution and management more efficient, cost-effective and ultimately profitable.

Content owners and broadcasters can understand their audience by gaining insight into who is actually viewing their content – something that isn’t possible through traditional DTH and DTT platforms.

Six weeks to build and deliver an OTT service

The cloud reduces the complexity and costs of delivering live streaming, live-to-VOD, VOD, catch-up, content monetisation, and data management across all OTT platforms and devices.

It achieves this by simplifying the management process, streamlining all corners of content distribution management into a single workflow. As a result, broadcasters can launch offerings with as few as 2,000 subscribers.

“The efficiency of the cloud means your OTT service can deliver a positive ROI with a smaller audience”

Cloud-enabled services can also be continually enhanced thanks to the complete flexibility they provide in meeting customers’ needs. The malleable nature of cloud-based OTT distribution enables complex, global services to be built and delivered in as little as six weeks – from conception to market launch.

And finally, the cloud makes it easy to generate revenue through content syndication – either complete videos or selected highlights/clips to third parties.

Cloud-based technology is great news for all content distributors. If you are a niche broadcaster or you have unique content, then the efficiency of the cloud means your OTT service can deliver a positive ROI with a smaller audience.

As a result, the TV and media industry will increasingly deploy the cloud to host a greater range of content – giving broadcasters of all sizes the freedom to create and distribute informative and entertaining content, and provide more enriching experiences for their viewers.

Simplestream will be exhibiting at IBC2017 on Stand 14.D11