Understanding OTT and Its Functioning

OTT, an acronym for "Over-The-Top," has become synonymous with a new era of entertainment consumption. The likes of Netflix, Disney Hotstar, and Amazon Prime have achieved household recognition, and their common thread is their classification as OTT platforms. If the term "OTT" is unfamiliar to you, rest assured you're not alone. The landscape of entertainment consumption has undergone a significant transformation, evolving beyond the confines of traditional mediums.

In the past, our entertainment options were limited to content offered by TV channels or DVDs, which we either purchased or rented. Today, OTT platforms offer subscribers a diverse range of content, including movies, TV shows, documentaries, and more, all delivered through an immersive experience. Join us as we explore the range of internet OTT and look into its working principles.

So, What Exactly is OTT?

OTT relies on high-speed fiber internet to transmit content directly to an array of devices, such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles. The hallmark of OTT lies in its dependency on the internet for video delivery, setting it apart from conventional cable systems. While OTT's existence predates recent times, it is now transitioning into the mainstream, solidifying its role within the media landscape.

Untangling the Terminology

Some words can be tricky to understand with all the talk about OTT services. These encompass OTT devices, Internet OTT service providers, content providers, OTT apps, and OTT platforms. By the conclusion of this exploration, these terms will fall into place with clarity

OTT Devices

These include any device that bypasses traditional cable and embraces internet connectivity for content consumption. This category spans devices like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Android TV, and even commonplace gadgets like laptops and smartphones that leverage high-speed internet for streaming.

OTT Streaming Services and Content Providers

These are the platforms we turn to for on-demand content consumption. Netflix, HBO Now, Disney + Hotstar, and Amazon Prime fall within this category, offering the freedom to access content anytime and anywhere. (e.g., HBO is a content provider whose shows might be available on various OTT services, whereas Netflix is an OTT service using the internet as an OTT platform).

OTT Apps

For businesses, creators, and entrepreneurs, OTT presents an avenue to reach global audiences. The linchpin of this system is the creation of dedicated OTT apps, tailored to the specifications of various streaming devices. These apps facilitate the direct streaming of videos to your home screen, available for download from the Apple Store or Android Store based on your device.

OTT Platforms

Entities like "USCREEN" empower the deployment of personalised apps on an array of OTT devices, enabling content creators to showcase their videos to a global audience.

Why is OTT of Current Relevance?

Comparing OTT to traditional TV, beyond the evident decline of the latter, the surge in OTT adoption has been significantly accelerated by the pandemic. Recent years have witnessed a remarkable 30% increase in OTT adoption.

Several factors contribute to this acceleration:

  • The pandemic-induced inability to attend live sports events has steered audiences towards live events via OTT devices, from the comfort of their homes.

  • The pursuit of knowledge acquisition has fueled the consumption of instructional and tutorial content, as individuals seek to upskill and explore alternative income sources.

  • The pandemic has expedited the shift towards online content consumption, with projections suggesting a 25% rise in OTT device usage by 2025.

  • Video consumption has become an increasingly central part of our daily routines. As technology has advanced, accessing video content has become more accessible and more convenient. This shift isn't transient; video consumption has evolved from being a consumer norm to a fundamental necessity.

How Does OTT Operate?

OTT delivers content directly over high-speed broadband to viewers' devices, including smart TVs and smartphones. Unlike traditional broadcasting, OTT allows content to be accessed at any time, eliminating the need to adhere to set schedules for show viewing. Videos play as they download, buffering sufficient content to ensure uninterrupted and smooth playback.

Evolution of OTT: From Traditional Broadcasting to Digital Streaming

Over the past decade, the evolution of broadband with OTT platforms has been revolutionary. The way we watch entertainment has undergone a dramatic shift. Gone are the days of rigid channel schedules and limited options. OTT streaming services have revolutionised our viewing habits, offering a vast library of content accessible anytime on any device. This evolution from traditional broadcasting, where viewers were confined to pre-programmed channels, has ushered in an era of on-demand entertainment, empowering users to control their viewing experience. 

Evolution and Growth of OTT Platforms

OTT platforms have not only changed the way we consume content but have also redefined the entertainment ecosystem. The rapid growth of high-speed internet connectivity has played a pivotal role in propelling the evolution of broadband with OTT. Streaming services such as Apple TV+, Netflix, Disney + Hotstar, ZEE5, and Amazon Prime Video have become household names, offering a vast library of content accessible at the viewer's convenience.

The increased prevalence of smart devices, ranging from smart TVs to smartphones and tablets, has further fueled the expansion of OTT platforms. This evolution has paved the way for a diverse array of content, including movies, TV shows, documentaries, and exclusive original productions, all available with just a click.

As we look into the future, the evolution and growth of OTT broadband show no signs of slowing down. Take example of Tata Play Fiber, the best broadband with OTT where the industry continues to innovate, exploring virtual reality, augmented reality, and other immersive technologies to enhance the viewer experience. The evolving content landscape and the continuous integration of cutting-edge technologies ensure that OTT platforms remain at the forefront of the entertainment revolution.

OTT Business Models: Subscription vs. Ad-supported

One of the defining aspects of OTT platforms is the variety of business models they employ, broadband with OTT subscription-based and ad-supported platforms gaining prominence.

OTT Subscription-Based Models

All OTT subscription based platforms require users to pay a recurring fee for access to their content library, offering an ad-free viewing experience, exclusive content, and the flexibility to stream across multiple devices. Broadband with OTT subscription include Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+Hotstar. The subscription-based approach provides a steady revenue stream for platforms, allowing them to invest in high-quality, original content.

Ad-Supported Models

Ad-supported OTT platforms offer free access to content, generating revenue through advertisements. Users can enjoy a wide range of content without a subscription fee but will encounter periodic advertisements.

The choice between subscription and ad-supported models depends on the platform's content strategy, target audience, and overall business objectives. Some platforms adopt a combo OTT subscription, providing both subscription and free, ad-supported tiers to cater to a diverse user base.

As the OTT broadband continues to evolve, the balance between subscription and ad-supported models will be crucial for platforms seeking sustainability and growth. The flexibility offered by these models ensures that consumers have a range of choices aligning with their preferences and budget constraints.

Read More: Exploring the Benefits of Tata Play Fiber’s OTT Services: A Comprehensive Guide

In Conclusion

Fiber internet has left an indelible mark on content streaming through OTT apps, fundamentally transforming our interaction with on-demand entertainment. For uninterrupted access to high-quality video content, consider transitioning to Tata Play Fiber.Grow with the future of broadband services with Tata Play Fiber OTT plans.

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Rahul Nambiar | Tata Play Fiber

Rahul Nambiar

Manager Digital Marketing

17th August 2023

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