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What is the Role of OTT in Digital Media?

OTT streaming platforms are on the rise today, and many bloggers should consider upgrading their business by shifting from social media platforms to video streaming services. Why? We are going to talk about that in this article. Keep on reading to learn. 

But first, let’s observe the video and monetization possibilities the social media platforms provide.  

Overview of Video and Monetization Opportunities of Popular Social Media Platforms 

The variety of social media platforms implemented a video streaming feature because of audience demand for videos. Instagram introduced reels to compete with TikTok short video strategy. It’s hard to find a social media platform that doesn’t maintain the video streaming feature. 

Let’s observe what video streaming opportunities the most popular social media platforms offer users.

Instagram

Instagram has a wide variety of video streaming possibilities. Instagram videos, reels, stories, live videos, IGTV give room for imagination.

  • Instagram Stories are 15-second videos. These videos vanish after 24 hours. Bloggers use their wide functionality to interact with the audience. 
  • Instagram Videos are posted in the same way as images. This format has almost replaced IGTV as videos can last up to 60 minutes. 
  • Instagram Live lets bloggers broadcast in real-time. The greatest feature of Instagram Lives is that multiple speakers can host a broadcast at the same time with thousands of viewers. 
  • Instagram Reels were inspired by the TikTok short videos.

Bloggers use these formats for different purposes but all of them help to attract new people to their accounts. They need to work hard to reach more people as Instagram, like the Google search engine, has its requirements for content. When the requirements are met, more people will reach your content. 

Bloggers monetize their Instagram accounts by selling their services, products and promoting the products of other companies and brands. 

TikTok

TikTok dictates trends. Its 15-seconds video format has become viral as people of different occupations, interests, and ages download the app all over the world.    

The social media platform became a quintessence of entertaining video content that can be easily accessed on mobile phones wherever the user is. A lot of memes and video trends are born in TikTok.

TikTok proponents monetize their blogs by promoting themselves and their services and advertising. Also, they can receive donations during live streams. 

However, due to the short video format, it is hard to be comprehensive on TikTok if you want your audience to understand something deeply.

YouTube

YouTube was, and it is a social media platform for free video. YouTube also got involved in the short video competition race. 

YouTube bloggers earn money mostly with an AVOD monetization model. It means that they promote other companies’ services or products by inserting an ad somewhere in the video — at the beginning, in the middle, at the end. Some videos can be YouTube Premium categorized. So, users can watch them after payment. 

Additionally, YouTube also shows videos to viewers after they click on a video. These videos don’t depend on an account owner. They are inserted in videos by YouTube algorithms. 

We observed the main video and monetization capabilities of three major platforms. Let’s move on to OTT solutions

What is OTT?

OTT refers to “over-the-top” streaming services that allow users to access content via the Internet. Netflix is one of the examples of OTT streaming platforms. A viewer visits the websites, chooses what he or she wants to watch, and clicks on it to watch. 

However, before accessing a video, people should purchase it for a monthly subscription. What is more, users watch their beloved Netflix videos on multiple devices: from smart TVs to game consoles. 

OTT services include video streaming, audio streaming, messaging services, and conferencing. 

Why are OTT solutions better?

Actually, there are a variety of reasons. Let’s talk about them in detail:

  • OTT Monetization is the first and most important reason why OTT solutions are better. While social media platforms are limited in video monetization possibilities, OTT platforms allow a provider to sell the recorded videos. While in social media, videos are the tool for promoting your products or services, the OTT platform is the place for selling the videos with your expertise or any other topic. 
    • Note: there are three main monetization models: AVOD  (a viewer watches an ad at some point of a video), SVOD (a user pays for a monthly subscription, and TVOD (a user pays for a single unit of video content). Also, an owner can use a hybrid model: some videos are Premium while there is a monthly subscription, etc. 
  • Multi-platform applications. Most social media platforms are limited to mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. Some of them work just on mobile phones. That’s why a video content provider’s audience is limited to people who use these platforms. And they lose those people who prefer watching videos, for instance, on TVs — Smart TVs, Android TVs, Apple TVs, etc. It is just a lot of people. You can reach a wider audience using OTT platforms as they cover any device.
  • OTT analytics tracking. Over-the-top applications also have the functionality to give you insights into users’ journeys through the platform and their behavior. You are provided with data showing what content is popular among your audience and what videos aren’t demanded.
  • Categories. It is pretty hard to establish order among videos on some of the social media platforms, while OTT streaming platforms allow categorizing all the videos according to various purposes. 
  • Recommendation feed. The recommendation feed is sorted out better than YouTube feeds or any other social media platform. It is easier to get lost in feeds on social media while OTT platforms order their recommendations. 
    • Note: the problem of feeds in social media is that sometimes users don’t see your posts or videos because they are subscribed to multiple bloggers, and your content gets lost among so many feeds. When you have your OTT platform, users see only your content. It doesn’t stir with others’ videos.     

Statistics say that in the USA alone, 78% of consumers used OTT platforms with an SVOD monetization model in 2021. And Cisco predicted that soon 82% of the Internet traffic will be video. So, video content is on the rise. 

Final Thoughts

As OTT platforms are on the rise, you should definitely consider launching one. People like video content and like it when it is convenient to access. Moreover, OTT solutions provide more capabilities for monetization, and monetization is what almost every business chases. That’s why it is a good option to expand the business.

Author: Alena Puzanava

Alena is a content writer at Setplex, the company developing the end-to-end IPTV/OTT solution.

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