OTT platforms have completely changed the way we consume media for the better. Although you might not be familiar with the term, chances are you’ve used an OTT recently. OTTs go “over the top” of the usual content distribution means (broadcast, cable and satellite) to stream content to audiences directly through the internet. And they’re generally divided into three categories: SVOD, AVOD and TVOD.
SVOD: Subscription Video on Demand
SVODs have led to huge changes in the entire entertainment industry: Platforms such as Hulu and Netflix evolved from streaming services to media giants. SVODs allow users to consume as much content as desired for a monthly or yearly flat rate. Since these services allow consumers to opt-out from a subscription, they’ve realized that the best way to retain consumers is to release new content constantly. This has created a very competitive market where streaming platforms compete for the rights to popular libraries and try to make high-quality content of their own.
Top 5 Most Popular SVODs: Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max
AVOD: Advertising-Based Video on Demand
AVODs are very convenient, and the fact that they’re completely free has gained them millions of viewers. These services let audiences stream content on-demand, for free, without a subscription. They sit in-between SVODs and traditional television. You can stream wherever and whenever, but you still have to sit through ads. New content is rarely streamed on AVODs, as they don’t generate as much revenue as SVODs. That’s why you’ll see whole collections of classic films on these services but won’t be able to see the latest season of a popular show or an Oscar-nominated film.
Top 5 Most Popular AVODs: Facebook Watch, Roku Channel, Crackle, Tubi, Pluto TV
TVOD: Transactional Video on Demand
You have to pay for every separate piece of content on TVODs, making them the most expensive. Because of this, SVODs such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have quickly surpassed them in popularity. TVODs function as streamers of pay-per-view content. The benefits of TVOD are that you can access new content pretty much the moment it’s released, and you can digitally own the piece of media you purchase forever.
Top 3 Most Popular TVODs: Apple’s iTunes, Amazon Video, Sky Box Office
Room for innovation
These content distribution models are three distinct but related ways through which we consume online content. In fact, a recent survey found that more Americans pay for streaming services than for cable. It’s crazy to think about, considering almost every household had cable only a few years ago. This proves the dynamic movement of media consumption: The norm one day can be ancient history the next.
There is so much room for innovation when it comes to OTT platforms. Even the most niche content has its place. (I recently encountered an Eastern European Film streaming service and a Christian streaming service). It’s hard to tell for sure what the future holds for OTTs, but as long as there’s an audience, this strategy can work.
If you’re a content creator or business owner, how can you implement these strategies to distribute your content?