What is OTT?

Posted on July 18, 2019

We’ve all heard of streaming giants like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO. These video streaming platforms are accessible through the internet, rather than via a more traditional cable or Satellite TV service like Comcast. The term OTT, or Over-the-top, refers to this internet-based streaming. YouTube was the leading platform for internet streaming of video content for a long time, but new players are emerging every day and to say that streaming has grown would be a serious understatement. 

Today, there are more OTT streaming services than we can even keep track of. This is good news for individuals and small business content creators, because anyone can create apps to distribute their content on these platforms, not just giants like Netflix. What’s a great way to do this? The short answer is to use MAZ, but keep reading to learn more. 


What are the Streaming Wars?

Let’s begin by addressing who the key players in the Streaming Wars are. Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and YoutubeTV are existing ones, and services including Disney+ and HBO Max have been announced for release in the near future. They are fighting for subscribers in an increasingly competitive field, and the maximum number of services that people are willing to pay for per month has yet to be reached.

With so many OTT channels already in existence, as well as a steady inflow of new ones in the market, it seems as though there is no end in sight to internet streaming. According to an annual PwC study, only two thirds of Americans still pay for traditional pay-TV subscriptions, and this number is expected to plummet in the coming years. The remaining third are commonly referred to as “cord-cutters” – consumers who decide to get rid of cable altogether, relying solely on OTT streaming for their video content. More and more consumers are reducing their use of traditional cable TV, and millions have already turned to cutting the cord entirely.


But, what about the news?

Many wonder where they would be able to access the news if they cut their cable subscription and rely solely on their most beloved streaming services. Well, it’s a good thing that news channels including CNN, ABC, CBS, and more are streamed on platforms including SlingTV and DirecTV Now. So, if you’re wondering if you have to keep your satellite or cable subscriptions just for news, well, the answer is no – as long as you’re willing to add another streaming subscription to your monthly bill. 


From computer to TV

With comprehensive, affordable devices like Roku and Amazon Fire sticks, it is extremely easy to access your favorite OTT platforms on your TV. These devices allow you to download as many apps as you please, enabling them to appear directly on the home screen. Rather than purchasing a separate device for your TV, you can simply buy a smart TV where apps are readily available. The downside is that these TVs are rather expensive, so many turn to the more affordable devices like Roku. The best part is that every day content creators have the ability to produce apps which are available on peoples’ home screens when downloaded and subscribed to. 


So, what if I’m a content creator?

I’m glad you asked. If you produce your own video content, it’s not difficult to distribute it to consumers across different devices for streaming. In fact, many companies are dedicated to helping content creators like you. MAZ is a software company that empowers content creators to be amazing. Whether you’re an individual, small business, large enterprise, or somewhere in between, MAZ can help you to distribute your content through apps on mobile devices (iOS and  Android) and OTT platforms (Apple TV, Android, Amazon Fire, and Roku). 

How? Well, MAZ has a user friendly dashboard that enables you to build your own app – with no programming. No coding is involved to design your app, and once completed, it can be launched to major streaming platforms including Roku, Android, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire. MAZ currently powers apps for over 1000 different companies… wow. You can request a demo here.


So, what does the future of TV look like?

Well, no one is exactly sure quite yet,  but it’s safe to say there are a lot of contenders in the fight for customer subscriptions. The average American uses 3.4 subscription services, with the total cost per month being approximately $30. Although over 3 subscriptions seems like a lot, this total cost is still significantly less than the average cable subscription of $107/month. For this reason, it is likely that the ceiling for streaming service viability is not yet in the foresight. 

New subscription services will continue to appear as the content production and curation processes become easier, with tools like MAZ making distribution across platforms faster and easier. Many niche channels have been and will continue to be snatched up by major streaming services, there for allowing larger channels to acquire new subscribers. It’s basically a guarantee that we will not be returning to a world where streaming is not available on Smart TVs and other devices, where people cannot just choose to pay for the content that they want to see. 

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