Summary: Over the past few years, traditional broadcasters have extended and grown their VOD services online against the growing shadow of Netflix while an acceleration of stand-alone OTT services has created more competition for viewer attention and further fragmenting content destinations. Geoff Holden, Product Manager, OnDemand at BroadView Software was part of the core team who launched TMN GO in 2013. In this Op-ed, he shares his insights on the exponential, and impressive, growth of OTT.
It has never been easier to launch an OTT service. The technical barriers, up-front/operational costs, and financial risk are lower than ever. While many early movers took the most significant risks in building their in-house tools to stake their claim, there are now plenty of companies and services that have lined up to sell picks and shovels.
So, where do we go from here?
We have seen the adoption and maturation of Multi-platform scheduling and rights management solutions, and of managed services and white label Online Video Providers (OVP) such as Comcast technical services (formerly thePlatform) and MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) as well as aggregators such as Vubiquity and IBM. There is an equal number of companies offering application templates or deep expertise to put your brand on Smart TV, smartphones, and tablets. Combined, these have established de facto standards and modes of operation that allow us to follow a known and repeatable pattern to achieve baseline functionality.
Some are taking it even further; Netflix is championing adoption of the Interoperable Master Format (IMF), a SMPTE standard for video and audio with the goal of reducing the labor and cost of versioning content for different purposes. That will simplify making content available in a different language, technical specification or even editing it to make a trailer or promotional item. We are also seeing deeper integration between the products and services used to deliver content to subscribers on multiple platforms, to the point that we can start thinking about Content as a Service.