The ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way businesses are done in the last few months. As countries went into partial or complete lockdown, consumer behavior was defined by the consumption of only essential services.
Besides, the need to stay at home has spiked the adoption of entertainment and gaming to break the monotony of staying shut. Subsequently, the activities around OTT (over-the-top) apps, online games, and videoconferencing saw impressive growth in these few months.
So, what is the future of OTT apps? Is the growth in video consumption via these platforms short-lived or OTT platforms are here to stay? Let’s find out.
COVID Impact on OTT Apps
COVID has been instrumental in increasing the OTT platform consumption. Since the world is battling the implications of global pandemic, most of the public gatherings were either banned or restricted.
Thus, production of new movies, TV shows, or even hosting of sporting events were severely affected. OTT provides an opportunity for the users to find videos-on-demand (VOD) and watch them as per their convenience in their homes.
Now, even keeping the COVID situation outside the fray, the OTT app industry was still on a juggernaut for some time. These platforms were already changing the way video content was being consumed by users over the last few years. The COVID situation has maybe just expedited the consumption pattern of the OTT platforms, which was already growing at a steady pace.
OTT enables you to provide your users with customized entertainment based on their preferences. Hence, marketing the right kind of content to the right audience is key to improve engagement and screen time for users. Communicating with your audience through the right channels can help you to make your platform popular quite fast.
Now, if you have an OTT platform you must be trying to upscale your OTT app consumption. But before doing so, you need to understand the growth pattern of the OTT industry, and the impact COVID had on it.
You also need to understand the key driving forces of the OTT market and its constraints. Subsequently, you need an app marketing strategy to market your platform and keep your users satisfied. So, without any further delay, let’s get to it.
OTT Apps – A disruption in the entertainment business
The consumption of online video content, according to a survey, has increased by 46% during the COVID period. The OTT platforms were gaining traction over traditional television even prior to the COVID crisis. Unlike television broadcasts, OTT platforms let users consume content as per their preferences and timing. Since the OTT platforms offer a diverse range of content, it helps in creating an immersive and engaging experience for the users.
As OTT platforms are gaining popularity, catering to the users’ needs becomes increasingly important. The change in user behavior due to the constraints of COVID has been instrumental in disrupting the entertainment industry quite evidently.
Attributing this shift in pattern, facilitating the content and communicating it to the users becomes a norm for the OTT players. Consequently, the app marketing strategies has moved towards a more user-driven approach.
Service providers now look to cater to user preferences in a customized way based on their profile and content viewing behavior. OTT platforms have a repository of content available for their users. Hence, creating the app stickiness that prompts users to “binge-watch” shows becomes quite essential to drive value to the business.
OTT Apps – Key drivers and Constraints
The user appetite for consuming customized content was already aiding the OTT industry. However, there are some other factors that drive the growth of OTT platforms. These are:
1. High-speed internet connectivity and technological improvements
The availability of high-speed internet along with an improvement of technology has been the key driver in the growth of OTT. The high internet speed helps OTT platforms to stream high-definition and 4K videos without losing pixels and provides an immersive viewing experience. The availability of supporting television with bigger screens creates an immersive viewing experience.
2. Smart and connected devices
The Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled OTT service providers to stream content-on-the-go across connected devices, which helps viewers to access their favorite shows wherever they go and wherever they want. Moreover, the streaming services are available irrespective of the screen size and device types. Therefore, devices like connected TV, smartphones, and even a connected coffee machine become a display screen for streaming services.
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3. Content availability in OTT space
The constant availability of fresh and pre-recorded content on an OTT platform is another reason why it is gaining popularity among users. People can access and watch shows according to their tastes and preferences without frequent interruptions of broadcast ads. The sponsored content and advertisements on the OTT space are customized according to the user segments. Besides, the users can skip the ads after certain playtime, resulting in better brand visibility for third-party or partner businesses too.
Along with the upside of the OTT platforms, there are some bottlenecks too. These factors jeopardizes the revenue generation from an OTT platform quite substantially. They are:
A. High-level competitions
When you are in the OTT space, you are competing with some of the biggest names in the industry. These brands have much more operational budget available with them. Hence, they can create, distribute, and market their content as well as the platform with a higher spend. Hence, without a robust strategy, the competitions can become a lot tougher than you might have anticipated.
B. Payment models and sign-ins
This is one of the biggest challenges in the OTT industry. When you have an OTT platform, the payment models and the cost of the plans are major factors in driving new users and retention. Some of the consumers are usually reluctant to pay a price for onboarding every OTT platform they know off. Also, multiple log-ins using a single credential due to identity piracy also impacts your revenue growth.
C. Continuous communication of streaming exclusive shows
While you update your OTT platform with fresh content, you need to constantly communicate them to your user across all the touchpoints they are active in. Unless your users know about the exclusivity of the content available, you cannot create much traction with them.
OTT industry is a highly competitive space. Only by strengthening the opportunities in the industry while minimizing the constraints you can progress in it. Adopting a complete Omnichannel approach can be really beneficial here.
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Why marketing an OTT platform needs Omnichannel Approach?
OTT industry is driven by personalized content according to the preferences of the users. However, the high competition in the OTT space might play a deterrent to your marketing strategies. Yet, the opportunities are tremendous for you to deliver a well-packaged and engaging content experience without diverging from what is relevant and personalized.
The OTT strategy here must use an omnichannel approach. It allows you to address the users’ preferences across channels, understand their needs, and provide a customized solution. OTT platforms depend on user experience as well as content availability. Thus, your key focus must be on retention and activation of new users.
To drive an omnichannel app marketing strategy, you must also leverage the benefits of a platform that supports your objectives. Vizury Engage360 Omnichannel Marketing Platform is one such platform for driving seamless marketing experiences across channels and devices.
How Engage360 Omnichannel Platform help you with OTT app marketing strategies?
The omnichannel approach with Engage360 helps you improve your retention as well as the activation of new users seamlessly. It helps you to identify the touchpoints they are most active on. Further, you can engage them with communication catered to their needs using an omnichannel approach. For example, let’s say that one of your users are mostly using mobile data to access your platform, and you decide to engage him.
Here you can use marketing channels like app-push or in-app messages to update him on your offerings. Now, when he later switches on to a laptop or a connected TV, you can send a web-push or an email notification with relevant content information. These notifications often act as a reminder or motivation for users to return to your platform to watch their favorite shows.
Now, if the user is using a basic or free plan, you can communicate the benefits and offers on premium memberships. Therefore, you get a chance to either onboard a new user or upsell a higher package to him. A constant flow of information along with a range of quality content can help you to improve both your marketing ROI and revenue generation.
OTT platforms have paved the way for the entertainment industry. Their importance is visible since even movies are being premiered on these platforms instead of movie theatres. This is in addition to the latest TV shows and other live channels.
Omnichannel marketing across touchpoints helps you to market your OTT app or platform better. Further, the technological adaptation has broken the boundaries between devices. Thus, your users can view the content on your website or app as and when they like. The only way for you to get them on board is through constant communication, which enables them to choose what they want to see.
If you want a customized omnichannel solution to market your OTT app or platform, please reach out to us at [email protected]