Entertainment is shifting onto the internet. In fact, over the past five years, every area of home entertainment spending has declined, except for online video. Many businesses are finding success in creating an OTT TV solution. For example, advertising on OTT content distributed via smart TVs alone is expected to hit $20.1 billion this year.
The process of creating a tech stack and workflow for OTT broadcasting is challenging. It’s also a custom process for each organization. In other words, your business goals, workflow, and style will influence how you approach this process.
8 Steps to Build an OTT TV Solution
Given that industry context, how can businesses today build an OTT TV solution? This blog post will begin to explore this question through an 8-step process. Let’s jump right in.
1. Upload and Host With a Professional OVP
The first step in the process of building your own OTT TV solution is to upload and host your video content with a professional OVP, or Online Video Platform. An OVP provides video hosting and live streaming services. It’s like a private, secure, and professional version YouTube for individuals and businesses alike.
Today, there is a wide range of professional OVP platforms on the market. Choosing the right one for you is important; it will influence every other step in the process. Check out our OTT platform comparison for our recommendations on the best OVP for professional use. Then, you can choose your favorite platform and upload your video content to prepare for streaming live.
2. Transcode and Organize Content with a Video CMS
Once you upload your content, it’s time to prepare your video files for OTT TV distribution. Two important steps are recommended first: transcoding and organizing your content.
Transcoding creates multiple renditions of the same video file. Then, when users playback your video content using an adaptive video player, the player will auto-detect their internet speed and deliver them the best video quality for their situation. This process is essential to deliver the best possible QoE (Quality of Experience) to viewers.
Since you’ll likely have a large library of content, organizing your video into a rational system is also essential for an OTT TV solution. You can achieve this with a “video CMS” (Content Management System). Like WordPress and other CM systems, these typically consist of a system (of categories, tags, and playlists) that lets you easily organize your content. At this stage, you can also bundle content into “packages” that viewers can purchase later with a single price for multiple videos.
3. Use an API to Integrate Your Workflow
Next, you’ll want to use an API, or Application Programming Interface, to integrate your workflow with your OVP. An API essentially allows you to custom-code solutions to your video workflow. With a video API, you can integrate video uploading and management into existing digital tools. Likewise, you can streamline the publishing and management process. For OTT TV solutions that will deliver hundreds or thousands of videos, API tools are essential.
4. Access 24/7 Technical Support to Solve OTT TV Solution Issues
Businesses can’t falter when technical issues arise. That’s why access to 24/7 in-house tech support is so important for OTT TV solutions. Surprisingly, this feature is a rarity, even among professional OVPs. But when you need it, you need it. Look for 24/7 support when assessing OVPs, and have a plan to access that support quickly if issues do arise.
5. Tap Into Professional Services for Custom Development Assistance
Another piece on the topic of support is professional services. Few media businesses are prepared to build the technology stack necessary for OTT from scratch. Using an Online Video Platform (OVP) that includes API access can enable you to deliver content rapidly and reliably. And it can help you scale to a massive audience using global Content Delivery Networks (CDNs).
Therefore, the next step here involves using professional services to develop and integrate your streaming service. Professional services assist with tasks such as API integration, mobile app development, custom website and video portal creation, and more. Of course, you can do all of this in-house as well. However, outsourcing some of your OTT TV solution development can be smarter (and more cost-effective) in some situations.
6. Enable Security Features and Monetize
Now that you’ve completed basic setup and task integration, it’s time to fine-tune your content and prepare it for release. Two important parts of this step are enabling security features and setting up video monetization.
There are various OTT video security features available, depending on which OVP you use. Among these are domain restrictions, which set limits on which websites someone can embed your video. Another example is AES encryption, which uses cryptography to secure your videos against interception and hacking. For a full list of security features that you might want to use, check out our guide to securing online video.
And what about monetization? There are three main ways to monetize online video today: advertising, subscriptions, and pay-per-view (aka transactional). The method you choose ultimately depends on your audience and revenue projections. For more on video monetization, check out our guide to OTT video monetization tools.
7. Share Your Video via Custom White-Label Embeds, Apps, and Portals
Once you have uploaded, organized, and secured your content, it’s time to distribute it. At this stage, you want to embed your video content on your platforms, apps, and websites. Embedding videos on your website is easy—as simple as copy and paste. However, for OTT video this step could also involve using a video platform API to create a custom mobile app or a dynamically-populated, automatically generated set of playlists on your custom video portal website. When you are ready, you can launch your content and begin marketing efforts to achieve the biggest possible audience.
8. Analyze the Results of Your OTT TV Solution
The final step is an important one, and it’s analyzing the results. One easy way to do this is with real-time OTT analytics. An analytics tool allows you to track your viewers and gather details about them. This includes what they watch, how long they watch, what devices they use, where they are located, etcetera. The data you gather in this stage can help you iterate, grow, expand, and improve your efforts in the future based on hard evidence.
In this article, we’ve introduced you to the process of building at OTT TV solution. OTT video is growing fast. At this point, watching subscription-based OTT video services is a daily habit for over half of adults in the US. This represents a huge business opportunity, and we are seeing huge growth in OTT businesses today.
And if you need a professional video platform, you should consider Dacast. We offer all the features discussed in this article, and much more—all at the best prices in the industry. If you’re interested, please contact our support team to discuss your specific needs. We’re here to help and can walk you through any technical questions you may have.
We also offer a 30-day free trial of Dacast, with no credit card required. It’s a risk-free way to test out our platform today. If you’re ready to test our platform yourself, just click the button below:
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