The Explosion of OTT Video and What it Means for Businesses



OTT video is exploding in popularity. In the past, video streaming solutions like Netflix were pioneers. Today, they have grown into massive business entities. Many others have entered the field, including HBO, Amazon, Disney—they’re all doubling down on OTT video.

With good reason. People are increasingly cutting their cable TV cords and getting entertainment online. That goes for both video-on-demand and live streaming. In fact, 63% of people ages 18-34 are watching live-streaming content regularly. And this isn’t just impacting the media and entertainment industry. Businesses of all types are capitalizing on OTT video.

This blog will examine how the OTT media world is changing business. Specifically, this post will examine online video and marketing, as well as the revenue potential that over-the-top video represents. We’ll discuss using online video for internal communication, branding, and more. We’ll also go over how to build authenticity specifically using live streaming.

Let’s get to it.

How OTT video is changing business

The Explosion of OTT Video and What it Means for BusinessAs we’ve said, OTT video is booming. Worldwide OTT revenue was roughly $46.5 billion in 2017. That number is expected to rise to $83.4 billion by 2022, and the global enterprise video market is expected to reach $40.84 billion by 2022. That’s an annual growth rate of more than 20 percent.

This disruption is rearranging the world of media and video communications. No longer is television the unimpeachable behemoth, nor is airwave bandwidth the limiting factor on the number of channels and their quality.

Today, anyone can stream. OTT video is reducing costs and increasing the quality of communication tools available to businesses. Combined with the user targeted now available, video can be delivered precisely to those people who need it most.

Online video and marketing

One of the business areas that can benefit from OTT video is marketing. Video is a powerful communications medium. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. Video can be used to show a product or service in action. All the best features can be highlighted, and the benefits can be explained.

It’s a “show” medium, rather than a “tell” medium.

This is reflected in the increasing focus various businesses are placing in online and OTT video for marketing, and in data. More than four times as many people would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. By the third quarter of 2015, for example, year-over-year ad views had increased 113 % for live video. Using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19 percent. People who watch demo videos while online shopping are nearly twice as likely to purchase as those who don’t.

However, video has to be deliberate. You can’t just throw out bad quality content and expect amazing results. “The rules still apply,” Beth Mock LeBlanc, chief creative officer, founder, and managing partner at MLB Creative, said. “You need to have a plan for your live videos; it can’t just be ad-lib. Find out what your audience is interested in and come up with a plan that targets that.”

Worldwide, 52 percent of marketing professionals say video is the tool that gives them the best ROI—far higher than any other medium. With numbers like that, you can’t afford not to use OTT video for marketing.

Revenue potential of OTT video

The Explosion of OTT Video and What it Means for BusinessThe OTT video industry is a huge market, as we’ve shared. By 2021, the OTT video industry could reach $70.05 billion.

Some estimate that more than a third of professional broadcasters monetize their content via subscription models. Others choose advertising or TVOD (pay-per-view / online rental), or a mixture of these models.

Either way, the OTT video represents a huge source of potential income. This is especially true for certain industries. Time-sensitive events like sports are perfect for pay-per-view monetization. Businesses have been making millions from sports streaming for many years. However, monetization is also highly effective for a variety of other types of video, such as:

  • Entertainment (via advertising, subscription fees, or pay-per-view)
  • Business conferences and trade shows (charge a fee to access and show ads)
  • Music and concerts
  • Online educational courses and training
  • Enterprise business and product sales (monetize via marketing)

Internal communications

OTT video is excellent for monetization. But on the other end of the spectrum, online video is also perfect for internal communications. Video chat has been an essential part of doing business for well over a decade now.

However, video can be used much more widely. For example, some businesses are investing heavily in video training. Training via online video can be scaled to any number of employees, instantly, without increasing costs. It also reduces costs on an absolute basis and allows people to learn at their own pace. Video is perfect for training people on new products, services, and procedures.

Video is also being used to live stream important events and information internally. Increasingly, CEOs and executives at large businesses are live streaming speeches and important announcements to employees. This provides a greater sense of connection and is a more effective form of communication than written memos.

Building authenticity with OTT

The Explosion of OTT Video and What it Means for BusinessOnline video is a great way to build a connection with viewers. But don’t just take our word for it. The industry publication MarketingWeek says that live streaming “is key to building authenticity.”

That’s because live streaming has the element of spontaneity that’s often missing from highly-produced online and broadcast content. Additionally, it creates FOMO — Fear of Missing Out — in the audience. If you don’t see it the first time around, you might have missed it forever. (Unless, of course, you’re auto-archiving your live streams.)

This sense of authenticity can be leveraged for all the different business approaches to the OTT video we’ve outlined above. Taking people behind-the-scenes, giving them a glimpse of things they don’t normally see—this is just the beginning. Authenticity can be further enhanced by making the communication two-way. This can be done via the comments section, via integrated chat alongside live streams, or by integrating with social media platforms.

How to build an OTT video strategy

Now that we’ve explained the benefits of OTT video, let’s discuss how to get started. We recommend that you follow a deliberate two-part process for your video strategy. Here are the steps we recommend:

Part 1

First, sit down with your core business team and discuss video strategy. Nail down a specific goal and focus for your video program. For example, your goal may be to produce a series of five marketing live stream videos over the coming year to highlight your new products. Alternatively, maybe your goal is to create a series of training videos to reduce the costs of onboarding new employees in the next fiscal year. Or, it may be to begin live-streaming the concerts you organize as a new revenue stream. You can add new goals in the future, but start with something manageable and actionable.

Part 2

Next, make a plan for the staff, equipment, and services you will need to get started with online video. Staff and equipment needs will depend on the content you intend the film, the location, lighting, and so on. We recommend consulting with professional services to determine your best options here. As far as services, you’ll also need a professional-grade online video platform. Once this step is done, you’ll have everything you need to begin implementing your OTT video strategy.

To learn more about OTT strategy, check out these articles:

5 Reasons Broadcasters Need an OTT Strategy

Winning the OTT War: Strategies for Sustainable Growth (especially Battleground 3: Media)


As you can see, OTT video is a growing and lucrative industry. It’s a great time to be involved. We hope that the article has outlined the benefits of OTT video and how to make the most of this industry today.

We mentioned just now that a professional-grade online video platform is essential for OTT video. The Dacast platform helps a wide range of businesses do successful live streaming and online video. If you’d like to try out our services, we have a 14-day free trial, with no credit card required. Click here to get started with this trial:

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We love to hear from our readers, so sound off in the comment section if you have any questions or comments. For regular tips on live streaming and exclusive offers, feel free to join our LinkedIn group. Thanks for reading, and happy streaming!

Max Wilbert

Max Wilbert is a passionate writer, live streaming practitioner, and has strong expertise in the video streaming industry.