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Multi-device strategy is crucial for OTT platforms: Brightcove report

2020 has been the year for OTT streaming and will be remembered as the year streaming wars intensified to a new high. Brightcove’s report on ‘The Future of OTT in South Asia’ seeks to dive into consumer preferences towards OTT services – from subscriptions to payments to OTT advertising to user experiences.

The research highlights three broad audience insights:

Use content to drive interest & loyalty:

  • Refine your marketing mix based on how viewers look for new content to stream.
  • Build a content strategy that keeps viewers entertained and engaged.

Find your right device & experience strategy:

  • Invest in the right mix of devices for your viewing audience.
  • Offer a viewer experience that doesn’t disappoint.

Change the game with flexible payment models:

  • Develop pricing models based on the unique value of the content and experience you provide.
  • Offer flexible payment models that increase the perceived value of your service and its content.

According to the study, there are Top 5 ways in which viewers discover content outside of their OTT service:

Social media (60%)

Search engine (51%)

Trailers of TV series/ movies (46%)

Advertising (39%)

Recommendations for friends & family (38%)

The research notes that content discovery is an ongoing challenge for consumers. OTT providers need to consider the customer journey of finding content. Social media, search engines, trailers, advertising, recommendations from family and friends, and social media are all effective elements to consider in their marketing campaigns.

OTT providers can use free video platforms with trailers to create awareness and drive users to their own OTT platform. Consider referral campaigns as part of the user acquisition program, whereby they can reward the advocacy of existing customers who get their friends and family to sample service.

Content is the deal maker

48% want more content options. The need for content diversity is ranked high on the list of reasons for signing for multiple services. Content diversity means addressing the content need for the whole family unit, including addressing the demand for niche content.

Not all content needs are met with just one OTT service. 38% consider forming content partnerships with content owners. Users can opt to add-on content as channels from content owners, such as a single season of a show, rather than subscribing to the entire service.

35% want access to local content. There is an affinity for homegrown Indian content in Bangladesh and Pakistan markets. Indian OTT providers launching in these markets would cater to both local audiences and the Diaspora segments.

According to the research, when launching across borders, OTT players need to ensure that their OTT platform can deliver a scalable, high-quality streaming experience, as well as catering to various payment currencies. They also need to ensure that their content portfolio has enough depth, with a combination of compelling, original, or exclusive content the target audience desires.

Consumers have power and choice when it comes to video

Viewers rotate between Pay TV, free online sharing and OTT, with 67% preferring Pay TV, followed by 55% preferring free online video sites, 41% or OTT and 28% for FTA. The low cost of mobile data and affordable smartphones have revolutionised the OTT video streaming landscape in India, with over 40 OTT platforms serving the market. Satisfying the market needs via legitimate channels is possible with affordable pricing, or even for free, funded by ads and access is not geo-blocked.

Pay TV has long been well established in these markets. With more and more streaming services entering the market, cord-cutting could pose a problem for Pay TV operators without an OTT strategy.

The report suggests that PayTV operators adopt an OTT strategy (that does not require a set-top box) with content bundles for subscribers to choose from and delivered to their mobile devices. Meanwhile, OTT providers need to also look to sell their content on PayTV platforms as an add-on channel.

Multi-device strategy

Top three streaming choices remain – mobile, TV, laptop. Android is emerging as a leader in streaming device technology among connected TV providers.

With low data tariffs and increasing smartphone penetration, mobile will be THE streaming device to consider. While mobile devices are dominant, it is also crucial to note, Smart TVs and the Amazon Fire Sticks are just as important for a third of South Asian viewers. OTT players should not miss out on increasing their service’s stickiness by including key big screen devices in your device reach strategy. Be aware that a consumer might watch the OTT service on multiple devices, including on streaming sticks, and ensure that the user experience is seamless across all devices.

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