Category : Media & Entertainment

Media & Entertainment

Beyond blockbusters: Boost OTT engagement for lesser-known content

Step into the world of OTT streaming, and it’s like walking into a giant buffet of entertainment content options. However, with so many choices of readily accessible content, it’s easy for viewers to feel overwhelmed when choosing what to watch on any OTT streaming service. That’s where the challenge for OTT service providers lies – how can they ensure viewers easily discover lesser-known content titles beyond blockbusters to boost OTT engagement?

To ensure your platform remains relevant and engaging for your viewers in a highly competitive market, you must find ways to elevate OTT engagement levels with new and exciting content. It’s a challenge that requires innovative strategies like personalized recommendations and a deep understanding of viewer behavior and preferences through an analytics-driven approach. We have shared 7 best approaches for maximizing OTT engagement with lesser-known content and driving growth for your OTT platform.

The significance of lesser-known content for OTT engagement

Lesser-known or undiscovered content offers numerous advantages for OTT platforms to elevate customer satisfaction and retention rates. Highlighting lesser-known content can make an OTT platform even more appealing to viewers, providing a competitive edge, attracting a wider audience, and building deeper connections with them.

Significance of lesser known content for OTT engagement

But that’s not all. Viewers love to explore extensive libraries offering a wider selection of content titles per their preferences. Making the lesser-known content get discovered can elevate OTT engagement and extend session durations as viewers eagerly explore new content. Users exploring lesser-known content create valuable session data that OTT platforms can utilize to provide even more personalized content recommendations. This data helps OTT platforms comprehend the popular content titles among viewers and trace their unique preferences or browsing behaviors.

Key data and projections: Global penetration rate in the OTT video segment

As of January 2023, Amazon Prime and Netflix boast extensive content libraries in the United Kingdom, with Amazon Prime offering over 9,500 titles and Netflix offering 7,400 titles. These impressive libraries highlight the ever-expanding digital content landscape. Despite this abundance, it’s estimated that audiences only engage with a small fraction of these collections, indicating a significant opportunity for lesser-known content to be discovered and appreciated.

As the OTT video segment grows, experts anticipate a steady rise in global penetration rate from 2023 to 2028, potentially increasing by 9 percentage points. By 2028, this could peak at around 54.69 percent, indicating a vast audience for popular as well as lesser-known content. The global Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD) market revenue will surpass the $124 billion (about $380 per person in the US) mark by 2028. However, OTT service providers must continue diversifying their content offerings and focus on lesser-known titles in highlight for viewers to improve OTT engagement.

Costs and risks: Implications of top-rated show dominance on OTT platforms

Let’s explore the implications of top-rated show dominance on OTT platforms that help identify gaps for devising effective strategies to promote lesser-known content.

  • Reduced Revenue Potential: OTT platforms invest significantly in diverse content, whether original or acquired titles. But, when users overlook a substantial portion of it, this leads to missed opportunities to generate more revenue. This includes reduced ad earnings, fewer subscribers, and lost chances to upsell premium content. Platforms should allocate resources strategically to promote their lesser-known content, boosting OTT engagement through targeted promotions and incentives. 
  • Limited Viewer Engagement and Retention: Viewers who exclusively engage with top-rated shows may not explore other content titles on the platform. This can lead to lower OTT engagement and retention rates, as viewers may need help finding enough content that resonates with their interests. Platforms can solve this issue by employing enhanced content discovery mechanisms and offering personalized recommendations. 
  • Potential for Brand Erosion: If an OTT platform becomes synonymous with a limited set of shows, it may be perceived as something other than a complete entertainment destination. This can affect its brand image and market position. OTT service providers can counter this by highlighting their extensive catalog of undiscovered content as a distinguishing factor. 
  • Inefficient Content Delivery and Storage: Less-watched content may occupy server space and resources without delivering commensurate returns, leading to inefficiencies in content storage and delivery systems. OTT service providers can address this by optimizing their content delivery and storage infrastructure to minimize resource wastage while maintaining access to undiscovered content.  
  • Decreased Long-Tail Revenue: Often, less-watched content can continue to generate revenue as viewers discover it over time. By neglecting this long-tail potential, OTT service providers miss out on a valuable revenue stream. OTT platforms should implement strategies to promote lesser-known content through other channels, such as email alerts.

Effective approaches to boosting user interaction with lesser-known OTT content

Below, we have outlined effective strategies enabling smart content discovery for lesser-known titles, leading to enhanced OTT engagement and high user retention rates. 

Personalized Recommendations

  • Personalized User Suggestions: OTT platforms can effectively deliver Tailored Suggestions for users by employing sophisticated engines that leverage advanced AI/ML algorithms to analyze user preferences and view history. This allows them to provide deep learning-powered recommendations highlighting undiscovered content aligned with their interests. 
  • Contextualized Content Discovery: Consider a scenario where a user has watched four out of seven movies in the Harry Potter series. Based on this pattern, the recommendation engine would suggest the fifth movie next, aligning with the user’s demonstrated interest. This example illustrates how a nuanced understanding of user preferences and interests can enable the system to recommend relevant yet undiscovered content. Such a contextual approach boosts user engagement by introducing them to new or undiscovered content they will likely enjoy. 

Benefits: Utilizing personalized recommendation engines, OTT service providers can guide users to explore lesser-known content, significantly increasing user engagement.

Content Curation

Content curation for enhancing OTT engagement

  • Thematic Collections: Develop thematic collections or playlists featuring lesser-known content related to trending topics, genres, or seasons. For instance, when a new James Bond movie is released, a dedicated rail could be featured, offering users easy access to all the previous James Bond movies and encouraging them to explore and watch the entire collection of content titles. This curated selection ensures that fans can dive into the captivating world of the iconic spy and discover hidden gems from the franchise. 
  • Expert Collaboration: Collaborate with industry influencers or experts to curate lists of lesser-known content titles.  
  • Curated Sections: Showcase undiscovered content through meticulously curated playlists, prominently featured categories, or dedicated “hidden gems” sections.  
  • Sustainable Interest: Vigilantly refresh and update these collections to sustain user interest.

Benefits: Curated collections improve content discovery on OTT platforms by helping users find lesser-known content or relative titles and ensure content diversity for a broader audience appeal.

“Search Me or Discover New” Feature

  • Innovative Discovery Feature: OTT platforms can innovate by introducing a “Search Me” feature, underpinned by advanced machine learning algorithms, to curate selected lesser-known content tailored to user preferences and promote the lesser-known content. Many OTT platforms consider naming this feature as “Discover New,” “Out of the Box,” “Element of Surprise,” or “Not Your Regular” to catch the user’s attention and effectively show them relevant content titles. 
  • Fresh Content: When users explore the “Discover Content” feature, the platform generates entirely randomized recommendations based on the user’s viewing history, considering past choices and interests. This algorithm helps exclude previously watched options to ensure fresh and uncharted content recommendations.

Benefits: This strategy enhances content discovery, motivating users to explore lesser-known content beyond their usual preferences, thus promoting higher user engagement.

Limited-Time Promotions

  • Spotlight Hidden Gems: Strategically devise time-sensitive promotions, bringing lesser-known content to the forefront.   
  • Enticing Offers: Extend discounts or free access for a limited period to entice users to explore new and lesser-known content.   
  • Multi-Channel Alerts: Deploy multi-channel notifications, including email, push notifications, or in-app messages, to alert users about these promotions.

Benefits: Limited-time promotions highlighting undiscovered content with discounts and free access entice users, while multi-channel notifications boost user awareness, increasing OTT engagement and potential revenue for OTT platforms.

User-Generated Content (UGC)

  • Cultivate User Participation: Create an environment encouraging users to share reviews, ratings, or content recommendations.  
  • Trust and Social Proof: Feature user-generated content alongside lesser-known content to foster trust and enhance social proof.  
  • Social Integration: Incorporate social media integrations to enable users to effortlessly share their reviews and promote their favorite content titles on popular platforms, enhancing content discovery and fostering a dynamic, user-driven promotion.

Benefits: UGC enhances trust and fosters user connections. It provides valuable insights for improving content recommendation strategies to motivate users to explore lesser-known content, boosting OTT engagement.

Interactive Features

  • Engaging Experiences: Develop interactive and engaging experiences centered around undiscovered content, including quizzes, polls, or dedicated forums to entice users.
  • Live Engagement: Host live Q&A sessions with actors, directors, or creators of lesser-known shows to ignite enthusiasm among users.

Benefits: Interactive features on OTT platforms enhance OTT engagement and create excitement around lesser-known content, differentiating the platform.


  • Strategic Exposure: Strategically promote lesser-known content within high-profile or flagship series to diversify viewership.  
  • Advanced Integration: Seamlessly integrate teasers or trailers for lesser-known content during commercial breaks or inter-episode intervals.

Benefits: Cross-promotion on OTT platforms enhances content diversity and encourages users to explore undiscovered content beyond top-rated shows, increasing OTT engagement and the stickiness of viewers.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) for assessing lesser-known content engagement

In the effort to engage viewers with lesser-known content besides their typical top-rated show preferences, it is essential for OTT platforms to prioritize tracking and analyzing specific metrics. Below are the KPIs that demonstrate the effectiveness of the OTT strategies for lesser-known content engagement:

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for OTT Engagement through Lesser-Known Content

These KPIs provide indispensable insights into the effectiveness of strategies promoting lesser-known content, amplifying OTT engagement, and enriching the user experience. In practice, OTT platforms can use this data to optimize their content discovery algorithms and attract viewers to traverse the breadth of their content catalog beyond the confines of top-rated shows.

Strategies like personalized recommendations, content curation, and the “Discover New” feature are designed to boost interaction, enhance retention, and foster customer loyalty. These strategies enable OTT platforms to adapt to evolving user preferences and provide seamless experiences. 

Robosoft Technologies has a proven track record of delivering delightful, cross-device, multi-platform OTT experiences for major media brands and streaming giants such as Canela Media, Magnolia, and Discovery+. We specialize in crafting intelligent design systems and digital solutions focusing on product intent, consumer behavior, and business objectives to help build engaging customer experiences. Contact us to begin your journey toward world-class OTT app streaming solutions. 

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Customer Experience Media & Entertainment Technology

The Future of Sports Broadcasting: How Live Cricket Streaming is Leading the Way

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, held in India, has concluded, igniting global excitement with thrilling matches, nail-biting finishes, and remarkable individual and team performances. While the Australian juggernaut swiftly re-established dominance in world cricket, the true standout of the tournament was undoubtedly OTT!

This blog explores the dynamic realm of OTT platforms, shedding light on their transformative impact on live sports events. By harnessing the potential of technology, intuitive design, and human psychology, these platforms elevate the fan experience, introducing captivating and immersive features for events like the Cricket World Cup 2023.

OTT Streaming: Connect Sports Fans Like Never Before!

Only a handful of nations worldwide play cricket as a professional sport. However, it enjoys enormous popularity in most countries where it is played. In India especially, it is not just a sport – but often called a religion. Indians have followed the sport from the days of radio, black & white television, and color TVs. Some of the iconic moments in the game are etched in the nation’s psyche and hence command an unimaginable interest, passion, and fan following.

In today’s digital world, events such as the ICC Cricket World Cup are brought alive through OTT streaming for fans worldwide. Sports have the power to transcend boundaries and connect global audiences – we’ve seen that over the years with a community of fans based on a passion for a sport – tennis, soccer, golf, racing, or baseball. Live sports streaming adds a new dimension to the experience of a sports fan.

Now, let’s dive into the core question: What game-changing factors fuel the widespread adoption of OTT streaming for live sporting events, igniting fans’ passion and reshaping how we experience our favorite games?

Key Factors Driving OTT Adoption and Monetization for Live Sporting Events Like Cricket

OTT adoption for live sporting events is fueled by five major factors: Seamless User Experience, Enhanced User Engagement, Immersive Viewing Experience, Personalised Alerts Widgets, and Monetisation Strategies. Let’s uncover these ‘X-factors’ that distinguish OTT platforms in providing fans with an outstanding live sports experience.

Seamless User Experience

1. Multi-device, Multi-platform Support

OTT platforms offering multi-device, multi-platform support ensure viewers can access live cricket streaming seamlessly across various devices such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and desktop computers. This flexibility allows cricket enthusiasts to enjoy their favorite games anytime, anywhere, making the live sports streaming experience more accessible and user-friendly. Whether at home or on the go, these platforms provide a consistent and engaging viewing experience, enhancing the overall convenience and accessibility of live matches.

Example: A popular Indian streaming service, SonyLiv’s exemplary multi-device, multi-platform support is evident in its live streaming services. Viewers can seamlessly access live content across various devices and platforms, ensuring a flexible and user-friendly experience.

Robosoft helped Discovery+ offer a seamless multi-device experience, allowing users to watch on two devices simultaneously, continue watching where they left off, and access their favorites and Watch Later list on any device. With its touchpoint-agnostic design, they can enjoy Discovery+ on any device, anytime, anywhere.

2. Accessible Design

Accessibility in live sports streaming broadens the audience to include people with diverse needs and disabilities, making up nearly 15% of the global population. Legal compliance with accessibility standards is now necessary for all streaming applications worldwide. Features like closed captioning, audio descriptions, and customizable subtitles cater to viewers with different preferences, ensuring everyone can enjoy the thrill of live cricket action.

3. 1-Click Discovery

Discovery of matches can be made very easy by prominently featuring live and upcoming ones in the hero carousel, banners, or as a dedicated menu item in the navigation. This ensures that users can swiftly and effortlessly discover the games they wish to watch with just a single click after landing on the application.

Example: Jio Cinema, a streaming service from India’s largest diversified business group, had a dedicated tab during the IPL 2022 season, making it very simple for Cricket enthusiasts to discover the entire event.

Enhanced User Engagement

4. Building Communities

Social engagement features create a sense of connection and interaction among sports enthusiasts, allowing them to discuss, share, and react to the action in real-time, transforming solitary viewing into a communal and interactive experience. Through live chat, polls, virtual high-fives, real-time reactions, and fantasy gaming, users can connect with like-minded fans, share their excitement, and be part of a larger sports community, making the live sports experience even more engaging and enjoyable.

Example: ESPN’s Fantasy Cricket League allows users to create their teams, compete with friends, and earn points based on the performance of real players.

Robosoft developed a personalized cricket app for ESPN to provide cricket fans with a seamless and engaging experience. The app offers real-time score updates, scorecards, commentary, cricket news, expert analysis, and one-touch personalization to follow favorite teams. This success highlights Robosoft’s capabilities in delivering a high-quality and complete OTT solution for the world’s leading media and entertainment brands.

5. Watch Party

The Watch Party feature enables users to enjoy live sports alongside friends and family through video calls. This fosters a more social and engaging viewing experience, enhancing the sense of togetherness among sports fans, no matter where they are.

Example: Jio Cinema’s watch party allows users to connect with friends and family and watch their favorite shows together.

watchparty in live sports streaming

6. Cross Content Promotion

By integrating the latest content releases with live sports events, like cricket matches, OTT platforms can capture their audience’s attention, encourage extended usage, and enhance the overall user experience. This innovative approach is a powerful promotional tool, enabling the platform to showcase its new content offerings amplifying viewer engagement, retention, and overall user satisfaction.

Example: Disney+ Hotstar’s ‘Watch more’ feature empowers users to explore the most recent movie and TV series releases while watching the live match.

cross promotion of content in live sports cricket

7. In-Game Stats

Empowering users with real-time statistics and match analysis directly within the viewing interface. Viewers can customize their stats display, eliminating the need to rely on the operator for updates and enhancing the overall sports-watching experience.

Example: One of India’s premier sports platforms, Fancode’s Match hub feature will enable users to select the stats they want to view on the same live streaming screen.

In-Stream-Stats-and-Analysis-in-live cricket streaming

Also, Formula 1 enthusiasts enjoy a similar feature as F1TV provides live leaderboard data, real-time telemetry, team radio access, driver maps, and tire usage history for the fans to access any of these without switching their race screens.

Immersive Viewing Experience

8. Vertical Video

This feature is an option for users who want to experience the live game action in a close-up or zoomed-in view. It ensures viewers can adapt to the experience of their comfort rather than just sticking to the traditional landscape viewing experience. In addition, it allows users to unlock a new dimension with split screens, which boosts a further sense of proximity to the live cricket action and their heroes.

Example: Disney+ Hotstar’s MaxView is an excellent example of this, as it enhances fan engagement and provides a more immersive and interactive viewing experience.

vertical immersive viewing in live sports streaming

9. Chromecast and Airplay

This allows users to cast the content to a larger screen, such as a TV, for a more immersive and interactive viewing experience. This is especially useful for sports events, as it will enable users to enjoy the game on a big screen with friends and family while maintaining the ease and comfort of watching from home.

Example: Disney+ Hotstar users can cast their mobile application to other devices, thus enabling users to enjoy the live match on a bigger screen for a better experience.

Likewise, Tennis TV extends user convenience by providing casting, allowing viewers to stream content seamlessly from their devices to larger screens.

10. Tap to Unlock

It locks other video controls on the screen, preventing accidental interference during playback. This will contribute to a more streamlined and user-focused video-watching experience.

Example: Tap to unlock can be enabled in Disney+ Hotstar during matches, making the experience better without the worry of any accidental interference.

tap to unlock in live sports streaming platform

Personalized Alerts and Widgets

11. Communication Preferences

Users can choose their preferred match alerts and personalize them to stay engaged with the game. With this ability to tailor their match alerts, users can focus on what matters most to them during a game. This personalized approach keeps fans connected to the action, ensuring they never miss a moment, even when their schedules don’t align with live broadcasts. Not just with notifications, users can now receive updates directly on other mediums such as WhatsApp.

Example: Fan Code provides this feature that lets users select the alerts they want from a match via Push Notifications and WhatsApp.

notification and alerts in live sports streaming platform

12. Pin Live Score

OTT applications can take inspiration from Google Chrome’s “Pin live score” widget to create something similar for live sports streaming. Users can conveniently place a draggable widget on their Android and iOS devices, positioned at any desired location on the screen and visible over other apps. This customizable widget offers real-time updates for specific matches or preferred teams, providing a seamless and personalized experience for users who want to stay closely connected with live sports action.

Monetisation Strategies

13. Freemium

Free streaming relieves users from subscription fatigue and attracts millions to join the OTT app without any payment barriers. Cricket lovers have benefited from these free streaming for major events like the Cricket World Cup and IPL 2023. Brands profit through AVOD, making it a win-win for everyone! Apps can also charge users who want to consume the content in high definition.

Example: Jio Cinema exemplified this strategy by streaming IPL 2023 for free, enticing users to join their app and enjoy the live sporting action without subscription costs.

14. Event Passes

Event Passes like match, tour, and season passes allow users to watch their favorite content without committing to a monthly or yearly subscription. This flexibility and choice cater to sports enthusiasts seeking customized viewing experiences and cost-effective access to specific events.

Example: Fan Code and the NBA provide these options, allowing users to watch specific matches live without needing a long-term financial commitment.

15. Brand Connect

Brand integration in live streaming enables direct user interaction with brands, fostering mutually beneficial relationships between viewers, advertisers, and streaming platforms. This convergence of content consumption and brand engagement creates valuable monetization opportunities, drives lead generation, and provides a competitive edge in the market.

Example: Mahindra, a leading Indian conglomerate, sponsors ICC CW 2023 on Disney+ Hotstar, which is why Hotstar has integrated the Mahindra brand into its live-streaming app. Viewers interested in buying a Mahindra vehicle can easily explore and book a test drive while watching the live match without switching to another website or app. This creates a seamless and convenient viewer experience and helps Mahindra generate leads and sales.

brand integration in live sports streaming platform

Robosoft helped Magnolia’s integrated e-commerce section within the OTT app, increasing revenue and engagement by curating collections tied to their shows. By emulating this model, OTT platforms can partner with sports brands to promote fan merchandise monetization through interactive ads, promoting jerseys, and offering event tickets.

The Future of Live Sports OTT Streaming

OTT streaming is revolutionizing the way we experience and engage with sports. It offers fans the convenience of multi-device, multi-platform access, the thrill of personalized engagement, and the potential for new and innovative revenue streams. For sports providers, OTT platforms offer a powerful way to reach a wider audience, build deeper relationships with fans, and generate new revenue opportunities.

With technology constantly evolving, the future of sports broadcasting looks bright. OTT platforms are poised to play an increasingly important role in shaping how we watch and enjoy sports. The possibilities are endless, from new dimensions of interactivity and immersion to new records for viewership and engagement.

For businesses, OTT streaming presents a unique opportunity to connect with fans and showcase their products and services. By partnering with experienced OTT end-to-end service providers like Robosoft Technologies, businesses can harness the power of OTT to extend their reach, engage their audiences, and enhance their brand visibility.

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Digital Transformation Media & Entertainment

The Streaming Wars: A New Era of Collaboration and Consolidation

The media & entertainment industry is undergoing a significant transformation driven by the rise of streaming services. Traditional TV packages are declining due to their high prices and bundles of channels that many people don’t watch. In their place, many streaming services offer consumers a la carte content at a lower cost.

This shift in the market is forcing media companies to rethink their distribution models and partnership strategies. To survive and thrive in the streaming era, they need to find ways to deliver their content to consumers in a way that is both convenient and affordable.

One trend is the rise of hybrid distribution models. This involves offering content through a combination of traditional and streaming channels. For example, a media company might make its content available on a streaming service and sell it to cable or satellite TV providers. This gives consumers more choice and flexibility in watching their favorite shows and movies.

Another trend is the growth of partnerships between media companies and technology giants. These partnerships can help media companies reach a wider audience and reduce costs. For example, Netflix has partnered with Microsoft to deliver its content to users via the Microsoft Cloud. This partnership will help Netflix scale its operations and improve its streaming service’s quality. Similarly, ESPN is in talks with other tech giants like Amazon and Apple as The Walt Disney Co. continues to search for a strategic partner for its sports streaming channels.

The future of the media and entertainment industry is uncertain, but one thing is sure: distribution models and partnership strategies will continue to evolve. As the industry adapts to the changing landscape, consumers will have more choices and control over their media consumption.

Distribution and Partnership Models in the Future of Media and OTT

Distribution and Partnership Models in the Future of Media and OTT

Warner Bros. Discovery and Amazon partnered to make HBO Max available on Amazon Prime Video Channels. This partnership exemplifies media companies partnering with tech giants to reach a wider audience, reduce costs, and consolidate the streaming industry.

Here are some specific predictions about how distribution models and partnership strategies in the Media and OTT space will evolve in the future:

Consolidation of streaming services

The current market is overcrowded, with too many streaming services competing for a limited number of subscribers. This is driving up content costs and making it difficult for streaming services to profit. Some platforms merged or formed partnerships to counter this, bundling their services to offer subscribers more value.

In the future, we will likely see consolidation in the market, with the weaker streaming services being acquired or shutting down.

Content costs will become more reasonable

As the market consolidates, content costs will likely come down. Fewer streaming services will compete for the same content, driving down prices.

This will make streaming services’ profit easier and offer consumers more competitive pricing.

Technology platforms will become more cost-efficient

The cost of streaming technology is also coming down. This will allow streaming services to offer a better user experience without increasing prices. This will be enabled through:

  • Use of AI/ML – Artificial intelligence will automate tasks like transcoding and content recommendations. This can help to reduce costs, as streaming services do not need to hire as many employees to perform these tasks. Machine learning could be used to improve the efficiency of streaming services. For example, machine learning can predict which content users are most likely to watch, which can help reduce bandwidth costs.
  • Use of open-source software – With many source-free software getting churned out in the market, they are doing as well as any paid software, especially in the video editing space, and can be modified to meet the specific needs of streaming services. This can help to reduce costs, as streaming services do not need to develop their software.
  • Use of data analytics – Data analytics will be used to understand user behavior and preferences in a much more effective way. This information will be used to improve the content selection and recommendations of streaming services, which can help to attract and retain subscribers.

These emerging technologies like AI/ML, open-source software, and data analytics are reducing streaming costs and improving user experiences.

In addition to the trends mentioned above, a few other factors could shape the future of distribution and partnership models in the Media and OTT space. These include:

  • Growth of international markets: Streaming services are becoming increasingly popular in international markets. This presents new opportunities for media companies and technology giants to partner and deliver content to a global audience.
  • Rise of new technologies: Developing new technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, could open new possibilities for delivering media content.
  • Changing habits of consumers: The way that consumers watch media is constantly evolving. Streaming services must be flexible and adaptable to keep up with these changes.

The trends discussed above will have a significant impact on consumers. Consolidating streaming services could lead to higher prices, but it could also lead to more comprehensive offerings and better user experiences. The rise of new technologies could open up new ways for consumers to watch their favorite content, and changing habits of consumers could lead to new subscription models and pricing options.

The Future of Streaming: Consolidation, Partnerships, and Content

The streaming wars are consolidating and collaborating, with major players partnering to create more comprehensive offerings. Industry analysts believe consumers are now less willing to subscribe to multiple services, leading to a more sustainable model for the streaming ecosystem. Platforms are focusing on retaining existing subscribers through a focus on content.

While the streaming wars may not be over, there is a growing sense of resolution and stability in the industry. Consolidation, partnerships, and a focus on content have created a more sustainable streaming landscape. Viewers can expect continued competition and innovation, but the era of cutthroat battles for dominance gives way to a more balanced and content-driven future for streaming services.

The future of distribution and partnership models in the Media and OTT space is uncertain, but the industry is transforming significantly. The industry is adapting to the changing landscape and finding ways to deliver content to consumers conveniently and affordably. This is good news for consumers, who will have more choice and control over their media consumption. The trends and factors discussed above will all play a role in shaping the future of this dynamic industry.

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Media & Entertainment

Transforming the Entertainment Landscape: How AI is Shaping the Digital Age

The entertainment industry has always been about human creativity, but Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to change the game. This introduction of AI signifies a crucial turning point, holding the potential to elevate conventional entertainment into a captivating amalgamation where human ingenuity harmonizes with machine intelligence, fostering a new era of creative collaboration.

AI’s impact spans film, TV, OTT, music, and gaming, enhancing content creation, music composition, and gameplay for a captivating and collaborative future. Meeting the rising demand for curated and compelling experiences, AI is also helping to meet the increasing demand for curated and personalized experiences, making it easier for users to find the content they love.

According to the Business Research Company, the impact of AI in the entertainment market is expected to grow to $34.86 billion in 2027 at a CAGR of 26.3%. As AI continues to gain prominence in this sector, it has become a significant point of discussion among experts and enthusiasts.

This article delves into the impact of AI in entertainment and the application of AI in various verticals of entertainment and relevant real-world examples.

The impact of AI on the entertainment industry

AI in entertainment is rapidly transforming and benefiting the industry, impacting every aspect of the value chain, from content creation to distribution and marketing.

Content Creation

AI empowers companies to analyze extensive data and create tailor-made content for specific audiences.

For example, Netflix utilizes advanced machine learning algorithms to analyze viewing patterns and offer personalized content recommendations. Companies like Jukin Media and Storyful employ AI to identify potential viral content from user-generated submissions.

AI has also paved the way for innovative content forms, including virtual influencers and computer-generated actors.

Content Distribution

AI algorithms revolutionize content distribution, enabling companies to deliver their offerings to consumers efficiently.

Industry giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime rely on AI to optimize their content delivery networks, ensuring swift and uninterrupted access to content for users.

Consumer Experience

The integration of chatbots enables entertainment companies to offer prompt customer service and address frequently asked questions efficiently. Voice recognition technology allows users to control their entertainment experience hands-free.

AI-powered personal assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, seamlessly integrate into entertainment systems, enabling consumers to interact using voice commands.


AI algorithms analyze user data to deliver tailor-made recommendations for movies, TV shows, and music, enhancing customer retention and fostering higher engagement levels.

The entertainment industry benefits from AI-generated content, such as music and scripts, which have gained popularity over time.

Production Efficiency

AI plays a pivotal role in streamlining production processes within the entertainment sector. Tasks such as video editing, voiceovers, and post-production activities can be automated using AI, effectively reducing time and resource expenditure.

Audience Analysis

Leveraging AI for audience behavior and feedback analysis yields valuable insights. Understanding audience preferences allows content creators to develop material that resonates with viewers, elevating the overall user experience.

Marketing Campaigns

AI’s ability to interpret user data and track social media trends empowers entertainment companies to devise targeted marketing and promotion strategies. This targeted approach ensures reaching the right audiences and optimizing marketing return on investment (ROI).

Companies like Spotify leverage AI to analyze user data and curate personalized playlists, and companies like Amazon Prime and Netflix utilize AI to recommend content based on users’ viewing and purchase histories.

Language Translation in video and audio content

AI is being used to translate video and audio content into multiple languages, breaking language barriers and making it more accessible to a global audience. AI-powered translation tools can quickly and accurately translate video and audio content, saving time and money for businesses. AI also creates more natural-sounding and immersive dubbing experiences in real-time.

Impact of AI in entertainment

The transformative impact of AI in entertainment extends across the landscape, encompassing music, movies, TV, and gaming. As AI advances, its integration promises to redefine the industry creating new opportunities by revolutionizing content creation, consumer experiences, content distribution, and marketing strategies in these diverse and dynamic sectors.

The Impact of AI on the Music Industry

AI’s integration with music has led to groundbreaking developments, including AI-generated music and personalized music recommendation systems, revolutionizing the music industry.

AI-generated music: AI-generated music employs sophisticated computer algorithms to produce music virtually indistinguishable from human compositions. This process entails machine learning algorithms analyzing extensive sets of existing music data and leveraging that knowledge to create entirely new musical pieces. The algorithms discern patterns within the data and utilize these patterns to generate novel music.

There are diverse approaches to AI-generated music. Some involve neural networks to analyze vast music datasets and utilize the acquired insights to produce contemporary music. Additionally, genetic algorithms are used, where a population of music compositions is created and then progressively evolved to refine and enhance the musical output.

For instance, An AI-generated song titled “Heart on My Sleeve,” featuring the voices of Drake and The Weeknd, has gained significant popularity with over 250,000 Spotify streams and 10 million TikTok views. The musicians had no direct involvement, as the track was entirely produced by an AI artist named Ghostwriter.

Music recommendation systems: Music recommendation systems represent another remarkable application of AI in the music domain. These systems harness machine learning algorithms to analyze music-related data, enabling them to deliver personalized music suggestions based on users’ listening history, preferences, and behavior.

By analyzing user data, including listening history, music preferences, and behavior, the music recommendation system constructs a unique profile for each user. This profile is then employed to generate tailored recommendations, considering factors such as genre, mood, artist, and tempo.

Spotify, for instance, uses a variety of factors to generate personalized music recommendations for its users, including listening history, genre preferences, and even the time of day. For instance, if you’re listening to a lot of upbeat pop music in the morning, Spotify might recommend some dance music for you to listen to in the afternoon.

Impact of AI in music

These AI-driven advancements in music technology are revolutionizing how we interact with and experience music, opening new possibilities for creators and listeners alike.

The Impact of AI on the Film and Television Industry

From content creation to post-production, AI is used to automate tasks, improve efficiency, and create more engaging and immersive experiences for audiences.

AI in Content Creation: Content creation, an essential phase in film and TV production, has witnessed significant advancements with the integration of AI. One prominent application is the development of scripts. AI algorithms analyze extensive datasets from existing films and television shows, identifying patterns that resonate with audiences. This analysis allows AI to predict what elements audiences are likely to enjoy, paving the way for creating tailored scripts that cater to specific target demographics.

Additionally, AI is vital in generating visual effects during content creation. AI algorithms can identify areas where visual effects can enhance scenes by analyzing video footage. These algorithms automatically generate the necessary visual effects, simplifying post-production and ensuring visually captivating content.

Deepfake technology (A type of AI) was used to de-age Harrison Ford in the opening sequences of “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”. This allowed Ford to spend less time in makeup while still looking like his much younger self on screen. The results were so convincing that many people were fooled into thinking that the footage was actually old footage of Ford.

Robosoft Technologies developed a recommendation engine for Discovery+, a leading OTT platform in the global infotainment sector. The recommendation engine, powered by Adobe and Mux Analytics, understands user preferences and recommends content based on their viewing habits. This success highlights Robosoft’s capabilities in delivering a high-quality and complete OTT solution for the world’s leading media and entertainment brands.

AI in Post-Production: Moving to the post-production phase, AI continues to revolutionize the industry. Editing, a crucial part of post-production, benefits significantly from AI-powered automation. AI algorithms analyze video footage to identify areas for potential improvements in flow and pacing. Subsequently, the algorithms autonomously make the required edits, freeing up valuable time for editors to focus on more creative tasks.

Sound effects, another essential aspect of post-production, also benefit from AI integration. AI algorithms analyze video footage to pinpoint opportunities for enhancing scenes with sound effects. The algorithms automatically generate the required sound effects, saving time and resources while maintaining high-quality audio elements in the final production.

For example, “The Mandalorian” used AI to create realistic visual effects for the show’s many action sequences. AI was also used to create realistic-looking creatures and environments. The AI-generated character of Baby Yoda has mainly become a fan favorite in the Star Wars franchise.

Impact of AI in OTT

AI’s integration in content creation and post-production has resulted in remarkable advancements for the entertainment industry, streamlining processes, predicting audience preferences, and delivering compelling content. Embracing AI technologies remains a strategic advantage for creators and producers seeking to elevate their filmmaking and video production endeavors.

The Impact of AI on the Gaming Industry

AI’s growing popularity in gaming has introduced innovative possibilities in game design and game playing.

AI in Game Design: AI is revolutionizing game design through diverse applications. Among these, a prominent use is in crafting non-player characters (NPCs). By employing AI algorithms, game developers can create NPCs that exhibit more lifelike behaviors and offer increased challenges to players, enhancing the overall gameplay experience.

Furthermore, AI is instrumental in optimizing game mechanics. Through analyzing player behavior, AI algorithms identify areas where improvements can be implemented, creating more engaging and enjoyable games.

E.g., “Red Dead Redemption 2” utilizes advanced AI to enhance the creation of dynamic and immersive open-world environments. The game employs a sophisticated AI engine that replicates the behavior of animals, NPCs, and enemies based on their responses to the player’s actions and the surrounding environment. As a result, the interactions feel more organic and lifelike.

AI in Game Playing: AI has also found significant utility in game playing. A primary application is designing AI opponents that present players with heightened difficulty and realism. Consequently, this contributes to an improved and immersive gameplay experience.

Moreover, AI is vital in generating procedural content, including dynamic levels, characters, and other in-game elements. This dynamic content generation helps maintain a sense of novelty and excitement for players, ensuring that the gameplay remains fresh and captivating.

E.g., in “The Sims 4”, AI is employed to simulate the behavior of individual Sims, determining their interactions with other characters and their environment. Each Sim possesses distinctive needs, desires, and personalities, allowing players to craft personalized storylines and relationships. Essentially, AI serves as a catalyst for character behavior within the game’s mechanics.


Impact of AI in gaming

By strategically leveraging AI in game design and game playing, the gaming industry stands at the brink of unparalleled advancements, promising more immersive, challenging, and enjoyable experiences for players.

AI Revolutionizing AR and VR Experiences

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have emerged as rapidly growing industries, reshaping our digital experiences. The integration of AI in VR/AR holds immense potential to amplify immersion and engagement.

AI in AR/VR Content Creation

  • AI in Content Creation: AI is revolutionizing AR/VR content creation through diverse applications. One prominent use involves generating 3D models from 2D images or video footage, streamlining the process, and reducing costs associated with manual modeling.
  • Enhancing Interactions: Additionally, AI has facilitated the development of Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms that foster more natural and intuitive interactions between users and AR/VR content, elevating the overall immersive experience.

A good example of this is how Disney uses AI to create more realistic and immersive VR experiences for its theme parks. The company uses AI to generate photorealistic 3D models of its characters and attractions, which can be used to create virtual worlds visitors can explore.

Disney also uses AI to create more natural and intuitive interactions between users and AR/VR content. For instance, in its Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge VR experience, users can interact with the environment and characters using natural language commands. This makes the experience more immersive and engaging for users.

AI in AR/VR User Experience

  • AI in User Experience: In AR/VR user experience, AI plays a pivotal role in multiple ways. An integral application is the implementation of AI algorithms to analyze user data, providing personalized recommendations for AR/VR content tailored to individual interests.
  • Intelligent Agents: Moreover, AI-driven intelligent agents are deployed to establish seamless and natural interactions between users and AR/VR content, heightening engagement and immersion.

Netflix, for instance, uses AI to recommend movies and TV shows to its users. This same technology could recommend Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR) content to users based on their interests, viewing history, and other factors. For instance, a user who has watched many action movies might be recommended a VR experience that allows them to fight zombies or explore a post-apocalyptic world.

Netflix also uses AI to power intelligent agents to help users interact with AR/VR content. E.g., an intelligent agent could allow a user to navigate a virtual world, provide information about the environment, or answer questions. This could help to make AR/VR experiences more immersive and user-friendly.


Impact of AI in AR VR experiences

Integrating AI in AR/VR content creation and user experience is a game-changer. AI can optimize and personalize interactions, making AR/VR experiences more engaging and immersive. This has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with digital content.


The entertainment industry is undergoing a profound transformation fueled by the integration of AI. AI has made significant strides in revolutionizing content creation, user experiences, and audience engagement across various sectors, such as music, movies, TV, OTT, gaming, and virtual reality.

From AI-generated music and personalized music recommendations to streamlining movie and TV production and enhancing gaming experiences, AI’s integration promises captivating and immersive entertainment. Additionally, combining AI with AR/VR opens new frontiers, offering unprecedented levels of engagement and transforming our digital experiences.

The entertainment industry’s future is bright, and AI plays a crucial role in shaping its trajectory. As AI advances and becomes even more integrated into various entertainment sectors, we can expect groundbreaking developments and continuous evolution of personalized and captivating experiences for audiences worldwide. This integration is a testament to the remarkable potential of technology to elevate human experiences and bring forth a new era of intelligent entertainment.

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Media & Entertainment

New avenues for live sports OTT streaming: key drivers for adoption

The introduction of OTT in the market changed how content can be accessed by an audience that is versatile and mobile. The days of sitting in one place in front of a TV to watch a match or a race is long gone.

The live sports OTT streaming and viewing experience has changed – multiple camera angles, toggling between different commentary, and instant stats and replays are making OTT platforms the go-to for live sporting events.

Global Growth and Record-breaking Views of Live Sports OTT Streaming

According to Statista’s predictions, the number of users for OTT video is projected to reach 4.22 billion by 2027. Reflecting live sports OTT streaming’s growing popularity in the US, the Super Bowl in 2023 became the highest streamed edition in the event’s history in the country with an average of seven million streams.  

In India, the India-Pakistan T20 World Cup match on the digital streaming platform Disney Hotstar attracted over 18 million viewers, showcasing the growing popularity of live-streaming in the country.

JioCinema, the official digital streaming partner of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, achieved a groundbreaking milestone with an astonishing 32 million concurrent views, setting a new world record on the platform.

Live Sports OTT streaming

What’s behind the growing allure of live sports OTT streaming?

Firstly, the greater access – the audience is expanding at home and globally. Also, OTT platforms can capture the excitement of watching sporting events as they unfold. These platforms provide an exclusive experience for fans, allowing them to interact with the live feed and choose how they want to watch it.

OTT providers have the unique opportunity to maximize viewership and revenues by offering an intuitive and customizable platform, various monetization options, and the ability to stream high-quality video.

Customization of ads, regardless of geography or language, subscription plans, and channel offerings – where a viewer can access multiple graphics, listen on audio only, or view the event – all these can be delivered on the same OTT platform, engaging the audience in ways that cable TV cannot.

Providers must approach live sports OTT streaming differently.

Watching a sports event on OTT is different from watching it on television. Live sports OTT streaming telecasts are among the few events that still draw massive crowds who want to watch the action as it unfolds.

One of the biggest attractions of such viewing experiences is the unpredictability and suspense regarding what might happen. Now, OTT players have the opportunity to reimagine the sports fan’s viewing experience to make the difference from television even more striking and memorable.

Below are the key factors driving OTT adoption for live sporting events. OTT providers can focus on these to add the X-factor to their offerings.

  • Personalization: Personalization improves live sports OTT streaming on platforms by tailoring content to viewers’ interests, increasing engagement, satisfaction, and discoverability of new sports. Through a deep understanding of the viewer’s geographical location, preferred sports, teams, tournaments, and viewing preferences, Roku, a leading digital media player brand, aims to deliver a highly tailored live sports OTT streaming experience. Users can personalize their live TV streams, reorganize their favorite channels on the home screen, and more. Roku is committed to supporting a diverse range of dedicated sports channels and aims to expand sports content, coverage, and viewership further by including games covered in Spanish. For example, we partnered with ESPNcricinfo to create personalized user feeds, including team alerts and real-time updates, enhancing the user experience.
  • Deeper fan engagement: By incorporating replay options, multiple camera angles, gamification elements, and other interactive features, JioCinema, a leading Indian streaming service, elevated the IPL 2023 experience. They introduced viewers to various viewing perspectives, such as aerial views, stump cameras, and cable cam visions. With the power of 5G connectivity, audiences can enjoy matches on various smart devices. Moreover, their recently unveiled Virtual Reality (VR) headset, which can be easily paired with Android or iPhone devices and comes at an affordable price, aims to replicate the immersive atmosphere of being in the stadium for those watching from the comfort of their homes.
  • Quality of Experience (QoE): It directly impacts user satisfaction and significantly influences the brand’s reputation. The QoE becomes even more crucial in a live sports OTT streaming setting because no fan wants to miss a key event in a game due to a buggy app. By prioritizing QoE, the app providers can deliver an experience that could also turn sports fans into fans of the app.
  • Targeted advertising: Advanced technology is now available that enables top-notch targeted advertising to millions of concurrent sports viewers using live streaming. As the numbers watching a single game can be enormous, live sports OTT streaming presents a substantial opportunity to advertise in a targeted manner to a captive audience whose interests and preferences are known. For instance, Hulu uses dynamic ad insertion in its live TV service to deliver more relevant content to specific audiences.
  • Multi-device/platform experience: Simultaneous live streaming to multiple platforms has become simpler with the advancement of tools and software. Users can pick up right where they left off, watch a live match on their mobile app while on the go, and easily switch to a larger screen like a Connected TV. A Multi-device, multi-platform approach can deliver truly seamless and consistent experiences to the users, regardless of their devices, operating systems, or platforms. For instance, while commuting, you can watch a live IPL match on your mobile and seamlessly switch to your living room TV at home without missing any action. For instance, Discovery+, Magnolia, and similar OTT players optimize content quality for various devices (Mobile, Laptop, Tablet, CTV), ensuring seamless user experiences. Uninterrupted viewing boosts engagement and satisfaction.
  • E-commerce/fan merchandise: The surge in livestream shopping offers a prime opportunity for OTT platforms to collaborate with sports brands, delivering enticing online merchandise experiences. Take Magnolia’s example – their integrated e-commerce section within the OTT app led to increased revenue and engagement by curating collections tied to their shows. By emulating this model, OTT platforms can partner with sports brands to promote fan merchandise, driving monetization through interactive ads, promoting jerseys, and offering event tickets. This strategic alignment capitalizes on user interests while boosting revenue and engagement.
  • Enhance accessibility: The idea is to offer a more inclusive live sports OTT streaming experience so that fans who might be differently abled can enjoy the excitement of watching their favorite sporting event to the fullest. One way is to include optional audio description/narration features, for instance, to support those with visual impairments. Using assistive technology in apps like TLC Go showcases the brand’s empathy towards users, fostering an inclusive entertainment experience. Features like screen readers, captions, and audio descriptions in live sports streaming enhance appeal and retention for a diverse audience, extending market reach.
  • Better Digital Rights Management: With major and niche players competing for sports broadcasting, protecting intellectual property and anti-piracy measures will become a top concern. Digital Rights Management (DRM) is often mandated as a pre-requisite by the content providers before licensing the content rights to the OTT apps. It also helps bring content exclusivity, especially for premium content like early releases or live sports events on the platform, further driving user adoption.

live sports OTT streaming

Undeniably, live streaming increases end-user reach and adoption, giving OTT providers an excellent opportunity to accelerate their growth. For OTTs to remain profitable, providing an immersive viewing experience for the audience with contextual content and unique customizations is crucial – from how they view the live sporting event to how subscription packs are designed. Managing loyalty to the platform goes beyond purchasing streaming rights and towards providing their remote viewing audience with an experience as close as watching the actual event at the venue.

Preparing for the future of live sports OTT streaming

The trend is towards viewer-centric content, contextual experiences, and ease of access. Adding interactive elements like chat, polls, and predictions to the content that engage them on social media allows OTT providers to create a community and influence subscriber loyalty.

Having acquired a loyal viewership, OTT providers must innovate and find ways to continue fulfilling viewer experiences with the apps and platforms they offer. Ideally, this would be a mix of technology and content – low latency, high-speed delivery with consistently engaging and fresh content that grabs the viewer’s attention and keeps drawing them back. Flexible and affordable viewing options with different-priced plans are one way to capture and retain a wide range of viewers.

This is especially vital in live sports OTT streaming, which must cater to huge masses who expect to watch the action in near real-time, as much as possible, and support interactive features for engaging with them at scale. The smaller the time lapse (ideally less than 20 seconds) between the actual on-field action and when the audience gets to watch, the more likely they will remain hooked to the experience and the platform delivering it.

The future also promises numerous opportunities to leverage gamification, AR/VR experience, viewers’ watch parties, pop-up live streaming, near-live clips, highlights packages, and Free Ad-supported Streaming Television (FAST) channels to cater to a broader community of online viewers. It is up to the OTT provider to tap into these opportunities to create platforms and apps that influence subscriber stickiness.

Setting up a winning platform for live sports OTT streaming

Sports transcends culture, language, geography, and beliefs to serve up the single-most unifying of events, and OTT providers must take advantage of that aspect. Catering to different audiences while setting up the live sports OTT streaming strategy is key to its success.

Since sharing experiences is a highly acknowledged social need, OTT providers can look to enabling seamless transitions between the live feed and social media, as that will greatly add to the viewer’s experience. It will also promote the channel and its content and lay the foundation for a community.

For example, in India, Formula One moved from partnering with cable providers to hosting races on its OTT platform F1TV. This has boosted viewership of live races while providing the audience with a unique, interactive experience not available earlier. The audience can choose from different commentaries, camera feeds, and angles while interacting live with commentators on social media platforms.

The future of live sports OTT streaming will be defined around instant, accessible, on-the-go, and interactive experiences, and a tremendous way to cater to this need is by offering customizable, affordable viewing choices on OTT platforms and apps.


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Media & Entertainment

The next revolution in OTT is FAST approaching

The rise of Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms brought a gradual downfall of linear TVs over the past decade. Consumers can watch their favorite content, on-demand and ad-free for an affordable subscription fee. This growing popularity of OTT content paved the way for many large media houses to build their own OTT platforms and monetize their content with different monetization models. However, the multitude of OTT platforms led to subscription fatigue among consumers who are now willing to watch ad-supported content if it’s free.

Enter FAST.

According to Statista, as of Nov 22, there are 217mn ad-supported OTT video users in the US. Another report indicates that the most prominent FAST services Peacock, Roku Channel, and Pluto TV make up 50% of the adult viewers. The Samsung TV Plus viewership consists of 37% of daily watchers of FAST channels among adults between 18-64.

What is FAST?

FAST is a Free Ad-supported Streaming TV service that enables viewers to watch 24X7 scheduled linear content for free. One can perceive it as a no-cost, high-quality alternative to cable TV. Imagine using a cable TV with no fee or strings (literally!) attached.

Does it sound familiar?


Yes, FAST has a few similarities with AVOD or Ad-based Video on Demand. Both these monetization models show ad-supported content and offer users a means to stream content for free. But there are aspects in which they differ as well:

  • FAST platforms host linear channels that deliver scheduled programming to a mass audience on a one-to-many basis. AVOD platforms, on the other hand, offer a library of content that a user can choose to stream anytime!
  • FAST can support both scheduled programming as well as Live content streaming. AVOD, by definition, is restricted to VOD.
  • While FAST is more inclined towards mass marketing, in an AVOD setting, personalized advertising works best.
  • FAST cannot be a part of a hybrid monetization strategy as, by definition, it is free of cost. However, AVOD can co-exist with other monetization models in a hybrid revenue model.

Why is FAST becoming a popular alternative for OTT brands and consumers?

There are many reasons why FAST is changing the OTT landscape. Some of them are listed below:

  • It’s free: One of the biggest reasons why FAST is rapidly growing is that it offers ad-supported content for free. So, viewers can watch their favorite shows on Android, iOS, Apple TV, Xbox 360, Samsung Smart TVs, Chromecast or Roku devices without paying any subscription fee.
  • No subscription fatigue: Customers often find it financially and mentally challenging to keep up with all the OTT subscriptions to watch their favorite content. With no such strings attached, FAST provides hassle-free access to the content.
  • FAST is 24X7 programmed: Streaming providers can create channels and program content on FAST. They can schedule or ‘control’ when and what content to stream on these channels for their viewers and bring in a larger audience in the prime-time slot.
  • Cable 2.0: FAST mimics traditional Cable TV setup over the internet. Many reckon it is the second coming of cable TV. This similarity with cable TV would propel high acceptance of FAST in the days to come. With an always-on (‘don’t-make-me-think’) mode and high-quality content delivery, users can enjoy a delightful viewing experience.

How can brands take advantage of FAST?

Any brand deciding to join the FAST bandwagon can do so by adopting FAST channels in the following ways:

  • Upsell existing services: FAST can complement the existing services and aid in upselling. For example, streaming service providers can present a season or couple of episodes of a famous TV show run in prime time for free on its FAST app and offer a subscription in a separate SVOD app for users to continue watching. Or they can run live news feeds for free and provide pre-recorded content at a premium.
  • Increase addressable market: FAST provides an opportunity to increase the addressable market or expand the customer base by adding a new free offering to an existing portfolio of paid streaming services.
  • Extend shelf life of content: One of the challenges for any media house or brand is to maximize the shelf life of the content it owns. Content whose shelf life is nearing an end in the existing paid service or a popular old show from the library can be made available on the FAST service and increase the revenue generated from the asset.
  • Channel creation and programming: FAST service providers can create channels for exclusive content or partner with brands and media houses that can tap into their archives and present niche content for the users. They can also build a broadcast schedule to bring in a larger audience in the prime-time slot.
  • Single-series channels: YouTubers (video entrepreneurs) and media houses owning popular TV series like ‘Friends’ or ‘MasterChef’ can quickly spin up a FAST single-series channel that can offer a new revenue stream.

With no strings or subscriptions attached, FAST is rapidly emerging as a go-to consumption model for users across the globe. For content distributors, FAST helps to deliver 24/7 scheduled programming, increase the addressable market by complementing the content strategies, and ensure a positive impact on the revenue. Media companies and streaming providers would be wise to embark on the FAST journey at the earliest to leverage all the capabilities FAST has to offer and lead the next revolution in OTT that is fast approaching.

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Media & Entertainment UX/UI

Building cross-platform OTT apps: important guidelines for design & development

Every day, technology makes it easier, faster, and more affordable for businesses and individuals to communicate online with each other. Today more and more of this progress has been centered on over-the-top (OTT) brands. Through OTT, movie buffs can see classic and newly released films virtually anywhere and anytime. Sports fans throughout the world can attend exclusive athletic events that are happening thousands of miles away. And professional broadcasters, as well as the major networks, can reach wider audiences than ever before via mobile phones, digital media players, personal computers, and smart TVs.

But ensuring that users get the best experience from this technology demands design and development that meets certain criteria. Meeting these standards helps broadcasters retain and build the loyalty of their customer base, which is crucial to the success of any business. Here are some suggestions to help broadcasters design and develop OTT apps that provide the best viewing experience for users now and in the future.

Three Areas to Focus on While Building Your OTT App

1. The quality of the playback experience

Sounds obvious, right? It’s certainly the aim of such OTT leaders as Discovery+, Netflix, and Prime. Here are four elements that ensure a positive playback experience:

OTT playback experience focus areas

  • Top video resolution

– Whatever device is being used, from Android to a large-screen smart TV, to Roku, the picture should be clear, sharp, and provide the ultimate viewing experience. To ensure that this is the case make sure the content supports various options including 4K, HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos.

  • Little or no buffering

– Whether a viewer wants to watch a rerun of a favorite classic TV episode or a new video, they hate waiting for the show to start. That wait is called buffering and is due to pre-loading segments of data when streaming video content. Various things impact the length of time it takes to upload data, but using a good capacity CDN/Server helps to speed things up, preventing delays and user dissatisfaction.

  • A way to fix errors

– Stuff happens. And when there’s a problem with OTT, the faster it’s fixed the happier your audience – and you – will be. So, plan ahead. Engage a service like Video Analytics to monitor and correct errors as soon as possible.

  • Basic UI

– Consider the example of Amazon Prime. Without using anything more complex than a basic UI, it offers access to tons of content and an excellent video-watching experience for users all over the world.

2. Convenient content discovery

Making it quick and easy for users to find relevant content across devices and platforms is how companies like Netflix, Prime, and Discovery have become industry leaders. The secret is to use technologies like AI/ML to build robust recommendation engines based on a viewer’s usage history.

Convenient content discovery in OTT

3. The right framework

There are two different options to choose from when it comes to building your OTT app framework The first is having your developers rewrite and redesign the app’s functionality in the native development language.

Frameworks to develop OTT app

Here’s a brief description of three native frameworks we recommend:

  • Android Mobile & TV

– This makes use of the same framework for both TV and mobile devices using the same logic but a different UI layer that adapts to the TV experience with minimal effort. For example, Kotlin with MVVM architecture and ExoPlayer for playback.

  • IOS and Apple TV

– This app also uses the same business logic for Android and TV but with a different UI layer for TV. Using Swift programing language with AVPlayer for playback is an example.

  • Web, LG TV, Samsung TV, and other web OS-based TV and STBs

– This is a web application for all of these devices.

There’s no question that using the native approach to building an OTT app produces the best performance when it comes to memory and CPU optimizations. But a native framework demands a special team to build and maintain the app and can be expensive.

Fortunately, technologies such as Flutter and React-Native enable a more cost-effective approach to the development of cross-platform OTT apps. With a shared codebase and a hybrid framework, these apps work well on all devices like Android, iOS, TV, Web, and set-top box (STB). And by eliminating the separate codebases demanded by a native approach, they can be built and maintained by a single team.

With a Cross-platform OTT App You Can Still Get All of These Benefits

Expanded user reach

  • Since different devices and operating systems can be served with the same app, OTT brands enjoy a wider audience regardless of how users view them. Users are able to tune in to their favorite shows, films, digital channels, and live broadcasts 24/7 on various devices no matter where they are.

Consistency of viewer experience

  • One of the most attractive features of OTT apps is that they ensure a high-quality viewer experience on a wide range of digital devices and operating systems. Even if the user switches between devices with different screen sizes that are located miles away from each other, the OTT app ensures that the interface and experience remain the same.

Faster app development

  • When cross-platform apps are built using a hybrid approach, they take less time to develop, maintain, and upgrade. Tools such as Flutter and React-Native provide faster development cycles because developers can “code once and deploy everywhere.” In addition, any updates are synced automatically for all platforms and devices.


  • Since a hybrid approach allows a single OTT team to take care of everything, there is no need to hire different teams for developing and maintaining different frameworks. This saves money throughout the design and development and for the entire life cycle of the hybrid OTT brand.

The choice is yours. But whether you build a native or almost-native app with just a single code base for most platforms, you’ll find that OTT apps are a worthwhile investment in the future success of your business. Here are some key reasons why:

Live streaming

  • Live streaming allows viewers a chance to see a performance, an athletic contest, or a political event as it’s actually happening. That’s no doubt why live stream holds the attention of users ten to twenty times longer than pre-recorded videos. In the first quarter of 2021, live streaming accounted for twenty-four percent of global OTT viewing.
  • Of course, crafting a live-streaming experience demands its own approach to design and development including these recommended best practices. But adding a feature to broadcast live content on your OTT app may be worth it. For example, live streaming a famous cricket event, Indian Premier League (IPL) helped Disney + Hotstar add seven million new subscribers to their subscriber base.

A library of localized content

  • Users love good content even if they don’t speak the language of the country where it comes from. Multi-lingual subtitles and audio descriptions make it easy for users around the world to consume more localized content. For example, ninety-five percent of the users watching Squid Games on Netflix were living outside Korea.
  • You too can include localized content on your platform to attract new users from all over the globe. Just add subtitles and audio descriptions in a number of different languages. You could also experiment with different genres, themes, and creative styles, which would not only attract new viewers but enhance the experience of your current subscribers.

Built for connected TV

  • Every year more and more viewers are switching from traditional cable networks to connected TV. Currently, forty-four percent of households have dropped cable altogether while a full eighty-two percent of viewers are watching connected television on a regular basis. Building an OTT app for this market is clearly a worthwhile investment in your business’s future.

Access to multiple channels on different devices

  • Continuity is king when it comes to developing OTT apps. The content should automatically be synchronized across different platforms and devices to prevent friction in the viewing experience. Users can switch from one device to another and still access different channels with just a single sign-on.
  • You can create 4K videos that can be streamed on Roku devices, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV, and some web-based smart TV platforms such as Samsung’s Tizen and WebOS. Just make sure to pay attention to the screen size and other functionalities while building the app. Here’s what we did for Magnolia Network, USA.

Magnolia case study by Robosoft Technologies

You Also Have a Choice of Subscription Models

OTT brands can choose from several different revenue models. Here’s a description of each:

  • Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) gives users access to the entire content library for a subscription fee.
  • Advertising Video On Demand (AVOD) allows users to access free content in exchange for viewing ads.
  • Free Ad-supported Streaming TV (FAST) is a no-cost, high-quality alternative to cable TV. Instead of the library of user-chosen content available 24/7 on AVOD, it has linear channels that deliver scheduled programming to a mass audience on a one-to-many basis.
  • Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD) also called pay-per-view, works well for live streaming of special events such as sports or worldwide premier of popular movies.

You can experiment with these different revenue strategies to find out which one works best for you. For example, you might use a combination of AVOD and SVOD to serve free content and upgrade the user to premium, gated content. You can also include exclusive live-stream content and charge on a per-view basis. The flexibility in revenue models gives users the choice to view the content as they desire while providing a revenue stream for you.

Other features that may be used to differentiate your brand are Chromecast (casting content from mobile to TV), offline download for mobile apps, mini-player, Picture in Picture (PIP), and DRM. You might also consider playback features like audio track selection, quality selection, and playback speed control.

A Final Note — Retention Is the New Growth Mantra

Typically, OTT players like Netflix lose almost one percent of their subscribers on a monthly basis. In the first quarter of 2021, this represented a loss of 200,000 subscribers for Netflix and the revenue they produced. That’s why customer retention is as essential to broadcaster success as acquisition.

You can boost retention by applying these data-driven design-thinking principles as well as:

  • Adding features that make your OTT app easier to use.
  • Creating a seamless experience across all devices and platforms.
  • Testing new and innovative designs to meet the changing needs of the users.
  • Providing a positive reinforcement or reward to the user for using the app.
  • Building a friction-free onboarding process.
  • Personalizing recommendations based on users’ behavior patterns and preferences.
  • Listening to the user to make them feel valued.

Ultimately, acquisition and retention come down to following one universal principle – “keep the customer happy.” And designing and developing a cross-platform OTT app is a step in the right direction for today and tomorrow.

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Media & Entertainment

10 All-round Best Practices in OTT Live Streaming

Television brought entertainment to our homes for almost a century, but it was no match for OTT’s sheer range of diverse content, non-linear menus, flexible business models, and range of distribution options. Across the world, OTT adoption increased exponentially during the Covid-19 pandemic, as people stayed home, satisfied with a supersaturated range of content to choose from. The pandemic also saw live events move online, including classes, employee town halls, customer seminars, conferences, fitness sessions, music concerts, and major sports events like the Olympics and the Indian Premier League, a hugely popular cricket tournament in India. Although people who attended online events missed the social bonding and excitement of attending in-person, the world was introduced to new possibilities of interacting online, from shopping to studying or gaming. Whether for the excitement of sports events and music concerts, or the purposefulness of learning, live streaming has become a new way to engage global and niche audiences alike.

OTT Live streaming is the new kid on the block

Even prior to the pandemic, China had already begun live streaming shopping events, with Alibaba’s Taobao Live shopping channel, launched in May 2016. Singles Day, a major shopping event in China, relies heavily on interactive live streaming. In fact, as per a survey in 2020, two-thirds of Chinese consumers said they had bought products via livestream in the previous year. The market for live streaming is definitely here to stay.

While adoption of live streaming is lower in Western countries, there is potential. Foresight Research projects that live stream shopping could reach $11 billion in the United States. This is substantiated by consumer behavior – according to Gartner, U.S. viewers between the ages of 18 and 43 spent 63 percent of their overall TV viewing time watching on average on streaming versus cable, broadcast or satellite. In fact, predictions are that by 2026, the number of users for OTT video will grow to over 3.9 billion.

Live streaming via OTT has immense possibilities, but companies would be unwise to approach creating apps or content delivery using the same set of principles as watching a series. The experience of an event is different from that of watching television, so the user experience must be reimagined from the start.

The next challenge is loyalty – despite the growing number of viewers, with innumerable choices and varied experiences available online, retaining customers is critical to keeping the business of OTT profitable. OTT platforms need to move from offering a static viewership to an immersive experience where the audiences are fully engaged. Live streaming offers this possibility – connecting users among themselves in real time and with the content like never before!

Interactive live streaming – a new set of user expectations

Interactive live streaming is the next revolution of OTT, where audiences can engage with the content and with each other during live streaming. Infusing content with interactive elements like predicting the show’s outcome, chat, polls, sharing on social media, or giving alternative viewing paths keep audiences engaged, and create a sense of community and subscriber stickiness.

NFL Live streaming OTT

When it comes to interactive live streaming, the user’s expectations are very different from what they want out of leisurely drama or family sitcom shows. Designing interactive elements for a live streaming event needs insight into what users really want – which is context-specific. For example while attending a sports match, users want the excitement of the crowd, but while consulting a doctor, they want the privacy of a calm office. In this way, they expect a high-fidelity experience; one that is as close as it gets to real life.

Best practices in designing for OTT live streaming personas

#1 Simplified sign-in – While viewers may not mind taking the time to sign in or subscribe when they want to watch a movie, they don’t want to be asked too many questions when it comes to live shows. The login process must be simplified and customized to the event. Much like in real life, if you were attending a live match at the stadium, you just want to get to your seat as soon as possible, so a quick OTP (short for One-Time Password sent via SMS, valid for a few minutes) login works. But while attending an art auction, for example, you may want to browse around before the auction begins, and like to be offered selections as per your personal aesthetic.

#2 Content discovery and personalization – There are differences in how users discover content on video-on-demand (VOD) versus live streaming. While OTT VOD providers use algorithms to suggest content based on viewing preferences, live streaming discovery is heavily influenced by social media and peer recommendation. Since time is ticking and no one wants to miss any of the highlights during any live streaming event, the content should be discoverable with a ‘Zero-click’ discovery i.e., the moment a user opens an app, the live content should be just right there, beaming!

#3 Interaction with the content – Audiences want to be able to have the power to influence the direction of the event or show. They want to participate. For example, reality shows may build in options for audiences to choose an answer or rate a contestant, while sitting at home instead of needing to be part of the studio audience to do so. For other events such as town hall meetings, polls and chat windows can source opinions and shape the dialogue. Live sports events offer fans the ability to predict the player’s performance or score.

#4 Going social – Wanting to share an experience with others is an innate social need; all formats of live streaming build on this to create a longer-term relationship with participants online and expand their reach. Watch parties may be over-rated for movies and team bonding, but they work well for sports fans who are crazy about watching games with their teams of supporters. Creating seamless transitions to and from social media to live streaming events will not only add to the viewer’s experience but also promote the channel and its content. Can viewers watch a match directly from their social media feed? Or can they share screenshots or sections of video online with their friends, with their own commentary? Similarly while shopping online, being able to discuss and share purchases with friends, or while studying together, being able to have a private chat is much like passing a note in class.

#5 Targeted advertising and merchandising – Keeping the context in mind, OTT live streaming has the ability to partner with advertisers to create relevant and personalized approaches. Sports merchandisers could for example advertise your team’s jersey to you, and allow you to directly order it in time for the match. A shopping live stream could advertise physical stores near the user in case they want to see the product if it is a high value purchase, or tie up with dealers offering test rides for vehicles.

#6 Nurturing loyalty through engagement and gamification – Bringing interactive elements to live streaming keeps audiences engaged, and lays the foundation of a longer-term relationship. But after a while, audiences are still looking at what’s in it for them. Predicting which player may hit a six in cricket or score a goal maybe fun for a while, but after that how does it help? Or for students in an online class, being interactive helps keep them engaged, but how do educators motivate them to stay engaged? This is where gamification comes in.

Brands and OTT channels have an opportunity to build loyalty using interactive elements, which again is context-specific. Overlaying a system of reward points, or tokens that can be awarded to the participant every time they interact can not only take the level of excitement up, but also keep them coming back.

The Rugby Football League, a new US-based rugby seven series plans to create a strong live betting proposition, working alongside leading technology companies to incorporate new innovations and gamification aspects. In India, MX Player introduced pure-play gaming through MX Coins. Users can win MX Coins that unlock premium content, earn discounts and avail offers on popular eCommerce platforms such as Paytm, Myntra and others.

Gamification can help build loyalty to brands and channels. In a clever campaign, Under Armour launched a surprise trivia game at the NBA playoffs. Whenever Steph Curry shot a three-pointer, the game Steph IQ would launch. There were prizes for those who could answer eight multiple-choice questions within the time window. A prize pool and the chance to enter a raffle to win the “Curry 5” signature shoe, playoff tickets, or Under Armour gear kept fans hooked, a win-win for the NBA’s viewership and Under Armour’s sales.

There are several possibilities to design and build a gamified approach, irrespective of the format of live streaming. What spells success is the depth of user insights and context relevance that goes into designing these loyalty programs. If an Edtech channel is trying to create an online community of students, badges that help peers identify the champions, quizzes, trivia contests, or competition leagues that are interesting for students. For an online shopping channel, calling out influencers with a unique sense of fashion or reward points for discounts may be more motivating.

Live Streaming OTT influencer

Technology considerations to keep in mind, before going live

#7 DRM (Digital Rights Management): An obvious aspect of live streaming is to secure the content rights to broadcast the event. These can be expensive and complicated, varying from region to region. Digital rights management (DRM) is a must to assure the OTT platforms and the content owners that their valuable content is distributed and consumed appropriately.

#8 Live streaming technology stack: Unlike a physical venue, a live event is watched on a multitude of devices available to viewers. How the event gets covered from the location and streamed to individual devices must be worked out in detail. Besides planning video production, and streaming bandwidth, you also need to support the universe of devices and platforms – from iPhones and iPads to Android devices using Chrome or Edge.

#9 Near real-time experience: In any event, latency is a critical factor in the live streaming experience – viewers expect minimum or zero buffering (imagine watching an F1 race but you hear about the outcome from a friend or on social media). If you are gaming online, low latency could cause the user to lose the game or actual money. These situations cause OTT players to lose customer loyalty. Low latency must be built into the streaming experience. A strong Content Distribution Network (CDN) dispersed across regions will help deliver the event to viewers at the same time, despite being in different parts of the world. Designing the video player with adaptive bitrate streaming (ABR) can reduce or eliminate rebuffering if the viewer’s internet is slow or fluctuating by reducing the video resolution, keeping the stream live, and resulting in a seamless viewer experience.

#10 Livestream analytics: Interactivity is the main differentiator in live streaming – An important aspect is to consider how analytics can be designed for such events. Metrics on audience engagement and video playback experience are critical in understanding and continuously improving the live streaming experience. Tracking concurrent users, likes, and chat messages shared during a live interaction give an insight into audience engagement. Other metrics like rebuffering count/ratio, bit rate, EBVS (Exit Before Video Start), etc. offer insight into the quality of the video playback experience

Interactive live streaming on OTT is re-shaping digital interactions

Moving beyond TV shows, OTT is bringing the world into living rooms (and pockets) through interactive live streaming. Almost any industry can explore the possibilities that the medium offers – shopping experiences, sporting events and concerts, or entertainment. Besides the understanding of the technology involved, they need to also understand the digital journey of the user, and design an experience that resonates with the brand, which is as close to real life as possible. OTT is here to stay, and digital natives are hooked. Brands would be smart to explore the potential for loyalty and new revenue that it has to offer.

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Media & Entertainment Technology

What has 5G in store for OTT services

It is an understatement that streaming services are dependent on broadband cellular networks.

The late 2000s saw the introduction of Web2.0 along with the first iPhone and analog TVs switching over to digital, and 3G on the rise. The combination of these phenomena pushed a sense of omnipresence for streaming media as people could watch whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, and wherever they wanted. Then came 4G/LTE which made a big impact on consumers’ ability to reliably stream their favorite programs from almost anywhere. However, it too had its limitations with patchy reception, signal degradation, and loss of uplink capability in some unfavorable conditions.

5G brings a promise of bringing the cloud computing infrastructure vital to delivering stable, high-quality OTT services closer to end-users. It will achieve this with real-time processing and minimal latency. This could prove to be a huge boost for real-time data delivery and live streaming via OTT networks.

Active 5G-powered experiences: Live streaming to immersive virtual reality

The introduction of 5G does make it easier for network providers and streaming platforms to be able to handle a large amount of streaming demand efficiently. Almost 80% of US households are now CTV-plugged, while the OTT consumers are spending about 4 billion hours combined per week to watch content. The volume of video content consumption has drastically skyrocketed in the past few years and 5G is designed to support and maintain such an upward trend.

But the future of streaming is not only about handling streaming demands. It is about the new digital experiences that 5G makes possible. OTT providers and broadcasters now have the chance to offer their viewers a wide range of services from live sports in 4K and beyond to 360° videos, headcam footage, virtual reality, and other immersive experiences.

future of ott streaming services

CTV/OTT entertainment and advertising are the principal beneficiaries of 5G implementation.

5 ways how the advent of 5G technology will boost OTT adoption rate

Bridging OTT and broadcasting gaps: The 5G network made by local “macro” towers implanted at strategic locations will bring processing closer to the users. This will overcome the constraints of distant servers or the individual device’s computing power to deliver a perfect user experience.

The combination of cloud computing and the 5G network could prove to be the ideal setup for the delivery of real-time data and live streaming via OTT networks. In fact, Amazon Web Services and Verizon have already started exploring the possibility of live streaming NFL games using 5G, which is now installed in 25 NFL stadiums. This will only encourage current OTT platforms such as Amazon Prime – broadcasting NFL games and Premier League soccer matches, to move towards a seamless, real-time delivery of data. Thus consumers now have a choice to watch live events either on broadcasting TV or OTT platforms.

Decline of satellite broadcasting media demand: Any new variation of the network comes with a promise of enhanced performance, stability, and reliability; 5G is no different in this regard. Thus the arrival of 5G will encourage users to access content in a plethora of varying formats, genres, and types at their convenience. The 5G network allows users to enjoy HD and 4K video streaming seamlessly without disruptions. Therefore, there is a likelihood of OTT services rising in demand and satellite broadcasting media witnessing a decline.

Switchover to connected TV: One of the first things the new-age generation looks for while setting up their new home is connectivity across their devices. Smart TV or Connected TV proves to be the perfect device to have seamless connectivity and functionality for all their media needs. The fact that it has in-built internet and other integrated web features are why it proves to be the perfect conduit to stream digital content using the 5G network. Thus, the introduction of 5G will only increase the OTT platform subscriptions as more and more users switch over to smart TV.

Enhanced real-time advertising: The introduction of 5G brings good news to the advertisers as well. They can ensure real-time data movement with the help of 5G networks. This would enable the advertisers to serve targeted ads instantly and directly to the consumers by leveraging the popularity of OTT platforms. This would also enable advertisers to serve highly localized ads without incurring any extra charges for data storage or transmission. As a causality, this would benefit users as AVOD content on the OTT platforms would increase.

Collaborations and partnerships: OTT providers are already collaborating with telecom partners to ensure content streaming increases and retain customers. However, the customers often complain of quality issues over the 4G network whenever there is a content demand surge. The introduction of 5G would enable OTT services to collaborate with 5G providers and easily meet these demand surges.

Technology triggers to enhance customer’s OTT experience with the introduction of 5G

Content Delivery Network (CDN) Growth

The unprecedented growth in OTT was driven not just by the COVID-19 pandemic but also by the intersection of key technological and societal developments. The pandemic more or less acted as a catalyst to accelerate trends already on the rise, whether in terms of consumption, production, or distribution.

On the consumption side, the lack of public cinema made way for the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ as popular alternatives with growing amounts of binge-watching. On the distribution side, continuous improvement in streaming quality over mobile networks especially, even with 4G, has encouraged OTT viewing on the move. Now, with the introduction of 5G, viewing OTT on the move is going to be even more encouraged.

Apart from the impact of mobile and 5G, the ongoing evolution of CDNs is proving to be one of the biggest factors involved in the advancement of OTT. CDNs combine connectivity with cached storage to optimize content delivery and minimize latency. According to Cisco, globally, Internet video traffic will be 82% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2022, up from 73% in 2017. Thus, it is increasing the growth of CDNs purely backed by the increase in video consumption. This is further solidified by a forecast report by Markets and Markets. According to this report, the CDN market size is expected to grow from USD 14.4 billion in 2020 to USD 27.9 billion in 2025, at a CAGR of 14.1%.

At the same time, CDNs have diversified into different versions suited to specific requirements. The role of CDNs naturally varies between on-demand and live content. For the former, CDNs use caching closer to subscribers to minimize consumption of a wide area of bandwidth. CDNs increase scalability and improve the customer experience by storing cached copies of data at strategic locations and delivering smoother reduced start-up lag.

WebRTC-for content delivery

WebRTC or Web Real-time Transfer Control protocol is a streaming protocol for web communication allowing users to connect in real-time without connecting to an additional server. It is basically a peer-to-peer open source communication project first invented by Global IP Solutions (GIPS) in Sweden and later taken over by Google in 2011. Over time, WebRTC proved to be an efficient way of content distribution as well. With the advent of 5G, WebRTC supported devices will usher in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) ecosystem which is a next-generation service ecosystem to handle communications processes such as telecommunications, broadcast media, intelligent building management systems, audiovisual processing and transmission systems, and network-based control and monitoring functions.

WebRTC working mechanism

WebRTC working mechanism

WebRTC theoretically works with a 4 step process to establish peer to peer communication – signaling, connecting, securing, and communication.

WebRTC gives a lot of value to OTT developers due to its extremely useful benefits. WebRTC has ultra-low/real-time latency which makes it perfect for live streaming, it is open source which allows developers to experiment, it is ultra-compatible with a large range of devices, it is secure, adaptive, and delivers a high-quality video output.

WebRTC will be the RTC platform of choice with the introduction of 5G and the expansion of OTT offerings. It makes every component of OTT available to anyone at ridiculous costs.

Challenges to 5G rollout

For several years 5G has been highly anticipated to be the next generation of mobile communications technology, but it is still at the early stage of network deployment and market development.

Some challenges may delay 5G rollout across the globe and hence a slower impact on the OTT industry than expected.

  • Possible high costs will lead to uncertainty over customers’ willingness to pay. According to a McKinsey survey, two-thirds of customers are unwilling to pay more than five euros per month for ten-times-higher speed. At the same time, 49 percent of customers expect consistently high speed, and 43 percent expect new applications and services.
  • Affecting industries reliant on wireless communication in the same bandwidth (e.g., airline industry). Read more about this issue here.
  • Installation of base antennas and technology ineptitude of the majority of countries. Since a majority of countries are still developing and barely have extra budgets allocated for faster adoption of newer technology, 5G rollout there is not possible in the near future.

What to expect in the future?

The rollout of 5G has already started with many successful events witnessed such as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But we still need to wait for the full deployment of its connectivity before we understand its full potential. But whatever the case, this next-gen connectivity would most likely encourage viewers to stream more often, on the go, and go live. 5G will make it possible for video to be the primary method of digital content consumption. With its improved reliability, data streaming speed, and video delivery capabilities, we should all brace ourselves for this upcoming revolutionary digital solution called 5G network connectivity.

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Media & Entertainment Opinion

How Over-The-Top (OTT) Players Can Get Tech-ready to Tap Into a World of New Opportunities

As over-the-top (OTT) matures as a medium, consumers are looking for fresh experiences. Shaping new engagement that caters to changing demands will be key to OTT providers’ profitability.

The time is right to imagine new engaging experiences in media and entertainment (M&E), by taking advantage of the latest technology developments in broadband cellular networks. 5G becoming mainstream means increased bandwidth, no more buffering, enhanced viewing with 4K video, at a minimum. With bandwidth no longer an issue, smart devices can also provide interactive experiences. Newer applications will emerge supporting collaboration, which extends beyond web conferencing.

But there’s more – Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) can enhance the live streaming experience. Gaming is expected to swell in popularity as augmented reality and virtual reality bring the user interface and experience even closer to reality. Participating in conferences and exhibitions will become more realistic. As will online learning and online consulting businesses, which will gain traction in hitherto unexplored areas like medical, legal, or management consulting.

For OTT providers, the way forward is to plan for scale

While OTT is currently making leaps and bounds in entertainment, OTT providers must peer into the looking glass to foretell and prepare for the opportunities that lie in wait. They must revisit the way they view the platform and look for innovative solutions that prepare the foundation for scale, such as:

Agility of scalable architecture: Consumer expectations are volatile; companies need to be agile and not rely on a monolithic framework to build their streaming services. Some companies are strengthening the spine of their platform, making it robust, modular, scalable, and easy to integrate with a microservices approach. They might choose to work with a technology partner such as Robosoft to bring together services like ad servers, recommendation engines, billing services, payment gateways, etc., to offer a holistic solution with complete security.

The right development strategy: In building a platform, OTT providers can choose to offer ready-to-use streaming or bespoke solutions – both have advantages and need to be evaluated based on how they want to position themselves. Off-the-shelf solutions are more affordable upfront, quicker to deploy, and best-suited for OTT providers who want to offer video as a nice-to-have service with just the basic features. Custom-developed solutions, even though they take longer to deploy and have a higher initial investment, offer full control and technology ownership to the OTT platform provider.

Off the shelf or bespoke solutions for OTT platform?

The right monetization strategy: The current monetization models of OTT are nascent, and as young as the medium and technology itself. With new applications such as gaming, television commerce, learning, event streaming, and personal video conferencing, successful experiments in revenue models will spell the next level in maturity for the OTT industry. Stemming from traditional broadcasting roots, advertising and subscription are two prevalent models of revenue – both have their distinct advantages. The OTT provider may prefer one monetization model over the other depending on the nature and format of content and the kind of technology investment they are willing to make.

For example, the advertising monetization model enables free content with ads to consumers across multiple platforms such as connected TV, desktop, and mobile ecosystems. Here, finding new users is easier as it has in-built technology to target opportunities using more accurate data on user preferences. Also, providers can leverage predictive and prescriptive analytics using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and use data for greater personalization of services.

• In contrast, providers choosing the subscription model might be those in the business of entertainment, health, eLearning, etc., and stand to gain long-term value by delivering consistent quality content. Investing in the right technology will help them implement security and encryption integrations that are necessary for this model. In addition, on the web and Android, various payment options can be provided for users to make subscription payments, since viewers may have their own preferred payment modes, and benefit from discounts, rewards, and cashback that third-party payment apps offer.

Stickiness of the omnichannel experience: Both video and audio streaming services are booming. OTT companies can enable multi-channel, multi-device options for a multi-sensory, seamless experience, especially to woo the digital consumer who is migrating from the traditional platforms. They can improve stickiness by incorporating the adaptive bit rate feature for smooth playback, regardless of device, location, or Internet speed, making it best suited for usage in low bandwidth areas. Other features such as ‘download and view later’ can be embedded with appropriate technology solutions to protect Downloads from video piracy or copyright infringement.

If omnichannel is about having a presence in multiple touchpoints and devices, a multiexperience (a term coined by Gartner) approach connects them all.  It is a customer-first & experience centric design that promises a seamless experience to customers. Below is a comparison chart between multiexperience, omnichannel, and multichannel.

Multiexperience vs omnichannel vs mutichannel

Protecting proprietary content through Digital Rights Management (DRM): Protection of licenses and prevention of unauthorized distribution of their proprietary content are major concerns for OTT providers that can be addressed through investing in the right Digital Rights Management (DRM) solution.

Nurturing a long-term love affair with OTT

A PWC study estimated that movie theatre box-office revenues fell 71% in 2020, even as Netflix attracted a record 37mn net additional subscribers. As digital consumption in media and entertainment (M&E) continues to build, OTT is poised to replace traditional media & entertainment channels, in a big way.

By gearing up on different aspects – technology investment, business model, and operations – every kind of OTT provider, from the established to the newbie, can fully cash in on the opportunities that are opening up. By becoming future-ready in an already-crowded market, they can promise a consistently engaging and engrossing experience on their platform/app that consumers come back to and fall in love with, all over again.

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