What is an OTT Platform? How Does it Work and Why You Should Care

As we delve into the world of over-the-top (OTT) platforms, one might wonder, “what is an OTT platform?” OTT refers to any service that bypasses traditional cable or satellite TV service providers, in order to deliver content directly to viewers over the internet. These platforms, including household names like Roku, Tubi and Pluto TV, have transformed the media consumption landscape, redefining how audiences access their favorite shows or movies.

How OTT Platforms Work

OTT platforms deliver video content directly to consumers via the internet. This delivery is typically accomplished through websites or apps which can be accessed on various devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers, or smart TVs. Unlike traditional broadcasting methods that transmit the same content to all viewers simultaneously, OTT platforms use video streaming technology that allow users to select and watch content on-demand. This personalized viewing experience has been instrumental in driving the popularity of these platforms.

Variety of OTT Models

There are several models of OTT platforms, each with a unique revenue structure. Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD) services like Netflix require users to pay a monthly subscription fee to access their content library. Advertising Video-on-Demand (AVOD) services, such as Tubi, provide free content but include advertisements. Some platforms like Hulu offer a hybrid model (Hybrid Video-on-Demand or HVOD), where users can choose either an ad-supported or subscription-based plan.

OTT Platforms and Advertising Opportunities

OTT platforms offer lucrative advertising opportunities, thanks to their rich user data and precision targeting capabilities. Advertisers can place targeted ads based on viewers’ demographics, viewing habits and preferences. With OTT advertising, brands can reach cord stackers, as well as cord-cutters who no longer subscribe to traditional TV, expanding their audience base and improving ad effectiveness.

Moreover, since OTT platforms support dynamic ad insertion, the advertisements can be tailored in real-time, further increasing their relevance and impact. These capabilities, coupled with detailed performance metrics, make OTT advertising a powerful tool for marketers.

The Growing Influence of OTT Platforms

OTT platforms are experiencing unprecedented growth. With advancements in internet technology and the increasing affordability of high-speed internet, more and more consumers are using OTT platforms for their entertainment needs. This shift is expected to continue, further bolstering the influence of OTT platforms in the media industry.

Why You Should Care About OTT Platforms

Understanding OTT and its implications is crucial for anyone involved in the media or advertising industry. These platforms are reshaping media consumption habits, presenting both challenges and opportunities.

For advertisers, the rise of OTT platforms signals a shift in where and how to reach audiences. As the traditional TV ads market expands into new platforms, advertisers must adapt their strategies to reach their audience where they are spending their time – on OTT platforms.
For content creators, OTT provides new avenues for content distribution and monetization. With the ability to reach a global audience, these platforms can provide greater exposure and revenue potential.

Embracing the OTT Revolution

OTT platforms represent a significant shift in the media landscape. As they continue to gain popularity and influence, they are creating new paradigms for content distribution and advertising. Professionals can leverage this knowledge to stay ahead in this rapidly evolving digital age. Indeed, OTT platforms aren’t just a passing trend – they’re an integral part of the future of media consumption and advertising.