New Ways of Monetizing Your OTT TV content

Posted by Telebreeze on September 19th, 2016

Since we do live in an on-demand world, IPTV and OTT services have become the new normal. With a simple swipe of our mobile phone or by clicking our mouse, we can gain access to a world of content. OTT services are expected to grow rapidly over the next five years, with the number of players on the rise. Currently, there are over 100 OTT video services available in the U.S. 

In 2015, 33 new OTT services were launched. In 2016, we saw options from Starz, TrainerPass, CBS Interactive and JungoTV. This fall, we expect an offering from Dr. Oz. In fact, by the end of 2015, 58% of U.S. broadband households used at least one OTT video service on a monthly basis. This means that "Pureplay" OTT service providers will see increased competition from new entrants that all need to reach consumers' multiplatform demands. 

In terms of advertising, this means that OTT promotions need to be smarter in terms of delivering content that resonates with target audiences. In addition, it cannot compromise quality. How do you put yourself on the map? Read on to learn more. 

Smart OTT 

According to research from Parks Associates, only 5 percent of U.S. broadband households have a subscription to one or more OTT services outside of Hulu, Netflix and Amazon. This means that OTT offerings need to find new ways of acquiring and retaining audiences. Of course, the big players have opened up the market. This means that OTT subscription has become normalized, and all that needs to be done is to tap into audience behavior. 

Whether it comes from acquiring or producing high concept originals to thoughtful advertising, your target customer category needs to come into consideration when designing packaging, the commercial model and formats. Viewers are continuing to question whether or not they need to pay for content they do not want. This means that new product packaging models need to be created that are specifically designed for the OTT marketplace. Then, there is the Cloud DVR trend gaining strength globally. The reason is due to service flexibility and cost efficiency—two characteristics that consumers demand. 

Review personalized advertising 

What is coming into play, with monetizing OTT TV content, is ad insertion technology. This helps to replace old ads with new ones. TV viewing is shifting from big to smaller screens. In addition, viewers are becoming less patient. This means they will scrutinize every single ad they see. 

With regard to streaming, bad ads may do more damage to a service provider than a customer choosing to switch the channel. There are so many options out there that your audience may just unsubscribe and look for another service. This means you need to re-evaluate how you reach your audience on a multiplatform level. The objective is to consistently deliver advertising that is: 

  • Timely
  • Engaging
  • Relevant 

The ad formats might also be more interactive, shorter and have a purpose. You might even ask your audience to select a different ending, or customize a product in an instant. Furthermore, your ad content should be based on: 

  • Recently watched content
  • Regions
  • Customer demographics
  • Device types

It takes thought, but ad insertion can be successful. This is as long as it is relevant to your target audience. 

What is your content strategy? 

It is expected that the OTT market will generate around .6 billion worldwide through 2018 of customer paid revenue. According to Magna Global, there was a 38% year-over-year increase in 2015 global digital video ad spend to .4 billion. This means there is still a lot of room for growth. So, what is your content strategy? 

During the TV era, we saw a massive increase in the number of channels and genres that appealed to a wide variety of consumers. The OTT market has only built upon that trend. You see high concept shows of all genres, many previously thought to be unsuited for TV are blooming quite successfully in the digital media space. Some find success through niche offerings. 

With this in mind, you might consider delivering content that resonates deeply with a narrow set of your target market. You can then diversify your OTT content strategy to appeal to audiences on varying platforms. If you offer compelling new TV dramas, you might tie that in with short-form mobile videos. You don't have to try to be all things to all people. What you should do is curate content that is dedicated to niche audiences. 

Take action on analytics 

When you offer a streaming service, you gain the unique capability to have conversations with your customers. To illustrate, when you require a sign up for service, you can start to acquire customer data around consumption and engagement patterns. 

In order to innovate your content, it is important to understand how your target customer leverages your service platforms. According to IDC, 35% of IT resources will be spent on creating new digital revenue streams by 2018. Due to the rising competition, this makes it even more critical for actionable data in terms for making more informed business decisions. 

You must look at the innovations offering the best viewing experiences. Moreover, it is imperative to understand how long your customers watch certain types of content. This will help you make more insightful decisions regarding acquisitions or the creation of more niche offerings. 

Offer transactional business models 

What makes Netflix, Hulu and Amazon so distinct is they utilize consumer models that make it easy for multiplatform customer adoption. Hulu started with a free, ad-supported model on the PC. Then, they featured an upgrade for streaming to connected TVs. After that, a "No Commercials" subscription plan was added. Their success shows that OTT services need to feature a mix of business models to ensure monetization. This includes: 

  • Free and ad-based
  • Free, branded content
  • Freemium
  • Subscription video-on-demand
  • Live PPV or download 

You want your brand, and your content, to make an emotional connection with your users. It is about the ability to balance paid-subscriber fees with ad-supported revenue.

Nurture your OTT audience 

With a multiplatform strategy, it is important to engage your OTT users throughout your channels and touchpoints. With TV, you might consider on-air promotions. For example, you can use local broadcasters to promote App downloads. In addition, you might turn to YouTube for in-video clickable links towards cross-promotion of other channels.

Another option is publicity through entertainment magazines. Partner with a publication to offer freebies such as a free magazine subscription with OTT registration. The publication should also promote your service on its digital platforms. 

Then, there are the social networks that can drive traffic for your brand. Since more people are using their smartphones, you want push notifications as a tune-in strategy for your OTT service

Don't forget eCommerce. As your content rises in popularity, it helps to have your stars promote merchandise. If you feature a popular, niche show then you might create an online store to sell associated stickers, t-shirts, baseball caps, buttons and more. 

Plus, there is targeted and programmatic TV advertising. This helps to monetize your service, even directly on the streaming platforms. You can have your content providers promote services during signup, your channel store or through video ads and the home page. 

When it comes to finding new ways to monetize your OTT TV content, the focus should be on launching viable consumer solutions and offers. It is also about keeping an eye on fast-moving markets and updating your strategy as your consumers change.

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