Ever since Tim Cook launched the Apple TV in 2015, his vision for the humble TV is slowly turning real.
Our vision for TV is simple and perhaps a little provocative. We believe the future of TV is apps.
OTT viewership constitutes 54% of Wi-Fi connected homes that stream OTT video content to a television set. The Comscore OTT Intelligence report shows that 91% of those who watch live OTT streaming services stream content using a streaming box/stick. It is significant because these are viewers who get nearly all their TV content via over-the-top.
But there is a secret closet to a virtual Narnia that the OTT platforms are not looking at – the Smart TV.
The Smart TV Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20.4% during the forecast period of 2020 to 2027
A significant shift in the viewer preferences towards video streaming channels is happening. People between the age of 18 to 34 mostly prefer video streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. Improved user experience is the incentive for them to buy a smart TV, increasing its demand in the market.
One of the main concerns among streaming service providers is the churn among the audience due to a large number of services.
So can OTT apps help with the retention of users?
Smart TVs are embedded with the Wi-Fi connectivity and basic internet functions like Youtube, Internet browser to give the convenience of casting your smartphone video content. 63% of users are found to connect to a mobile or connected device to watch streaming content at some point in time. So regardless of where a customer subscribes, your content will be available on any platform with an OTT app. By engaging them with repeat business and appealing apps, brand affinity is cultivated and strengthened. OTT apps offer freedom and convenience to stream content on bigger screens like TVs and tablets. Even conversions are a tad higher when your services can be availed this way.
Even though apps are not going to replace the video-on-demand streaming business in the foreseeable future, the pair of them will complement each other. In fact, as per Statista, 33% of people watch online videos on a Smart TV, indicating a boom in the global OTT market.
Branded OTT apps help content providers capitalize on this opportunity quickly, cost-effectively, and at scale. As more and more OTT providers understand the value in serving content to the platforms and devices preferred by their audiences, the market is fragmented for now. But the new entrants will have the first-mover advantage over established big brand names. User preference for Smart TV is evident in the fact that there are nearly a dozen brands competing for market share in the segment with Samsung TV leading at 21%. Apple TV follows slightly behind at 16% and LG at 12.6%. Sony is in close competition with the greenhorn from the US, TCI TV.
While OTT apps through contract developers can be expensive, building an integrated OTT video platform with apps is the key to a sustainable long term business. Customizable, white-label platforms with integrated paywall and flexible monetization models are the key to build your own branded OTT platform and app.