Monday, July 24, 2017

Over-the-Top (OTT)

Over-the-Top is term to broadcast audio, video, and other media via internet connection instead of using traditional cable or satellite provider. OTT content can be accessed directly via web browser in computer, mobile apps, or any other internet-enable device (e.g. Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Smart TV, set-top-box, gaming console).

While business model of traditional cable or satellite TV provider is controlling the media content by TV channel and time constraint, in OTT business model, customer can choose any media content that they intend to enjoy and play it anytime, anywhere. Even some OTT provider, let the user to download the content while connected to internet and play it offline.

The Internet Service Provider (ISP) is only to transport IP package, that's how OTT gets the name "over-the-top" because it rides on top of internet service that you already have.

But, what's exactly the difference between OTT and VOD? Actually, VOD is one of OTT business model where customer can enjoy media content either via streaming or download via internet connected device for viewing by customer's discretion or on-demand basis. With note that the content is not owned or perpetually licensed by them.
And we have some terms of VOD:
  • SVOD (Subscription VOD): customer will pay subscription fee and can enjoy all available contents.
  • TVOD (Transactional VOD): customer will be billed based on usage or what they watch.
  • AVOD (Advertising VOD): customer can enjoy video for free, but there will be advertisements.

Types of OTT content and sample of existing service:
  • OTT Message: instant messaging service that use internet, as replacement of any text messaging provided by mobile operator (e.g. SMS, MMS). Sample of OTT message is WhatsApp, WeChat, Line, etc.
  • OTT Voice Call: Some OTT message has transformed and provide voice call service, like WhatsApp. Another sample from long player is Skype.
  • OTT Application/Service: service that enable media content deliver via internet, like Netflix, iFlix, Hulu, etc.

For me, I know the term and concept of OTT when we have new business requirement to introduce iFlix as VAS in Telekom Malaysia project couple years ago. We need to design end to end solution the process to purchase the VAS either from iFlix portal or from CRM system, activation/deactivation, order fulfillment and until reach billing system.

I can tell OTT business concept and model has changed people behavior on how they watch TV. It's the future to watch any media content, anytime, anywhere.

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