OTT video streaming platforms are the present and future of video content. If you are planning to build a business around video content, OTT video streaming platforms are your safest bet. However, choosing an appropriate business doesn't alone ensure success. Designing your business with the right features is equally important. In this blog we will discuss the following 13 must-have features of an OTT video streaming platform:
- Live streaming service
- Region-specific content
- AVOD, SVOD, and TVOD
- Smart recommendations
- Multiple user accounts
- Multiple content categorizations
- Multiple subtitles and video quality
- Downloadable / offline videos
- Set preferences
- Share content
- Mini Video Window
- Chapter marker
However, before going into the features in detail. Let's quickly take a look at what OTT video streaming platforms are.
What are OTT video streaming platforms?
OTT is an abbreviation for the phrase, "over-the-top." A streaming service that delivers media content over the internet is referred to as an OTT platform. It is so-called because the service is delivered "over the top" of another platform. Although OTT is increasingly becoming synonymous with video streaming platforms, the term also applies to platforms providing audio streaming, VoIP services, and messaging.
Traditionally a video content was shared by distributors like broadcasters, cable companies, and IPTV operators. But in the case of an OTT video streaming service, the video is hosted, either on the company server or cloud, and then the content is streamed over the internet.
Build your video streaming platform with these 13 features
1. Live streaming service
Live streaming of shows, events, and sports holds a huge demand among viewers. It is not uncommon for audiences to purchase subscriptions solely for the feature of Live streaming. Thus if you are building an online video streaming platform, make sure it supports live streaming of content with genuine demand.
2. Region-specific content
For an OTT video streaming platform, the content's language and geographical premise are crucial. The prominent OTT platforms feature multilingual content to attract a global audience. But seeing the saturation of OTT services in the global market, it might be worth considering a more concentrated audience base.
Before building your platform identify the geography of your audience, and accordingly build your video library. The content on your platform should hold geographical relevance for your audience. And this relevance is not limited to just the language, but extends to the genre, theme, making style, and so on. The proper curation of your content will give your audience a personalized experience.
3. AVOD, SVOD, and TVOD
Include multiple payment options (and their respective content) in your video streaming platform. Have some advertisement-based free content on the platform; AVOD. Advertisement-based video-on-demand content will yield low revenue, but help build your identity with the audience.
Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) and Transaction Video on Demand (TVOD) content yield much better revenue. The content with the SVOD payment plan will only be available to audiences who have purchased the platform subscription. Whereas the TVOD is a pay-per-view plan, where any audience can make a one-time payment for particular content and access it.
A watchlist is an extremely handy feature from an audience's point of view. This feature will save browsing time before watching. Users can browse through the entire library and add preferred videos to the watchlist, creating a personalized playlist.
5. Smart recommendations
Your OTT video streaming platform should have a powerful AI-based engine to track watch history and user behavior on your platform. The engine should then be able to analyze the data and generate relevant video recommendations. Smart recommendations will bring relevant content, from a vast video library to the notice of your users.
6. Multiple user accounts
Allow your subscribers to set up multiple user accounts. Obviously not unlimited accounts, but 3-5 would be good. This way an entire family, or a group of friends can use a single subscription but have their own personalized account. Each user account will have a watchlist, watch history, and video recommendations, with respect to its specific user. If you are having different subscription plans, include this in the premium plan.
7. Multiple categorizations
Multiple categorizations will give your videos a greater chance of reaching the right audience. The genre-based categorization is mandatory, and you will definitely need it. However, the successful OTT platforms also include categorizations based on language, popularity, trend, age group, channel, new releases, video format, and so on.
8. Multiple subtitles and video quality
Provide subtitles in multiple languages (at least the ones popular with your audience) for all your videos. This will benefit viewers who enjoy videos in foreign languages. The videos should also be available in different pixel qualities, giving users the flexibility to change the quality as per their viewing preference and infrastructure.
9. Downloadable/offline videos
Users love to watch videos on the go, especially while commuting. However, the lack of a consistent internet connection can be an issue. This is why many popular OTT video streaming services provide the facility to download videos for offline viewing. This will allow your viewers to download where the internet connection is stable and strong and then view at a later occasion without caring much for the internet connection.
10. Set preferences
Allowing your users to set viewing and downloading preferences is a good bonus for an online video streaming platform. There will be a preferred selection of video streaming quality, downloading quality, and download location, for every user. Provide settings that record these preferences and implement them automatically every time necessary.
11. Share content
The videos available on your platform should be shareable across the internet. Especially, across social media and messaging platforms. This feature is in the best interest of your business. The share feature will not only help users share the content in their circle but indirectly promote your business as well.
12. Mini video window
Mini video window has become a common feature in all video streaming services; from YouTube to Netflix. This feature allows a user to minimize a video in progress into a mini window, while the video continues to play, uninterrupted. The user can browse the rest of the platform as the video continues to play in the mini window. The user can then either maximize the mini window and return to the video, or switch to a new video.
13. Chapter marker
Chapter marker helps your audience scroll within your video. This feature allows you to label different sections of your video content within the video player timeline. The audience can simply hover their cursor over the video player timeline, and see the label for each section of the video. Chapter markers are particularly handy when you need to quickly find a particular part in the video content. This feature is like breaking down the video timeline into different chapters and marking them with a label.
How to build an OTT video streaming platform?
There are other things to consider, apart from the features, while building an OTT video streaming service. There is the concern of video hosting—whether to choose cloud or host on company’s server. Then comes the concern of setting up a centralized video content management system. And finally, you will have to figure out the technology to optimize content encoding and delivery, and ways to manage traffic to your site. A little ignorance towards a single aspect can lead to a major flaw in your platform.
This is why the best way to build a stable OTT video streaming platform, is to hire an experienced team of developers and custom build your platform. You simply need to discuss the business needs with your developers and design the appropriate features for your platform. The experienced developers will take care of all other technical and developing complexities.
Choosing Inkoop for your OTT video streaming platform development
Inkoop is a software development company that has years of experience in turning complex ideas into products that work. Inkoop has build software, mobile, and web applications, for a diverse range of business domains, including OTT video streaming platforms.
Favatv and Ballersbridge are two examples of Inkoop’s experience in OTT platform building. Favatv is a unique streaming platform, powered by AMS network, that shares, archives, and streams the work of artists and organizations for audiences across the globe. Ballersbridge is yet another unique online video streaming platform that showcases talent videos for different college basketball players.
Why Choose Inkoop?
- Inkoop can provide the latest technology to bring speed and performance to your video streaming platform, and optimize traffic management.
- Inkoop can provide cost-efficiency with tailor-made features for your video streaming platform. Identify the most relevant features according to your business, and eliminate the unnecessary ones.
- Premium code quality and code testing for bug-free performance.
- On-time delivery of your platform.
- Round-the-clock tech support and maintenance for bug fixes.
- Optimized and Scalable OTT platform.
The combination of features and technology, will either make or break your OTT video streaming platform. And to get the combination right, you will have to first properly identify your audience. The entire success of your platform will rely on the efficacy of this first step. Employ sufficient time and research for this first step. Secondly, plan the video content for your platform—and this is where you directly address the preferences of your target audience. Thirdly, you will have to select the right group of developers and design your features. And then finally, your developers will decide the optimum technology and ways of development to maximize your revenue.