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13 must-have features for an OTT video streaming platform

Develop a successful OTT video streaming business in 2021, with the following features and a custom web development solution.

Posted by Anubhav De on 03 Dec 2021
13 must-have features for an OTT video streaming platform

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:

  1. Live streaming service
  2. Region-specific content
  3. AVOD, SVOD, and TVOD
  4. Watchlist
  5. Smart recommendations
  6. Multiple user accounts
  7. Multiple content categorizations
  8. Multiple subtitles and video quality
  9. Downloadable / offline videos
  10. Set preferences
  11. Share content
  12. Mini Video Window
  13. 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.


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.

4. Watchlist

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.

Optimize your OTT features with analytics

How do you know what is working for your business, and what isn't? And for the ones that aren’t working, can they be improved? Or, do you need to drop them altogether? Your best bet to answer these questions will be analytics. Collect data on user behavior and user activity on your video streaming platform–and analyze the collected data with a self-service BI tool to fetch insights on what’s working for your website and what’s not.

Which data to collect from your OTT platform, and why?

Data collection is the primary step to establishing a data-driven business model. Say it be an eCommerce business analytics, OTT platform business analytics, or any other domain–the analyses will be only as good in quality as the quality of data you collect.

Views – For any video streaming platform the views are the biggest indicators of your content’s success. The views count for different categories of videos will help you understand what category of content is better preferred by your target audience. Naturally, you will need to increase the volume of popular content to boost your viewership.

Subscriptions – If you are providing multiple payment options like, AVOD, SVOD, and TVOD collect the data on how many viewers are subscribed to these payment plans. Check which payment option is preferred by your target audience. If you have a single payment option, and the total subscription to the payment plan is too low (when compared to your overall viewership,) then it indicates you need to introduce another payment option.

Viewer Demographics – Are you able to reach your target audience? Data-driven insight into your user demographics will give you clarity. Collect data on your user’s age, gender, and location.

Viewer preferences – To optimize your platform you will need to track the overall preferences of your viewers. Preferences like, on which device is your platform most accessed, content is preferred the most in which language, which quality of videos are most viewed, how much are subtitles used on your videos, how often are videos downloaded for offline viewing, which videos are rewatched the most, which videos are frequently added to the watchlist, and so on. Use the data-driven evidence on viewer preferences to curate your content and design your platform.

View date and time – Collect data on what dates and at which time are your videos watched by your viewers. This will give you insight into both your viewer's watch pattern and your videos’ relevance period. Observe which group of viewers are active on your platform on which dates and at what times. And, observe on which dates and at what times are your videos performing the best.

Engagement rate of your videos – Whilst the view count of your videos establishes the popular content, they don’t explain if the content is engaging or not. After all, engaging content is what you will need to retain your viewers. Collect data on watch hours for your videos, time taken by viewers to complete watching the videos, and uninterrupted watch hours for your videos.

How Can Draxlr help you make profitable decisions for your OTT video platform?

Draxlr is a modern Self-service Business Intelligence Platform. Draxlr is a simplified platform that allows all professionals to visually explore and analyze their data without writing a single line of code. The analyzed results can be further exported, visualized, and used to build multiple dashboards. The Draxlr dashboards are the hub of monitoring features that allow you to track data changes (via email and Slack Channels,) and Share and embed analytics. For a more detailed explanation of the Draxlr features visit the official website or the documentation.

Signup now to make better business decisions with Draxlr!

Draxlr to make better business descisions

Analyze demographics to identify your audience

Use the no-code query builder of Draxlr on the data collected on Viewer demographics. Perform analytical actions like filtering, sorting, joining tables, mathematical summarizations, and grouping–to reveal insights on how well are you reaching your target audience and what content can help you reach them better. Filter to find the videos with more viewership from your desired viewer age group and viewer location–and then increase the volume of such videos to make your platform relevant to your target audience.

Monitor your data with alerts and notifications to retain your audience

Build Dashboards with Key performance indicating data visualizations. On Draxlr, you can set these visualizations to refresh automatically at periodic intervals (of your choice.) Upon refresh they will sync with your original data source, and if Draxlr notes any changes it can send you data change notifications in your email and Slack Channels. With Draxlr's dynamic data monitoring you will always be updated on when your content’s relevancy has suddenly peaked or dropped, and when your viewer’s watch patterns have suddenly changed. Draxlr will never let sudden changes catch you off guard with your decisions.

Monitor performance for your OTT platform

Analytics embedding makes monitoring the performance of your OTT platform–much easier! Whatever analytics you build on Draxlr can be embedded in your websites and applications. Meaning, build your performance indicating visuals on Draxlr and embed them in your OTT platform’s admin board. Enrich your platform’s admin board with data-driven insights to ensure that your decisions lead you in a quantifiably viable direction.

Transform your OTT platform with teamwork

Draxlr encourages its users to collaborate with teammates on analytics. To this end, two features will prove particularly helpful–analytics sharing and user invites. On Draxlr you can easily share your analytics and dashboards with multiple employees across multiple departments, with just a shareable URL and a one-time PIN. And, if you wish to collaborate with your teammates on Draxlr itself, then you have the liberty to send unlimited invites. Of course, you retain complete governance of their access.

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.

Final notes

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.

- Anubhav

Need a Custom OTT platform? Hire an experienced team of Web and Mobile developers to build your OTT platform with us.
Contact Us

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