In a crowded OTT space, how can creators stand out?

Posted on May 3, 2019
 

Output Outlook — Instant On

Like most people nowadays, I enjoy winding my night down by plopping down on the couch and watching Netflix. When I first started using the service several years ago, this was an enjoyable ritual. Through recommendations at the water cooler or over brunch, scrolling through Twitter, or reading blogs online, I built quite the queue of shows, movies, and documentaries to binge through. But this became harder over time.

Not because there was a lack of content (in fact, Netflix will be spending $15 billion in 2019 to make sure that’s not an issue) but because it has become so, intentional.

There are times, with Netflix or similar services, where you feel like you have to come in with a plan. You need to come in having some sort of an idea of what you’d like to watch (like true crime documentaries or British-centric baking shows). If not, you’ll just keep searching and searching, finding something that seems interesting but — ehhh — then you go back to searching until you say “oh, forget it” and ending up watching Parks and Recreation. Again.

Our Director of Business Development calls this “the endless scroll” and it shows one of the ironies of this influx of curated, on-demand content. We wanted choice but as the options continue to increase, we end up hiding away from potential options and shielding ourselves with what’s familiar.

This extends beyond the more recognizable names in streaming. Plenty of OTT apps have been downloaded on Apple TVs, or Roku’s and have gone completely unwatched. Most users will open the app, check around and see what else is out there before watching their go-to. Choice fatigue is real.

So, if you’re a brand wanting to leverage your video content into an OTT app, how can you combat this and increase engagement? Go live (or at least appear to be).

If you’re using a content logistics system like MAZ, you can tailor your OTT app to have a live or simulated live experience with Instant On. By creating a live (or simulated live) experience your OTT offering opens itself to longer session times and higher engagement which can lead to increased ad revenue.

Longer Session Times

Users have developed a fondness for a return to linear viewing. That nostalgic activity of sitting down after a long day, turning on the TV, and watching the first thing on. This same feeling can be recreated with Instant On. It works by allowing viewers to click on your OTT app, immediately be thrust into your video content either through a live stream you control or a pre-set playlist.

The average viewing session on OTT apps is around 6–7 minutes, but with Instant On that increases to over 20 minutes. By immediately presenting the content you want to be highlighted you’ve now “hooked” the viewer for those extra 10–15 minutes which could be enough to turn a casual viewer into a fan.

Higher Engagement

The longer you can get your viewership engaged the greater chance of a conversion. Viewers are 5–6x more engaged with live or simulated live streaming than they are through a more traditional video-on-demand experience.

A live AKC event.

The American Kennel Club has utilized live streaming for the thousands of events they host every year. This enables viewers to get more familiar with the brand and eventually develop a feeling of FOMO to cause the viewer to watch more events or to go to their local AKC event in their hometown. Longer session times and higher engagement are part of a magical formula that results in:

Increased Ad Revenue

OTT revenue is expected to reach $22 million as OTT users are among the most engaged audience segments. 70% of users can recall seeing an ad, 66% have learned about a new product or company from an OTT ad and 40% have actually paused their content to purchase or learn more online.

The average OTT user is open to the idea of advertising, with 54% supporting an app that has some sort of ad-supported model. In a time, where more than 50% of all US consumers that watch traditional live TV do not watch any ads, OTT is becoming an attractive advertising platform. Having increased viewing sessions and engagements will result in a higher ad rate for your brands content.

The old adage “What’s old is new again” rings true. Where we once wanted full autonomy in our viewing experience, like in most things, there is a rising sentiment towards the nostalgia of a simpler time. While we might not want to go back to the days of only 3 broadcast networks, we do want to go back to a more linear viewing experience. To take the full burden of choice out of our hands and present it in a form that’s easier to manage.

By presenting your OTT app with a feature like Instant On, you can give that to your viewership and not only reap the benefits of longer viewing sessions, increased engagement, and higher ad rate but to also place yourself on the path to success in this increasingly crowded OTT marketplace.

TAGS: advertising competition content tech television

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