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What is OTT and what is OVP?

May 13, 2021 - Erikka Innes

What is OTT?

Even if you haven't heard the term OTT, you probably interact with an OTT platform regularly. OTT stands for over-the top, and it's defined as video content that is provided through the Internet instead of more traditional means like a cable or satellite provider. Popular examples of OTT include Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Disney+, Vimeo and more. Anything where you can stream video content over the internet is an OTT. This service is called OTT because initially it referred to devices that often sit on top of a cable box in order to provide access to TV content. Some examples of devices that are solely for OTT services are Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire, Roku and gaming platforms like PlayStation.

Some of the things that make OTTs super popular are their ability to stream content anywhere you have an internet connection and their lack of commercials. People enjoy being able to watch ad-free content on smart TVs, computers, tablets, and phones. Another thing that makes OTTs popular are their affordability. Cable might cost you $50-60 a month for a basic package and still not include channels you wanted, which must be added on for additional fees. On the flipside, services like Hulu charge as little as $5.99 a month for unlimited access to their content (though you will have to watch a few ads at that price). Another thing that makes OTTs popular is that the viewing schedule is completely up to you. Instead of programming someone selected for you, OTTs cater to each viewer, personalizing content recommendations or at the very least allowing you to choose what you will watch at any given time.

How Does an OTT Work?

An OTT works by delivering content across the internet. If you have an internet connection and you pay the subscription fee, you can watch content on any OTT you want. If you want to build an OTT yourself, how they work is up to you. You can figure out how to host all your video content yourself, or you can use an OVP provider like api.video. Using api.video's API, you can upload videos to create video on demand for your OTT platform, and you can also add live streams. The details of what you want to provide, how it will be accessed, are all up to you.

Typical reasons for building your own OTT platform include being able to:

  • Control brand awareness - you can customize the look and feel of your players and web pages.
  • Create content recommendation systems - just like Netflix, you can build your own set ups for.
  • Scale faster - a white label video storage and delivery solution can handle scaling while you focus on other aspects of your business.
  • Monetize - you decide how much you charge for access to your content.
  • Analytics - you can closely monitor how video content is consumed to figure out what's most popular on your site and what isn't.

What is OVP?

OVP stands for Online Video Platform. It encompasses everything that's used to upload, transcode, store, and playback video content. It's what you use to deliver OTT. How networks of servers are configured to optimize transmission and delivery of content varies from OTT service to OTT service.

If you're interested in building an OTT service, and need help with big details like video transcoding, storage, delivery and analytics, sign up for a trial account with api.video today!

Erikka Innes

Developer Evangelist

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