One of the most popular sessions at last week’s PLAY conference, “Running a Successful OTT Service” featured insights from three leaders in the space - Titus Bicknell, CDO and EVP of Operations of RLJ Entertainment, John Hogan, Head of Technology of Stan and Gilles Domartini, CEO and Co-Founder of Cleeng. From the story of how Acorn TV, one of RLJ’s three branded OTT channels, generated a 100% year-over-year growth in subscribers to the rollout of Stan’s new content partnership with Showtime to SVOD best practices, these real-world experiences were incredibly valuable to attendees - as evidence both from the many questions in the room and feedback afterward - for navigating the increasingly competitive and complex OTT space.
The Importance of Business Model Agility in Today’s OTT Ecosystem
A key element to OTT success that these leaders would also likely concur with is that when a market is changing as rapidly as today’s OTT landscape, your business plan needs to be grounded in operational flexibility and technical agility. Media businesses have thrived with a mix of free, ad-based, subscription and transactional business models. And many of the most successful OTT services have combined these, layering new models on top of existing services in order to build revenue growth.
That kind of flexibility is evidenced by the variety of usage models deployed by industry heavyweights such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. For example, Hulu launched as a free, ad-supported service available on the PC, but later evolved to include TV viewing and commercial-free options, each at a slightly higher price point. And just recently, they confirmed the launch of a live linear service, akin to the Sony PlayStation Vue and Sling TV models, later next year.
Another interesting case study in business model flexibility is Amazon. At first, Amazon added video for free to their Amazon Prime subscription offer - a bold move akin to the old ‘big box retail’ practice pioneered by Walmart and Best Buy whereby ‘end-caps’ contained heavily discounted, traffic-driving merchandise. Then, within the past few months, Amazon announced both the launch of a stand-alone video subscription at $9 month and the ability for consumers to post videos to their site and earn money via advertising and royalties, the latter putting them in competition with YouTube.
Developing an agile business model for OTT is just one of the essential topics discussed in our latest whitepaper: “Five Smart Tactics for OTT Success.” This concise but highly informative paper is a must read for any organization that’s planning to enter or has already entered the crowded and hotly competitive OTT marketplace. In just a few minutes, you’ll gain a firm grasp on developing and executing a winning strategy that will put your content service in the best neighborhoods of OTT map.
To help make your business plan a reality, Brightcove OTT Flow - Powered by Accedo - our new turnkey solution offers all the core technology and functionality for media companies and content owners to quickly launch new OTT services. OTT Flow provides the ability to design, launch, and upgrade OTT services with no upfront development costs, and it’s priced so you can build a compelling and profitable economic model for your company.