Over 100 OTT video services are currently available in the U.S. Market, with 33 launching in 2015 alone, according to recent research from Parks Associates*. So far in 2016, we’ve seen launches from major networks like Starz, as well as niche offerings backed by big players in the media space including TrainerPass, a fitness-focused app offering videos from celebrity trainers from CBS Interactive and JungoTV, a new OTT service focused on foreign television and film content founded by Dr. Oz, scheduled to launch this fall.
The same research also revealed that only 5% of U.S. broadband households have a subscription to one or more additional OTT services besides Netflix, Amazon or Hulu. This showcases the challenge facing smaller/niche OTT offerings to acquire and retain audiences. However, while big players already have made significant land grabs, they’ve also normalized subscription OTT as an audience behavior for upstarts to tap into.
So how do today’s new services put themselves on the map? Especially considering the high probability that their marketing budgets are only a fraction of those of Netflix or Amazon. As we revealed in our recent whitepaper, 5 Smart Tactics for OTT Success, OTT services have had success embracing both traditional and emerging channels to build their audiences. Here is a snapshot of some of the drivers being used by both new and established offerings:
On-Air Promotion: One of the most valuable tactics for driving viewership for linear TV is also increasingly being used in the OTT space. One example I see each morning is promotion for CBS All Access during “CBS This Morning”, plugged directly by the anchors. Also, successful YouTube channels often utilize in-video clickable links to cross-promote other videos and channels.
Targeted Advertising: As addressable and programmatic TV advertising systems mature, they are an effective channel for driving viewership among very specific audiences. Roku, for example, provides a rich set of advertising and promotional capabilities built directly into its OS. The Roku Ad Framework (RAF) enables cross-promotion of channels and shows where content providers can target their audience with ads promoting new programs or channels, allowing users to click through and follow the promoted show through Roku’s MyFeed feature or download their channel from the Channel Store.
E-Commerce: Both top media brands and new rising stars of OTT have a merchandise or retail extension to their marketing plans. Tying content with merchandise boosts top-line revenue and also helps overall brand awareness and affinity. A good example of this is DailyBurn, a streaming service that offers a low-cost video alternative to private training at the local gym that also has its own online store where vitamins and other health-oriented merchandise are sold. DailyBurn is currently among the top ranked Health and Fitness Apps on Apple TV and Roku.
To learn more about smart, targeted marketing tactics to drive OTT audience growth as well as insights on other key areas like content and business model strategy, read the full whitepaper: 5 Smart Tactics for OTT Success. With examples and best practices from leading players in the OTT space, this helpful guide gives content owners the tools they need to develop and launch a successful OTT offering.
We launched Brightcove OTT Flow - powered by Accedo, our turnkey OTT solution, to empower media companies to focus their valuable time and resources on audience acquisition, content strategy, and other key strategic areas. By providing an end-to-end solution to quickly and seamlessly launch OTT services within weeks with no upfront costs, OTT Flow helps media companies get out in front of their competition without impacting their bottom line.
*Parks Associates, OTT Video Market Tracker, April 2016