The OTT market is booming. With the ability to deliver movies and TV shows directly to viewers at any time, from anywhere, OTT platforms have quickly dominated traditional cable or satellite television subscriptions. According to Digital TV Research, media revenue from OTT is expected to reach $224 billion in 2027. 

If you’re looking to start your own OTT platform, or improve your current one, picking the right vendor is the first step. Partnering with a trusted provider of end-to-end OTT platforms has many advantages, such as faster time to market and continuous innovation. Leveraging a content delivery network (CDN) with the capability to stream to worldwide audiences with zero interruptions is the key to success in the ever-growing OTT market.

Before signing on the dotted line, it’s important to do your research, compare providers, and take key offerings into consideration.

Key Criteria for Selecting an OTT Provider

Here are seven services and features to add to your checklist:

1. Economic Viability

Choosing a reputable provider with years of experience under their belt is ideal. After all, a startup looking for its next round of venture capital funding may not offer the stability your service needs. An industry-leading provider will be able to launch and grow your platform fast and without any complications. Will your platform be launched in 24 hours? Or 24 days? A trustworthy provider will also provide built-in security to ensure that all of your content is protected.

2. Pricing Model

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” Many new OTT companies try to set themselves apart in the marketplace by lowering their prices. While these prices will surely increase over time, will their offerings continue to meet your evolving needs? As your OTT platform develops, you’ll want to innovate and offer more services. If you’ve chosen a budget-friendly provider, chances are they’ll be less likely to update apps, innovate new services, or offer better performance.

3. Support for Multiple Monetization Models

A provider must be able to support multiple monetization models, including:

  • AVOD (Advertising video on demand) — Video content is free of charge but can be interrupted with ads.
  • SVOD (Subscription video on demand) — Consumers pay for a monthly subscription and watch videos without annoying ads.
  • TVOD (Transactional video on demand)/PPV — Consumers purchase one single unit of content.

To read a wider audience, you can also combine different monetization models for multiple streams of income.

4. User Experience

A major consideration when choosing an OTT provider is how their end-user experience and user interface (UX/UI) will affect content discovery. After all, content is only valuable if a user can find it. Ideally, the user interface should maximize real estate and act in an intuitive manner so users can quickly find the content they’re looking for. A simple navigation will help users find a specific TV show or movie and an eye-catching carousel will guide them to newly added content, the latest series, or a new episode.

5. Multi-Platform Application & OS Support

Today, a provider must support multi-platform applications and seamlessly deliver your content to all major devices including smart TVs, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, computers, etc. According to Penthera’s new 2021 U.S. Streaming Video Report, 71% of streaming viewers in the U.S. reported streaming video on at least two devices each day, with connected TVs and mobile being the most popular devices. To keep viewers of all ages engaged, your platform must be easily accessible, reliable, and optimized for screen resolutions, network connections, and data synchronization on various devices.

6. Analytics 

Keeping viewers engaged with a wide variety of content on a platform that is both intuitive and user-friendly is key for revenue growth, reducing churn, and building your customer base. To achieve this, a data-driven content strategy equipped with OTT analytics must be in place. OTT analytics offer invaluable insight into content performance, advertising metrics, and technical statistics to help providers shape the customer experience, improve streaming quality, and put personalization at the forefront.  

7. Flexibility to Scale, Manage, and Integrate

Look for a provider that will deliver the same high-quality experience and high level of service to a new OTT operator that larger organizations pay for at a premium price. Ideally, the provider’s transcoding system will be highly scalable and cost-effective, their middleware will allow you to easily manage subscribers, content, apps, business models and customizable user experiences with no coding required, and their APIs will enable seamless integrations.

Taking the First Step

Overall, OTT video services are expected to attract over 12 million new viewers in the U.S. by 2026. By launching your own platform, you have endless opportunities to reach these viewers through content distribution and monetization. The first step in your journey should focus on investing in a reputable OTT vendor. Does your OTT provider check all of these boxes?

[Editor’s note: This is a contributed article from Setplex. Streaming Media accepts vendor bylines based solely on their value to our readers.]

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The Importance of OTT Analytics


Keeping viewers engaged with a wide variety of content on a platform that is both intuitive and user-friendly is key for revenue growth, reducing churn, and building your customer base. To achieve this, a data-driven content strategy equipped with OTT analytics must be in place. OTT analytics offer invaluable insight into content performance, advertising metrics, and technical statistics to help providers shape the customer experience, improve streaming quality, and put personalization at the forefront.