Getting a piece of the over-the-top action

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Organizations and niche video creators are embracing OTT to deliver highly specific content on a global scale, says Accedo's SVP of business development.

The way we consume video content is changing. Linear programming no longer dominates the market, as viewers demand more flexibility. A large number of us now choose to watch video content on-demand, on multiple devices, whenever we choose.

This over-the-top content has been steadily growing in popularity as a means of encouraging brand engagement, arguably because video content is significantly more engaging than, say, written content or still images. On top of this, as OTT provision can be personalized, it is also more effective and appealing than delivering a video via a newsletter or on social media.

Breaking down the barriers
Up until lately, however, the provision of OTT content was an expensive and technically difficult process. The extent of these challenges outweighed the benefits, so OTT platforms remained the remit of large content providers and broadcasters. Fast-forward to today and we see our customer base changing, as organizations and niche video creators embrace OTT to deliver highly specific content on a global scale. We now serve a larger enterprise market, all recognizing the democratization of video services as an opportunity to increase customer engagement.

The increased viability of OTT provision can be directly linked to the inception of cost-effective video delivery services like our cloud solutions. Traditional video-app development has always been a costly service, and an investment which would be unlikely to make sense, given that OTT provision in the corporate world is not necessarily a revenue generating activity, rather an additional way of communicating.

Previously, one of the most problematic challenges to overcome was attempting to deliver video content via multiple separate platforms. Even when successful, management of several platforms was time-consuming and difficult, and therefore expensive. Modern app management services are able to alter the user interface of all platforms managed by the service, simultaneously and on all devices, without the need to manually alter singular platforms. This way, the user experience is not impacted and the viewer remains oblivious to any changes that are any more than superficial. This has considerably altered the viability of OTT platforms for smaller, non-traditional video producers.

In fact, the very beauty of providing content via OTT is that it can be easily packaged for delivery on several platforms and multiple devices. The restrictions of newsletters or social media are circumvented, bringing about a much more attractive and flexible viewing experience.

Making the most of OTT
Retail brands have recognized the opportunity of leveraging specialized video services to reach new revenue streams. One such brand is Salomon, which recently launched a branded video experience using Brightcove’s OTT Flow, powered by Accedo. Technological advancements in video delivery solutions have vastly reduced the cost and complexity involved with the creation of direct-to-consumer services. As a result, Salomon can provide sports lovers with niche content of skiing, snowboarding and hiking, featuring specific product lines to increase sales opportunities.

Video marketing content is particularly immersive and has the power to significantly increase sales; according to HubSpot, 90 percent of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions. As the relationship between consumers and brands evolve, business strategies must also do the same, in order to keep up with the expanding growth of the medium of video.

For most organizations, the creation of video content is a must in order to engage with modern audiences. OTT is providing an alternative way of doing so, in a manner which is much more immersive than standard web pages or social media. The result is an improved user experience and stronger brand–consumer relationships all thanks to cost-effective video delivery services. 

Video is the new way of communicating and engaging with your customers. Does your company have a strategy to deliver it?

Fredrik Andersson is SVP Business Development at Accedo.