Over-the-top (OTT) content is a tasty little term which is buzzing in all the big brand circles right now. It’s all about how video and film content is transmitted over the internet without the need for users to subscribe to traditional methods of watching them, such as cable, satellite or paid-for TV. It’s the sexy new stream of content which can reach far more viewers, live outside traditional ecosystems and brings some interesting new ideas to the digital mix.
OTT in the Digital Strategy of 2016?
Of course, for brands it is posing a question – is there a place for OTT in the digital strategy of 2016? As consumers continue to bypass traditional methodologies to gain access to content, it means that brands are playing an increasingly difficult game when it comes to getting their attention. It also means that brands now have an interesting new dynamic on their digital hands – how can they take ownership of OTT and use it to really step into their consumer’s lives?
OTT is still in its infancy with giant names like Netflix forging the way to an entirely new future, but already there are some elements which are starting to take shape. Content must be compelling and consistent. For over-the-top to be a valuable part of a digital strategy, it must be about building long-term relationships and customized experiences, otherwise it will not engage. The one-time lead, the instant customer gratification – these are the old strategies. Digital demands something new.
OTT and Customer Big Data
OTT also provides access to a wealth of data which is already known to be as valuable as oil when it comes to the customer. Big data, the black gold of the internet, pours into every interaction online and the adage by Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google) - how every two days the world now creates as much information as it did from the advent of civilization up until 2003 - has never been more relevant. For OTT to really work within a digital strategy, the brand needs to capitalize on the data and its relationship across the physical and the digital. There needs to be a cohesive strategy which allows for the brands to connect the dots between the customer and their usage of OTT and digital content in such a way as to develop compelling interactions.
The question should not be is there a role for OTT in the digital strategy of 2016, but how to best adopt an agile strategy. In a whitepaper by Juniper Research entitled ‘Digital Content – an Over the Top Reaction’, the findings showed that the digital content market is set to rise from just under $99 billion in 2014 to nearly $155 billion in 2019. A digital strategy which blends the capability of OTT with the expansiveness of digital content and data is one which has the potential to truly engage with its market.
Over-the-top content is about to get really interesting as the big names fight for dominance and consumers explore the new horizons it presents. For brands, it means a digital strategy which has to personalize, engage and be meaningful in order to rise up and grab the market.