E-learning, medicine, remote work — the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the digital world for decades to come. Media streaming is no exception.
As the majority of entertainment and educational programs were put into the online mode, content streaming got a never-before-possible boost. According to Statista, 244 million Americans watched streaming or downloaded video in 2021, and the video-on-demand revenue exceeded 60 billion U.S. dollars.
New online video businesses have started entering the market, and existing ones are putting video content into the heart of their digital strategies. This stimulates the demand for media streaming software development services.
However, to help content creators, broadcasters, telecoms, and OTT vendors get the lead on the competitive online video landscape, streaming solution development experts should go the whole hog. Here are some of the aspects to pay particular attention to when developing a media streaming system.
Top features: Boost user acquisition, retention, and engagement
Personalization is what can help OTT businesses win more eyeballs and take engagement to the next level. To wit, 90% of consumers are ready to share their behavioral data to get tailored offerings.
To convert these numbers into dollars, enhance your media streaming platform with data intelligence capabilities. This will empower you to gauge viewer activities, identify consumer preferences, as well provide laser-targeted content recommendations, tailored promo imagery, and action-filled trailers.
According to stats, 88% of Americans prefer using a second device while watching content from a primary one. With this in mind, leverage second-screen functionality. This will not only boost user experiences but will also give you new monetization options like selling premium content or merchandise.
Besides, pay particular attention to subscription options. Implement various revenue-generating models to accommodate any type of client. Think subscription-based, ad-powered, or transaction-fueled content monetization. You can also use a hybrid approach as well as analyze which model works best for you before making a final decision.
Among other functionality able to revamp viewer engagement is multi-faceted content search and discovery, DVR, simulated live, interactive EPGs, continuous watching across devices, catch-up, and time shift functionality, Live-to-VoD, multi-profiles and parental controls, as well as VR and 360° video. You can also introduce an intelligent chatbot that will consult viewers about your media streaming services.
Quality of experience: Smooth Streaming is a must
According to an Accenture report, the streaming quality is a key concern for viewers. This means to be a market leader, you have to provide an exceptional QoE. Otherwise, your service will have poor customer satisfaction, resulting in churn and business loss.
So that your streaming solution could easily support thousands or even millions of simultaneous viewers, engineer a redundant, highly available architecture. Besides, to balance the load and deal with multiple media streams, add more servers when a particular threshold is reached.
One more important step to ensuring top-notch viewing experiences is full-fledged QA. To ensure dependable solution performance at all times, perform stability and reliability testing. So that viewers from multiple locations could enjoy a glitch-free experience, ensure the optimal speed during activity spikes — through stress and load testing.
Automated testing on real devices will ensure faster time to market without quality compromises. Also, use the best ways of boosting frontend performance, including performance-driven UX and UI design, CPU and RAM usage optimization, GPU-enabled UI rendering, and extended battery life.
Among other methods of notably improving streaming, quality are multi-CDN setups and multicast adaptive bitrate. This way, you can reduce network latency, network congestion, content blockages, and other bottlenecks, ensuring stellar viewing experiences across phones, tablets, connected TVs, and other OTT devices.
If you want to take it up another notch, put video content moderation on autopilot. Implement real-time QoS monitoring to track performance metrics like jitter, bandwidth, and round trip time. With automation in place, you can also timely detect and automatically correct content anomalies, including external ads, glitches, and artificial text. Moreover, AI-fueled stream quality analysis will allow you to define the optimal performance vs. cost balance.
Cutting-edge analytics: Measure and take action
As the OTT arena is becoming more and more saturated, many OTT platforms face difficulties in acquiring users, and viewer retention becomes more expensive than ever. If you want to get a competitive edge, think and act big.
Putting data at the center of operations can help you drive a real change. Take this into account when building your media streaming platform. Use the power of data analytics to improve decision-making around online video monetization, OTT platform performance, viewer satisfaction, and more.
For example, an overarching analysis of your viewer behavior will help you get the full picture of how your video content performs across audience segments, locations, time, devices, and domains. And a smart combination of these real-time findings with historical data will allow you to serve hyper-personalized content suggestions as well as launch customized ads in a non-intrusive way.
As you see, cutting-edge data analytics can not only help you engage viewers but also revamp your content strategies and in turn increase the bottom line.
Moreover, data might be key to choosing the optimal monetization model for your OTT service. Empowered by advanced analytics, you can better understand the OTT marketplace and identify viewer needs — to further decide which business model to use. By knowing what works best for your business, you’ll be able to minimize customer churn and get new revenue streams.
With so many OTT platforms available on the market, how do you make sure you can stand out from the crowd?
To attract as many eyeballs as possible and then retain them, think out ways to increase viewer comfort and engagement. Top-notch functionality, seamless real-time streaming, action-ready analytics — these are some of the key aspects you can implement to take your OTT business to new heights of success and efficiency.
However, with a ready-made platform, it’s not so easy to do. If you want to provide stellar user experiences and address the most sophisticated user needs, you won’t dispense with custom development.
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