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Planning to build a business around video content? Starting your own streaming service is your best bet.
Success isn’t merely determined by picking the right business. Building it with the right features maters too.
Creating your own OTT service isn’t easy unless you have a reliable OTT platform provider.
Here’s a 360-degree view of what you should expect from your OTT platform provider if you’ve decided to set up your own streaming service.
The CMS is the backbone of your streaming service as it handles everything from uploading to distributing your videos. While choosing the CMS make sure you ask these questions and get them answered
- Can I organize videos into shows, seasons, and playlists?
- Can content partners (people with who you partner to add content to your library) upload videos?
- Can I delete or make a video in-active?
- Can I add details such as title, description, genre, tags, cast, and crew?
- Is it possible to schedule my live and on-demand videos?
- Can I limit access to my content by geography and devices?
- Can I distribute the content to social media accounts from the platform?
- Is it possible to add logos (watermarks) to the videos?
Building your OTT service
You must be able to launch your website, mobile apps, and connected TV apps with complete flexibility. Make sure you ask the right questions because your viewers are going to know through your apps.
- Can you add in a new feature?
- Can you customize a feature?
- Can I select on which platforms (Roku, android,firetv, etc) I want to launch my apps?
- How much time does it take to create and launch these apps?
You must be able to explore multiple monetization models and select the model that suits your need — AVOD, SVOD, TVOD, or Hybrid. Ask them about all your ideas – even if it is crazy. After all, it is your business and you must decide how to make money and not compromise because of your platform provider’s limitations.
- What monetization models are supported in your platform?
- Can I do AVOD, SVOD, and TVOD at the same time?
- What are the supported payment gateways?
- Can you add a localized payment gateway (other than the standard ones like Stripe and PayPal)?
- Can I set up the ads by myself?
- Do you support VAST and VPAID ads on both VOD and live content?
- Can Google Adsense and Admob be integrated?
- Can I run multiple ad campaigns?
- Can ads be targeted with GDPR compliance?
- Is it easy to create and set up different subscription plans?
- Can I promote plans with discounts and coupons?
- Can I have private plans for select users?
- Can I bundle or group my content into several plans?
- Can I have multiple subscriptions subsidized with ads?
- Can I sell my merchandise on the website and mobile apps?
You must have an understanding of your entire video business to make informed decisions. Ensure you have the access to the right kind of data to make the right decisions.
- Can I export the data (to excel – easier for your further analysis)?
- Can I analyze my audiences’ watch time, devices, and location?
- Can I have clear insights on how and what content is consumed?
- Can I know which content is performing and how it is consumed?
- Can I have a clear picture of revenue sources?
- Can my partners see their revenue share and how their videos are performing?
- Can I grant partners access to selected reports only?
- Can I get geo-based user consumption details?
- Can I analyze the data for various date ranges?
- Can I analyze the data for various devices?
Your video player must give a friction-free user experience to your audience. This is where your videos will be watched by millions across the globe. You should ask questions to ensure their standards are high enough to represent your brand.
- Does the player support both VAST and VPAID tags?
- Can the user resume the video from where they left it?
- Does the player support auto-play?
- Can users enable the closed captions/subtitles in their preferred language?
- Can I run both Live and VOD content?
- Is adaptive streaming supported?
- Can I customize the player?
- Can I get player embed codes?
- Does the player support skip and rewind on taps?
- Does the player support Picture-in-Picture (PiP) — floating screen?
When it comes to a streaming business you will have to deal with 3 types of users – your employees, your content partners, and your audience. Ask the right questions to make sure you have complete control to ensure smooth operation.
- Can I set up multiple sub-admins?
- Can I define revenue shares while setting up partner accounts?
- Can different accounts have different access privileges?
- Can I revoke (/grant) privileges that were already granted?
- Can admins block spammy users?
- Can admins invite/import subscribers with a list?
The server should be able to handle thousands of concurrent users at the same time without any latency issues and should be able to scale up with demand.
- Can multiple viewers access my content simultaneously?
- Will my viewers experience latency if there are many simultaneous requests?
To market and scale your streaming business, you must be able to easily integrate with any payment gateways, analytics and marketing tools, or third-party tools. Make sure you get this clarified.
- Can I link to google analytics, console, etc.,?
- Can I integrate chatbots into my site and apps?
- How easily can I integrate third-party tools?
You must not only be able to customize the look and feel of your website and apps but also make sure the features are flexible to meet your needs.
- Can I customize the design of my website and apps?
- Can I place dynamic sections like watchlists on my website and apps?
- Can I add custom pages to my site/apps?
- Will my apps be completely white-labeled?
- Will you build a custom feature for me? (most important – don’t miss this one out)
You must have responsive support at your fingertips so that you don’t walk the path alone
- Can I reach out to a dedicated account manager?
- Can I reach the support/account manager through phone or email?
Now that you have questioned your prospective platform provider about their features, make sure their pricing is transparent.
- What are the various pricing tiers?
- What features are covered in each of the tiers?
- Are there any variable cost factors, if so what are they?
- Will you charge me a hidden revenue share on scaling? ( if the answer is yes, stay away from the platform provider)
- Which pricing tier do you suggest for my requirements and why?
These are just the basic questions to get you started. Make sure all the answers are well documented.
Choose an OTT platform provider that can cater to all your needs by asking the right question.
Start hunting for the right OTT platform provider