When was the last time you watched OTT programming? If you’re a millennial there’s an overwhelming chance (89%) that you watched it in the last week. Amazon’s vice president of video wants to capture 100% of OTT services in the US and integrate them onto the Fire platform. That means Application Development & Delivery Professionals need to respond to and support this trend.

Amazon's Michael Paull speaking at NAB 2016. 

OTT or over-the-top lets you watch video (repurposed television programming or otherwise) through an app or device like a Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire or game console. They’re big with cord cutters, cord nevers and cord shavers as a way to reduce cost and increase selection. At the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas, Michael Paull the vice president of digital video at Amazon discussed discussed an OTT push for the company, where he revealed his goal of signing up 100% of SVOD (subscription video on demand) services in the US.

As an AD&D pro you cannot ignore the implications of OTT. You need to answer these questions:

  • Will you partner? Amazon made it clear that it’s making a big push to consolidate OTT players. It has 30 US SVOD services on its Fire TV platform and it’s hoping to grow. Partnering can mean growing your audience, but splitting your revenue; surrendering about 30% is standard. 
  • What will you do for analytics? What your audience watches is important for informing future content decisions. The value in partnering with Amazon is that it could potentially use product purchases, music preferences, publicly available social data and your past viewing history to come up with what you might want to watch next. That information should flow back to content creators rather than be hoarded by Amazon.
  • How will you build your OTT platform? Video platforms like Kaltura and Brightcove offer OTT templates that let you design a player and push it out to the various platforms. Brightcove is late to the game though, only just debuting its offering. Kaltura, for example, has a tool that let you white label its OTT template and go live in about a day. It can be customized depending on need.

What are your plans for OTT? Are you building a propritary one or are you using an OVP? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter