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  • Parmis Parsa


Over-the-top network platforms, commonly known as "OTTs," have completely changed the way we consume media for the better. Although you might not be familiar with the term, chances are you’ve most definitely heard of, or used an OTT platform recently.

What is an OTT Platform?

OTT stands for “over the top”, these media platforms offer content to viewers via the internet. They go “over the top” of the usual content distributors (broadcast, cable, and satellite) to stream content to audiences directly through the web. These are generally divided into three categories: SVOD, TVOD, and AVOD. What do these terms mean?

SVOD- Subscription Video on Demand

SVOD allows users to consume as much content as desired for a monthly or yearly flat rate. Since SVODs allow the consumer to opt out from a subscription whenever they want, the best services have realized that the best way to retain their customers is to put out new content constantly. This has created a very competitive market where big streaming platforms all compete for the rights to popular libraries and try to make high-quality content of their own. This has led to huge changes in the entire entertainment industry and the evolution of platforms like Hulu and Netflix from streaming services to media giants.

Top 5 Most Popular SVODs: Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max

AVOD- Advertising-Based Video on Demand

You’ve probably used an AVOD platform recently without even realizing it. These networks allow audiences to stream content on-demand, usually for free and without a subscription, and make money through ads. They’re sort of an in-between of SVODs and traditional television. They give you the comfort and ability to play content whenever and wherever you are, but you still have to sit through ads.

There are two types of AVOD platforms: premium and freemium. Premium AVODs usually have larger libraries and newer content. However, in most cases, new content is rarely streamed on AVODs, as they do not generate the revenue that SVODs do. That’s why you’ll see whole collections of classic films on these services but won’t be able to see the latest season of a popular show or the latest film releases. But AVODs are popular due to their convenience, and the fact that they’re completely free has gained them millions of viewers.

Top 8 Most Popular AVODs: Youtube, Peacock, Hulu, Facebook Watch, Roku Channel, Crackle, Tubi, Pluto TV

TVOD- Transactional Video on Demand

TV on demand is the oldest way of watching TV digitally. TVOD platforms function as streamers of pay-per-view content. Unlike with SVODs, where you pay a subscription, with these services you pay to watch a specific piece of media.The benefits of using a TVOD platform are that you can access new content pretty much the moment it’s put out, and you can digitally own the piece of media you purchase forever. The only downside is the fact that you have to pay for every separate piece of content, which makes it the most expensive category of the three. This is also why SVODs like Netflix and Amazon Prime have quickly surpassed them in popularity.

Top 3 Most Popular TVODs: Apple’s iTunes, Amazon Video, Sky Box Office

In the world of OTT, these are the three distinct but related ways through which we consume content. Out of these, SVOD is by far the most popular. In fact, a recent survey found that more Americans pay for streaming services than for cable. It’s crazy to think about, considering that just a few years ago almost every household relied on cable television as the main source for entertainment and news. This only proves how dynamic media consumption is. What is the norm one day can be ancient history the next. What this also goes to show is that there is so much room for innovation when it comes to OTTs. It’s hard to tell for sure what the future holds for OTTs, but as long as there’s an audience for it, it can work.

Which OTT platforms do you use?

Contact the Aperteur Network team today at !

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