5 Questions Every Ad-Supported Video Publisher Should Ask Before Jumping into OTT

Blog 4 min read | Dec 6, 2017 | JW Player


For digital video publishers, over-the-top (OTT) content delivery has become an increasingly attractive option over the past several years. By delivering quality content straight to internet-connected devices, publishers of ad-supported video on-demand (AVOD)  can generate new revenues, reach new audiences, and engage their viewers inside an immersive new environment.

According to comScore, OTT content was viewed in 51 million homes this past April, up 16% from six months prior. As more people gain access to reliable broadband internet, OTT is poised to become a crucial piece of the puzzle for video publishers of all shapes and sizes.

But in order for an ad-supported publisher to succeed in OTT, it must first take a moment to optimize its strategy for its unique audience and specific business goals. Here are five questions every publisher should ask before jumping into the OTT fray.


How does my audience currently access my content?

Before you start publishing on OTT, it’s crucial to understand how your existing audience is finding your videos.

If your brand has a sizable built-in audience who regularly visits your owned properties on the web, it’s likely that they will follow you to a connected television platform. However, publishers who rely almost entirely on social traffic might want to double-check that viewers will take proactive steps to find them.


Which platform is most important for my audience?

Consumers access OTT content through several platforms and devices.

Streaming devices like Roku and Apple TV are the most popular tools that people use to watch OTT video, making them great choices for a general, mainstream audience. If your audience leans young and male, you might choose to prioritize getting on gaming consoles like the Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

Still, publishers with the resources and the willpower can always choose to make themselves available across all major OTT platforms.


How long should my content be on OTT?

Generally speaking, ad-supported OTT content works best when it’s 10 minutes or shorter. Otherwise, you might want to consider shifting your OTT business model to sell subscriptions rather than ads.


How should I monetize my OTT content?

As a rule, most of the best practices for monetizing web video also apply in the OTT space.

It’s important not to bombard the viewer with too many ads. In a 10-minute video, one ad is ideal, and two is pushing it. AVOD publishers will also want to make sure that the length of their ads is appropriate for the length of their content. No one wants to sit through a 30-second ad just to see a 3-minute video.

Of course, these rules only apply if you’re planning to monetize your OTT content in the first place. Brand publishers like Red Bull might find that it’s enough just to get people’s attention in a new environment, while others can use unmonetized OTT video to build awareness for their monetized web channels.


How can I get started with an OTT app?

Contact us to learn more about cost-effective solutions to build audience and grow revenue with apps for Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Vewd, Android, iOS and desktop web.

Thinking about video everywhere? You may be interested in our recent blog post about reaching a mobile audience with native apps or through the mobile web.  



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Need a primer on OTT? Here’s your cheat sheet:


3 Things Every Video Publisher Should Know About OTT


OTT allows consumers to access a wide range of content on their own schedule.


One of the biggest reasons consumers love OTT is that it allows them to watch whatever they want, whenever they want to watch it.

Rather than being boxed in by a TV network’s programming schedule, an OTT viewer can opt to watch a week-old episode of their favorite show on Hulu, or a decades-old movie on Amazon Video. Meanwhile, services like CBS All-Access and WWE Network combine on-demand video archives with live sports, entertainment and news content.


OTT viewers consume content via a variety of internet-connected devices.


OTT viewers use several different methods and devices to connect their television to the internet. Here are the four primary categories:

Smart TVs contain built-in internet connections that allow viewers to use their regular television remote to bring up apps like Netflix and YouTube.

Gaming Consoles like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One contain internet connections and access to major OTT apps.

The same is true of many Blu-ray and DVD Players.

OTT Streaming Devices are created specifically to connect TVs to OTT video, and they tend to offer more content options than other connected devices. Popular devices include Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast.


OTT offers publishers three monetization models: SVOD, AVOD and TVOD.


Video publishers can make money from OTT in one of three ways.

Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) services like Netflix, Hulu and HBO Now charge consumers a monthly fee to access their content whenever they like.

Advertising Video On Demand (AVOD) services like Crackle and Tubi TV deliver ad-supported content for free.

Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD) services like iTunes and Vudu allow consumers to buy or rent individual videos on an à la carte basis.





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