How Branded OTT Apps Help Niche Broadcasters Stand Out on Connected TV

Blog 4 min read | Aug 27, 2021 | JW Player


Niche broadcasters are using OTT apps to differentiate themselves from competitors with unique viewer experiences on connected TV platforms


In 2021, smaller broadcasters outside the traditional big six have a unique opportunity to leverage OTT apps to reach niche audiences. Attracting loyal audiences with specialized programming allows them deepen engagement, increase subscription revenue, and sell high demand Connected TV ad inventory – ultimately growing market share.

Connected TV digital video viewing is nearly 2x desktop/laptop viewing and is forecasted to overtake mobile viewing by the end of this year. Through OTT apps, digital native broadcasters can reach new audiences where they are already primarily consuming entertainment content. 


Top 3 Best Practices for Branded OTT Apps 

Audiences expect media brands to deliver compelling video experiences to them across web, mobile, and connected TV. With churn rates for subscription OTT services hitting 20% at the end of 2020, and as the industry expands with more niche broadcasters turning to their own OTT apps, it’s more important than ever to provide optimum viewing experiences. 

JW Player provides quick and scalable solutions for launching premium viewing experiences across every video screen. Based on our learnings from working with some of the top broadcasters in the industry, launching a branded OTT app that successfully converts means ensuring that it’s a discoverable, flexible, and enjoyable destination for fans.


1. Discoverability is key to competing in a saturated market

As the fastest growing platform for video, OTT broadcasters are competing in a saturated market that includes heavy-hitters like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO. To drive consumption, find as many entry points to your OTT app as you can. This can be done by ensuring your OTT web app is SEO-friendly, optimized for third-party platforms like Roku, Fire TV, and Apple Tv, and to always be marketing. Point your loyal fans towards your OTT-only offerings through traditional marketing campaigns, social media, and by referencing them on your most active channels. For example, local news stations can promote a new app on-air or via their social media accounts.

JW Player’s OTT app solution includes built-in optimization tools to make sure content is easy to find whether it’s a web-only app, or accessible via universal search across connected TV devices.

To learn more about how to make your OTT app more discoverable in a crowded market, download the JW Player Industry Report: Video Industry Insights for Digital Broadcasters: Reach New Audiences on New Screens


2. Provide a superior viewing experience wherever, whenever

In 2021, viewers have dozens of streaming services at their fingertips to choose from. Ultimately, they’ll open up their wallets for one thing: content that they can’t find anywhere else. To retain those viewers long-term and to win their business if the content isn’t exclusive to their service, however, OTT content providers need to deliver the best viewing experience possible.

It’s important for OTT content providers to allow viewers access wherever, whenever. OTT content providers should (1) offer their content across multiple platforms and devices, (2) use personalized functionality such as a “Continue Watching” feature, (3) provide multi-language access through features such as closed captioning and multi-track audio, and (4) provide catch-up functionality such as “Live-to-VOD” for users who might miss a live broadcast.

BabyFirst OTT Apps - JW Player Video Case Study

To learn more about how to make OTT apps more user-friendly to keep an audience highly engaged, download the JW Player case study with BabyFirst.

Related: JW Player and Applicaster Team Up to Launch Integrated OTT Management Solution

3. Use viewer and subscriber data to inform your engagement strategy

Providing the best content and the best viewing experiences for your audience starts with understanding your viewers in the first place. Deep data and insights are key to achieving this.

Using built in analytics & recommendations, OTT content providers can track and optimize viewer engagement. Analytics help you to understand where your viewers are coming from, the kinds of content they’re viewing, and the types of content that they’re completing. This knowledge can help to determine an effective content strategy that is sure to resonate with existing fans. 

JW Player’s Recommendations and Series Management functionalities also aim to extend viewers’ time spent in your app by using metadata to anticipate and serve up the content that a viewer might want to watch next.

Download the JW Player report on broadcast industry insights, including best practices for OTT app producers here.

Video Industry Insights for Digital Broadcasters

Download the JW Player playbook, Video Industry Insights for Digital Broadcasters: Reach New Audiences on New Screens to learn more on monetization models, engagement, and branded OTT solutions.

JW Player offers a premium video monetization platform for broadcasters of all shapes and sizes. Learn more about our video solutions for film, TV, and digital-first broadcasters here.