Recent advancements in technology and smartphones have revolutionized the way people browse the channels of entertainment. There has been a drastic change in their lifestyles. Today, every mode of entertainment is available on the internet, accessible using mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and smart televisions.
Over the last few years, the use of traditional televisions is fading out, as more users prefer personalized content available on video streaming apps and over the top (OTT) platforms. For instance, the world's most popular OTT app Netflix is being used by more than 200 million users.
As people shift to OTT for entertainment and personalized content, the number of video streaming apps and OTT platforms is also growing fastly. Not only new startups and content creators are coming into the picture, but also the existing businesses in the media industry are following the trend. For example, ZEE Entertainment was limited to TV channels and print media, but then launched its own OTT platform called ZEE5 in 2018.
In 2021, it makes sense to think of OTT mobile app development to grab a big bite from this fast-growing trend.
An OTT app, or over the top app, is a video streaming platform that offers access to various forms of videos to the users, such as movies, web series, TV shows, etc. To browse these videos, the viewers need an internet connection and a gadget.
Most of the OTT apps ask the viewers to subscribe to browse their videos. The subscriptions are available on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or annual basis. In 2021, the most popular OTT apps are Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, etc.
Along with mobile phones, users can access OTT platforms using smart TVs, laptops, and desktop devices. A few reasons why viewers love these apps are because they get a personalized experience, ad-free content, ability to watch on-the-go, at a cost-effective price.
If you have a plan for OTT video app development this year, then this write-up is for you. In this article, we have discussed the statistics, key features of an OTT app development, estimated cost, and much more.
An essential feature to allow users to register on the app with an email address/phone number, name, username, and password. Alternatively, you can also enable registration with Google or Facebook account. This makes the user experience seamless and smooth.
To increase the number of app subscriptions and allow users to watch the content on your OTT app, ask to choose a subscription plan. The plans can be based on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual cycle.
With every plan, clearly mention the amount and savings if they choose a subscription plan for the long term. Discounts on long term plans help in acquiring users for a longer period of time.
Once registration is done, add a profile feature where users can add their details, check the status of the subscription, and other details.
If you are creating video content for a broad audience, then power the platform with multiple languages. It will allow users to browse the app in the language of their choice.
It is a must-have feature for every OTT IPTV app. More than 70% of the subscribers consider the search option extremely important to find the desired content. Furthermore, nearly half the users cancel their subscription if they find it challenging to find the desired content.
Users should be able to access the movies, TV shows, and other video content easily by searching it.
Users can’t watch all the content at a time. There are videos that they want to save for later. Having a feature to add selected videos to a specific list is great for the user experience.
The screencast feature allows users to cast the screen from the mobile app to other devices with large screens. For instance, they can watch their favourite TV shows with family by screencasting them on television, desktop, or laptop.
When users choose a subscription plan and proceed to pay, you will need to integrate a payment gateway to accept those payments. Opt for a reliable payment gateway provider that can enable multiple options for users to pay, such as debit/credit cards, net banking, UPI and ewallet apps.
Using the push notification feature, you can notify the users about the new content released on the platform. This way, they can watch the trailer or browse the videos easily.
Along with new content notifications, you can also send alerts when the subscription plan is approaching expiry, or there are new offers.
Don’t limit the users to specific video quality. They should have the option to adjust the video quality so that they can save data usage in case they are short of data. You can add options to adjust the video to a low, medium, high, and HD quality.
Subtitles and captions further enhance the user experience. If someone from a regional language background is watching an English web series, he can read the subtitles and easily consume the story.
Moreover, the subtitles are also great for those with hearing disabilities or people who have issues in watching videos with sound. This can broaden the reach of the app to a wider audience.
There should be an option to watch the content offline by downloading it to a library in the app. Most of the users don’t renew an OTT app subscription when they feel that they haven’t used it enough.
When the content is available for download, they can save videos offline and watch them whenever and wherever they want.
Content recommendations are one of the most important reasons why viewers remain stuck to an OTT streaming app. When you have a lot of content on the app, sometimes users can’t decide what to watch next.
Recommending them the content based on their search queries or preferred categories can increase user engagement and drive viewers to watch more content.
To offer a great watching experience to the users, it is essential that the video player is user-friendly. Along with the basic features like pause, play, and volume control, you should integrate some advanced features as well.
The advanced features of a video player can be the ability to forward & backwards ten seconds with a double tap on the screen, the option to adjust quality right from the video screen, and manage languages.
One of the most overlooked features in the new OTT platform app development is the integration of tracking code for analytics. It is after the launch that app owners realize the need for analytics and user insights.
Instead of integrating the tracking code later, it is highly recommended that it should be added before launch. This will help you to understand how people are engaging with your content and the app features.
Another benefit of analytics is that you can share insights with the stakeholders or investors. You can inform them how many people have subscribed to the app, for how long they are watching the content, app revenue, and much more.
When you opt for an accomplished OTT app development company, they will ensure that the tracking code is added right from the development phase.
A user-friendly dashboard can make the lives of admins easier when it comes to managing the content on the app. Regardless of the size of content or complexity of playbacks, the admin should be able to manage the payment options, users, analytics, content library, revenue, subscriptions, security, and every aspect of the platform.
There should be options to edit the system, make required changes and updates, manage user panels, as well as the videos, images, etc.
User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) will play a big role in the success of the application. Undoubtedly, content is the king in this emerging technology and rapid-growing OTT media market, but engagement is the key to long-term success.
In this highly competitive market, some crucial UI/UX design considerations can make a big difference by engaging the users and delivering an enhanced user experience.
The main reason people choose OTT apps is that it gives complete ownership to the users. They should be able to access the content across multiple devices and find the same intuitive experience.
For this purpose, you have to ensure that the UI and UX are consistent across all platforms, whether the users browse the features or watch the content.
The ultimate aim of your app is to bring as many subscribers as possible. When users decide to opt for a subscription, make sure the experience is seamless for them. UI here plays a crucial role to entice users for onboarding. Keep things straightforward and simple.
The worst thing about some apps is that the users feel lost. The apps have content but users find it challenging to get what they are looking for. It is because of poor navigation in the app.
Easy navigation can make things effortless for users to find the desired content. For instance, the menu should categorize the content properly. The menu option is generally used in the form of a hamburger. People are now used to the hamburger and can use it instantly. The search bar should be visible so that they can perform searches without any difficulty.
Typography and artwork in the app are other important UI/UX factors that drive the mood of the viewers. Fonts, colour combinations, patterns, etc. reflect the genre of the content and match with the mood of the users.
OTT and IPTV app development is a generic idea. To implement this idea, you have to pick up a niche for the content. It’s not a walk in the park to create content for all niches and achieve overnight success.
For example, you can choose your niche related to motivation, sports, fiction, etc. Specific niches are great for onboarding more users initially. When the app witnesses growth, you can include multiple niches and reach a wider audience.
What will the users be able to browse and watch once your app is released and available publicly?
The answer is some videos, web series, or any other content of your niche. Before the launch, build some content and keep it handy. Add the content to the app once it is all set for release. If there is no content, the people will not subscribe and uninstall the app.
Initially, you may need to offer some content for free. For example, Hotstar allows users to watch the first episode of a web series for free. If they like it and want to watch the next episodes, a subscription is required.
While most of the popular OTT apps today run on a subscription model, you can also choose other models as well.
In the subscription model, users pay a subscription fee and browse the content for a defined time. If you choose a transactional business model, the users will have to pay-per-use.
Some apps also choose an advertisement model to earn revenue from ads. This model is appropriate for those with a massive viewership on the platform.
And the last one is a hybrid model. In this business model, you can choose multiple models, like subscription and advertising. While users pay a subscription fee to watch content, you can still show them ads and earn additional revenue.
The last step is to finally choose a reliable OTT app development company and get the app developed. This is a step of execution and you have to ensure that you are not tricked by traditional mobile app developers or agencies.
The companies that hold expertise in such apps will be the right choice because they know what to do and what to avoid. They will develop an intuitive and user-friendly OTT application for you on the basis of your requirements.
The cost of OTT app development will depend on multiple factors. These factors include features, complexity, chosen mobile app development company, platforms (Play Store, App Store, or both), technology stack, UI, etc.
On average an OTT app development service will cost somewhere between $25,000 to $50,000. Along with the cost of development, you will also have to pay the app maintenance charges on a monthly basis, since you can’t manage everything on your own.
We hope this article helped you to understand the current scenario of the OTT app market, the latest trends, key features, how to develop a video streaming app, as well as the cost of development. You have to also ensure that the content inventory will need separate cost.
So, you should choose the development of such an app if you have a healthy budget and a strong marketing idea to drive growth and become competitive in the market.
If you have any doubts or queries, feel free to ask using the comments section below or get in touch with our consultants.