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Over The Top – OTT Platforms

Over The Top – OTT Platforms

Online Content Providing is gaining momentum all over the world. “Over The Top or OTT” is an Online Media Service where Streaming Audio, Streaming Video, Messaging and Voice Calling services are provided over the Internet. OTT does not involve Cable, Broadcast and Satellite Television platforms.

At one time, watching Movies was only possible at theaters. With the introduction of Television, movies were made available for personal viewing. At least a portion of the viewers shifted to watching movies at their leisure, on Television. Most of the movies must be viewed in Theaters with advanced audio and video effects (also 3D, 4D and Dolby Systems) and viewing them on a small screen does not give the viewer the best results. So, Theaters still continued to be in business.

Channels have to acquire the royalty or license for broadcasting movies from the producers for a cost, due to which not all movies are available to public viewing over Television Channels. One and the same movie keeps showing on the TV Channels again and again. Commercial advertisements at intervals of 10 and 15 minutes drags the movie. Since the movie has to finish in a stipulated time slot (of two to two and a half hours in total), Channels have to cut many scenes to incorporate the commercial advertisements which is a big revenue for them. End result – the viewer does not get to view complete movie and he/she has to compulsorily pass through the mundane advertisements.

Cable TV and Direct To Home (DTH) services helped the customers to subscribe and view channels of their choice at affordable payments. Customers get to view a variety of channels on local, regional and international languages. But then also, there exist an issue about portability, repeated airing of the same movies as well as commercial advertisements. DTH is restricted in number of concurrent connections. Hence, one may need to subscribe for multiple STBs/Connection to feed multiple TVs at their location, which makes the cost for DTH Subscription go high.

With the advancement in the Internet Technology, things have started changing very fast. Audio and Video streaming made possible and that too at excellent speeds using high speed/bandwidth connections. 3G, 4G and 5G connections over the Mobile Network and Broadband Internet has enabled absolute portability and one can watch a full movie subject to the make and model of his/her Mobile Phones, Tablets, iPad (using Mobile Data services), Notebook and Desktop (having WiFi/Cable Connectivity).

Smart Televisions and Smart Phones/Portable Devices have evolved side by side and Apps of various kinds are available now. OTT started taking over the DTH slowly. OTT platforms like Amazon Prime, Netflix, HotStar, Zee5, SonyLiv, ShowTime, Starz, HBO etc. have started providing streaming videos using their Apps on Smart TVs and Mobile Devices. A revolution has started with the introduction of OTT Platforms and now with a Broadband or High Speed Mobile Data connection, you can subscribe and watch a huge collection of Movies, Serials, Drama and whatever is provided as Streaming Video over the Internet. You are watching all these at your convenience, at your own personal space and without any commercial advertisements in between. DTH is becoming less and less important because of the OTT platforms. OTT Providers keep on adding new content much more frequently than the DTH/TV Channels. High Quality Music is also available from many OTT Providers which you can be downloaded on your devices and listened to locally/online at your convenience. Many of the OTT Subscription are affordable and many of them are provided free of cost by the DTH Providers for their subscribers. The cost of data services have gone down drastically in the last few years which has raised the number of average users including the rural areas as well.

Due to the Covid-19 situation and restrictions, many are thinking on releasing their movies/serials over the OTT Platforms and some of them have already come online. This will definitely have an impact on Theaters, Distributors and all those involved in the distribution and show chain.

I think OTT Platforms are the future whether it be Audio, Video, Messaging or , Voice Calling, if there is reliable and consistent Internet Connection. What do you think?

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Over The Top Platforms

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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