When launching an OTT service, hundreds of questions run through your mind. What is my OTT strategy? Which platforms are the most important? How should I monetize? When will I begin to see an ROI? How can I best market by service?
One question, however, is typically overlooked, and perhaps the importance of the answer is too. That question is, how important is it when choosing my OTT partner? Generally, publishers would categorize this as the developer or the vendor in launching your OTT service. Is this vendor considered a partner or just the team of people who help launch your OTT service? The answer to that question is simply yes; they are a partner. If you are choosing the right vendor than they should act as a partner, and not just your technology solution. Ultimately when deciding who is the best OTT partner for your business, the following questions should be addressed:
What is their core business?
You may think this question is non-relevant, however with several companies popping up, claiming that they can also develop and launch your OTT applications, you should ask yourself, do they have the experience. Is their expertise in OTT application development? Typically these types of organizations claim they can do it all but are they doing it all that well? The best option would be to seek out organizations who partner with Developers (or vice versa) who offer a best-of-breed solution, between OTT application development and video services. Organizations who focus on one core service tend to do it very well, and that is essential for the success of your OTT service.
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Are they really proven and deployed?
When digging into your OTT partner’s history, it is crucial to understand their portfolio of work and not just the logos they list on their website. The term “proven and deployed” comes up very frequently in the OTT industry; however, it is necessary to understand what that means. Have they launched applications for these clients using their solution? Are those applications successful, and still in the market today? Do those clients still utilize their technology? Sometimes, organizations are white-labeling services that are proven and deployed; however, the white-label itself is not. This is very important to be able to differentiate and understand when selecting your OTT partner.
Reference Check, Please!
Just as you would request references for a potential employee you are hiring, it is important to request references from your OTT partner. At this point, you may already know who you would like to select, and generally, 3-4 references can help solidify your decision. Through these reference checks, you can gain a better understanding of how the development phase went, how their client management skills were, and how helpful they have been post-launch.
OTT Partner or Vendor?
Lastly, when navigating through the sales/proposal process, it’s essential to identify the approach that was taken by the OTT partner. Did they offer a consultative approach on how to best launch your service, through the user-experience, design, advertising strategy, platform selection, etc.? Or was it merely a trade-off of pricing and packages. Considering that your budget aligns with their pricing, a vendor that comes out of the gate offering a more consultative approach, right away signals that they will provide the best service for the long term. Not only are launching the applications key, but it’s also important your partner is in constant communication regarding the latest and greatest in the world of OTT.
In the business of OTT, the one who steps out with their best foot forward tends to experience the most longevity and success. Generating revenue on a service that is dependent on the user experience, content and overall technology is best done with the right solution by your side. Vendor or Partner? You decide.