May 21, 2020
Faith-based OTT channels are an excellent way for churches to stay connected to their community if circumstances prevent them from attending in-person services. In addition, they provide great supplementary content accessible from anywhere, any time. Float Left, a direct-to-consumer OTT provider, has put together a list of the top 5 items to consider when launching a faith-based channel.
By live-streaming religious services, members are always able to attend and feel part of the congregation whether they are sick, homebound, traveling, or cannot physically attend for other reasons. Live-streaming also gives churches the opportunity to expand membership beyond the bounds of driving distance. It is important to choose a reliable, stable live-stream solution that members can depend on week after week to deliver uninterrupted video directly to their devices.
A vital aspect of any kind of OTT channel is a seamless user experience. The type of viewers who watch faith-based live-streams vary greatly in their technical competency level, ranging from novice to expert. A countdown clock is an opportune way to give all viewers confidence that they are in the correct spot and the services will be starting shortly. It will also remove any sense of doubt that the platform isn’t working properly and avoid unwanted frustration with technology.
On-demand content is another way to provide members with a convenient way to watch services and feel connected with others in the community. By providing members with a library of videos, viewers can choose what to watch and when to watch it; they aren’t bound by a set schedule. On-demand capabilities also give churches the opportunity to provide content focused on particular topics or for a smaller, defined audience (i.e. children), giving them more customized service.
Having a way to capture email addresses for members is another key feature to include in a faith-based OTT channel. As mentioned earlier, online services expand the religious community outside of the city limits and you may now have members who have never set foot inside the church. By capturing member email addresses, you will be able to communicate with ALL members and ask for donations, not just those who are able to attend in-person. As a nonprofit entity, churches rely on donations to fund services, expenses, and now OTT channels– which is why it is vital not to exclude an email capture feature.
One of the more difficult decisions you have to make when deciding to launch an OTT channel is what platforms to launch on. As far as Connected TV devices, Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Apple TV make up most of the market. It’s also important to consider Smart TVs such as Samsung, Vizio, and LG that may be in your community’s homes. Just be sure to research thoroughly before making any decisions.
Now more than ever is a time to get your faith-based OTT channel up and running to accommodate the needs of existing members and extend your reach. Float Left has experience building many religious OTT channels with their flagship, end-to-end solution, Flicast. Flicast is a combination of quick-to-market and bespoke solutions that is supported on all major devices. To learn more about our solutions or see a demo, contact our sales team today!