As the demand for OTT is growing rapidly in the developed markets, operators in the emerging markets are not sure about the timing of adopting OTT model for new revenues. As an overlay, businesses need to overcome these bottlenecks for the successful adoption of OTT platform.
High speed data infrastructure:
The high quality and high speed network is not ubiquitous in the developing markets, thus challenging businesses in the adoption of OTT. Even if there are growing investments in broadband infrastructure for improved network speed and performance, the caps on bandwidth is a hindrance to watch videos at any time. Also, wireless doesn’t always provide required bandwidth to stream the video content in these markets.
Content delivery networks to be established:
Unlike traditional Cable TV and DTH players who are able to pull and provide large amounts of exclusive content to the consumers through their established networks, OTT players are not well equipped to provide the variety of content at this point. For the successful adoption of OTT, media service providers and content producers need to at least have partnered with content distribution networks (CDN) if not establishing their own.
Competition from free services:
In contrast to markets in developed regions, free-to-air services offered by traditional operators to attract new sub-base is a hitch for service providers to extend their offerings with premium services.
Lack of consumer awareness:
The major challenge in emerging markets is the lack of consumer awareness of OTT. And with the availability of pirated content or content at low prices, people are not keen in paying significant amount for the content.
Yes, there are several bottlenecks to clear and challenges to overcome. Given this,
Should operators in these markets start thinking about OTT?
YES. They need to, but they need not invest huge amounts to start off. Instead, they need to start thinking about multi-screen / second screen and see how it can be established.
They can start positioning premium services alongside offering free services that helps expand their user base. This way they can slowly establish against OTT presence and attract new customers, reduce churn and improve customer experience with attractive one-stop service offerings.
To meet the challenges of the developing markets and mark their presence as established OTT providers, they need to converge with right technology partners to leverage emerging business models and stay ahead of the competition.