OTT platforms are created so that providers can deliver various content to their viewers. They can deliver TV programming, catch-ups, live streams, and VOD (video-on-demand) content.
VOD platforms bring flexibility and convenience to consumers. They can watch videos on the go compared to traditional television with fixed schedules. Moreover, VOD platforms provide personalized experiences and extensive content libraries. Some services even have an OTT recommendation engine, enriching the overall user experience.
Let’s explore what features of a VOD platform can improve the user experience.
Table of Contents
Critical VOD Features for Enhancing User Experience
#1 Improved search performance
When you have a vast content selection, you will probably want your viewers to explore it. For this reason, the search functionality should be robust.
You may simplify the search with a recommendation engine that analyzes a user’s viewing history and provides relevant suggestions. Instead of spending time looking for a new video to watch, people take advantage of offered content that suits their preferences.
#2 Multiple access plans
Viewers’ preferences and payment opportunities vary. Some can find paying for each video uncomfortable, while others consider rentals a preferred purchase option. Some people favor subscriptions, and some opt for free content with advertisements during playback.
You may consider introducing several pricing models to your plans. For example, offering a monthly subscription that eliminates ads or the option to access content for free with advertisements is a thoughtful approach. Some OTT platforms charge a fee for both plans, with the ad-supported plan being the more cost-effective choice. This flexibility ensures that viewers can choose the payment model that aligns with their interests.
Another option is to limit the devices from which people can access your content. For example, TVALB, delivering Albanian channels live, offers customers the choice of watching content only on a mobile device or on three devices.
Analytics functionality is necessary for companies involved in the VOD streaming process. Comprehensive analytics data offers valuable insights into user preferences, behaviors, and content performance, highlighting emerging trends.
Tracking viewer preferences, demographics, and other information can help you make data-driven decisions for optimizing content and fueling overall service growth. You will be able to provide better offerings to your customers.
#4 Adaptive bitrate streaming
Adaptive bitrate streaming refers to a streaming video quality that also influences the user experience.
Ensuring an adaptive bitrate streaming requires the transcoding process to take place. The transcoder creates copies of a video in different sizes suitable for various screen resolutions. This is necessary for creating multiple streams at different bitrates instead of providing a stream in one bitrate.
As a result, the user’s player chooses the most appropriate file best suited for the current internet speed, bandwidth, and receiving device screen size.
Furthermore, adaptive bitrate streaming is a continuous process utilizing a dynamic approach. It means that the bitrate and resolution will be altered in case network conditions on the user side change.
#5 Cross-platform compatibility
Users will likely enjoy the content availability on various devices and operating systems. With diverse preferences in devices and viewing habits, some may prefer mobile devices for on-the-go watching while others seek the immersive experience of high-quality visuals and sound on a TV. This will influence the overall user experience.
Also, by offering multi-platform applications, providers can expand their reach to a broader audience, potentially leading to increased revenue generation.
Prioritizing user experience is of utmost importance, as it significantly impacts whether users will choose to continue using your service or not. Therefore, it is essential to assess the technology you employ for streaming to ensure it meets all the requirements for delivering a seamless viewing experience.