If you’re looking to rapidly grow your online video business, you’ve probably heard a lot about OTT apps.
They have the power to supercharge your growth, drastically increase your income, and bring in legions of die-hard fans. They’re the next logical step for any subscription video business who wants to reach a larger audience.
But are you ready to start using them in your business?
If you make the jump at the right time, your business will have the opportunity to thrive on all of the new benefits OTT apps bring.
But, if you make the jump too soon, you run the risk of creating more problems than you solve. Leaving yourself in a less-than-ideal position.
So how do you know if your business is ready to make the jump?
Well, that’s where this checklist comes in.
If you can check all six of the next boxes, your business is ready to take on the world of OTT apps. But, if not, you need to make some changes to prepare yourself. Read on to find out more.
1. Do You Have A Clear Brand Message?
The first piece of the OTT apps puzzle is having a clear brand message.
Your business needs to have an underlying theme that people can get behind. It’s that emotion, idea or feeling which makes people feel they want to interact with your channel.
This doesn’t mean you only create videos around one topic. Instead, it means you have a consistent theme that surrounds everything you create. Let me show you an example.
Torah Treasure is a children’s educational content creator. They create kids shows using puppets and overly exaggerated characters to share concepts and ideas. As you can probably gather from the name, they have a Jewish brand message.
You can watch shows on Mitzvah Boulevard to learn Hebrew. You can follow animated adventures in the Wonders of Hashem, or you can learn about science with Mitzventions.
They have a clear target audience.
If you’re an Orthodox Jewish parent in an English-speaking country, there is a good chance this product’s branding will resonate with you in some way.
If you’re a non-religious parent, you’re probably not going to give up Netflix Kids to swap to them. But that’s exactly the message Torah Treasure wants to send.
Can you say the same about your brand?
Do you have a clear brand message that attracts people with specific interests, beliefs or from a certain demographic? And does it repel people who aren’t a good fit?
If so you’re ready to move onto the next section of this checklist. But if you don’t, or if you’re not sure, it pays to ask your existing customers what it is about your brand or product that made you a good fit for them. Uncover the message and try to hammer it home.
2. Do You Have Consistent Design And Branding?
Design plays a huge role in your video business.
Before creating an OTT app, you need to have instantly recognizable design and branding that you use in everything you create. This means your:
- Video players
Are all consistent and use your brand colors. Much like your brand message, this will help you to stand out and leave an impression on the customers you do want to attract.
Many video business owners make the mistake of having ad-hoc branding that is thrown together using sites like Fiverr. While this is okay as a bootstrapping YouTuber when you’re venturing into OTT apps you have to up your game.
This might sound trivial, but the colors you use can leave a lasting impression on your users.
Take a look at the three color palettes from Color Hex below. Can you tell which companies they’re from?
If you said:
Even without their logo, you could tell exactly who they are and create a picture of their business in their head.
If you want your OTT app to stand out from the rest of the apps they’ve downloaded, and attract customers who consistently watch your content; you need to ensure you have your branding and colors in order.
Take a look at Wanderlust below. They’ve got instantly recognizable branding that leaves an impression on their audience:
3. Do You Already Have Paying Customers?
This step comes down to how you make money through your current video business.
If you already have a successful SVOD platform that is generating $500 to $1000+ per month from paying subscribers, you can skip this section and jump onto the next one.
If you’re running an SVOD platform that is making less than those figures I highly recommend you spend more time growing your platform before looking at OTT apps. There are still kinks to work out in your business, and they’re done preferably before you launch an app.
You can get our tips on growing your SVOD business here.
If you’re a YouTuber or creator who is making money through advertising and not subscriptions, then I recommend you ignore OTT apps for now and first look at creating an SVOD platform.
This is a vital step in learning how to create long-term content that people will pay for. It’s a different style of business to creating viral or advertiser-led videos (and a much better one), and you’ll want to learn that skill before invest in your app.
You can learn about SVOD and how you can create your own Netflix here.
4. Do You Have A Proven Content Formula?
Great OTT apps are built around excellent content people love to watch.
This comes from a creator knowing the exact content their audience is looking for and creating it in a unique and enjoyable way.
People tune into a TV show or channel because they can “predict” what that show will provide for them:
- They’ll learn a new skill
- They’ll gain a new perspective
- They’ll see a progression in a story
- They’ll feel a particular emotion
Creators who are ready for OTT apps are already consistently creating this content, for a paying audience, and know which of their audience’s buttons they need to press.
Take TMilly TV for example:
They create hip-hop choreography videos from some of Los Angeles’s top instructors. The founder Tim Milgram refined this content over on his YouTube channel before launching a subscription platform for it.
When his customers watch his videos they know it’ll:
- Be Hip-hop focused
- Come from an LA choreographer they know
- Teach them a new dance move
Tim’s formula doesn’t stray from this. You won’t learn to dance to Iron Maiden’s latest single from an NYC dance instructor, for example.
He knows his content and who he’s creating it for. And before you launch an OTT app, you need to know the same!
5. Do You Have A Continued Content Development Strategy?
To run an OTT app you need to have a plan for future content, and have content prepared months or weeks in advance.
Unlike a YouTube channel or small platform, you can’t miss uploads or go long periods without adding new content. You need to be continually creating, upload and sharing.
Like Magic Stream share on their page you need to be way ahead of yourself:
Do you have a bank of content that will see your business through the first six to 12 weeks after you launch? And do you have a plan to consistently create content into the future with minimal interruptions?
If you do, you’re dangerously close to being able to start your own OTT app.
If you’re not in that position yet, don’t worry. Take the time to create the content you need and draw out a plan for the videos you’ll need over the coming months. The few weeks it’ll take to do it is a small price to pay for the benefits it’ll give you when you launch!
6. Do You Have A Pricing Strategy?
It’s important to have a pricing strategy you believe in before you create an OTT platform.
Do you know how much you want to charge and how often you want to bill out?
This is a personal question that you’ll need to answer for yourself and your business. You’ll need to make the pricing worthwhile and make sure it’s enough to fund the growth and future of your business.
I do recommend you stick with a subscription video business model. But what you charge will depend on you. Uscreen has people who host sell their videos from $12.99 per month through to $298!
Did You Make The Grade?
How did you do?
If you were able to check all six of these boxes you’re ready to create an OTT app for your video business. Great news!
To learn more about how you can do that I recommend you check out our guide on how to create your own Roku app.
But if you couldn’t tick all six of these off just yet, I’d love to hear from you. What did you miss out on, and how can we help you complete the checklist?
Let me know in the comments.