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What Are OTT Apps and How to Make Them

What Are OTT Apps: The Essential Guide for Businesses

OTT has grown exponentially over the last few years. The OTT market was worth $121.61 billion in 2019, which is proof enough of how vital it has become to the online video industry. It is so vital, in fact, that many video companies are asking the same question — what are OTT apps? Everyone wants to get a share of the OTT pie and jump on the bandwagon that has helped businesses, including Netflix, expand at a rapid rate.

In 2021, it is expected that there will be more than 50 million cord-cutters in the US. This is a trend no one should disregard. The way people want to consume online content has changed. Instead of having to watch at home, viewers are accessing content wherever they want and on whatever device they have at hand: smartphone, tablet, or other. Given that a huge portion of people watch TV on devices other than a TV, OTT has become a necessity.

OTT devices ensure your audience gets more. With this service, their options for content are endless. They are not confined by one time slot — they can tune in to watch whenever they have time, meaning they won’t miss any content because they have other obligations.

Considering the above, these apps can help your business grow. But, what are OTT apps exactly? This article will help you understand the new way of distributing video content to your audience!

What Are OTT Apps?

An OTT app, or over-the-top application, is any app that relies on the internet connection to deliver online video content to a customer’s smartphone, tablet, or smart TV. This way of distributing content over the internet bypasses the traditional distribution methods such as cable or satellite. It is also one of the most popular methods of getting your content to your audience.

There was a 115% increase in OTT streaming to smart TV between 2020 and 2021. This is because OTT apps allow consumers to instantly stream video content they love on their devices. Whether it’s a popular TV show, movie, or a class on how to improve their video marketing strategies, customers can watch it wherever and whenever suits them best, which is a huge advantage of OTT.

What’s more, access to video content via OTT apps is usually subscription-based, with users having to renew their subscription each month, or ad-supported. These ways of OTT monetization have been massively adopted across industries. Apart from entertainment and sports companies developing their own OTT apps, businesses operating in the education, gaming, and health and fitness industries are also turning to the OTT app model to distribute video content.

What Are the Benefits of OTT Apps?

It’s not surprising that people have decided to move away from traditional television. Why is that? Because technology has advanced so much that we now have more convenient ways to watch our favorite shows. From visiting popular video-sharing websites such as YouTube to opening your favorite OTT streaming service, online video has never been more accessible than it is today.

But the above shows why consumers prefer OTT apps. The question is — what’s in it for you? Quite a lot if you ask us!

Access to an Engaged Audience

OTT video apps deliver your content exactly where your viewers are engaged the most. According to one study, 80% of US consumers subscribe to a paid streaming video service. Additionally, online streaming services have a 65% penetration in the UK today. So, getting your viewers to use your OTT app won’t be an impossible feat since that is clearly how they prefer to consume online content.

Your OTT app will provide the best viewing experience to your customers no matter on which device they want to watch your content — smart TVs, smartphones, or tablets.

Ability to Reduce Customer Churn

When your video content is widely available, then it will be easier for people to access and consume it. As a result, customer churn will be reduced, which is what every marketer wants to achieve. But, what is customer churn?

Customer churn is the number of customers who stopped using your service during a certain period of time. This term is used for the people who, in this case, start free trials, but then never renew them, or who cancel their subscriptions right after checking out your OTT app.

Businesses work hard to reduce customer churn. Some of them identify the reasons why customers leave in order to prevent a huge percentage of customer churn. A small survey is what it takes to find out their reasons for leaving. In most cases, users state they don’t have enough time to watch content they like.

This could mean that your content is not available on a certain channel or device. It isn’t convenient to stream your content on a laptop while commuting or waiting at the doctor’s office. People still want to consume videos during these activities, but they won’t if it isn’t available on their preferred device.

By making your content available on every device through an OTT app, you will reduce customer churn and ensure people have the time they need for your content.


Nowadays, we have access to the internet wherever we go, at any time, and from any device. This works in favor of OTT apps. Customers don’t need to be at home to watch content they crave. They could be commuting, traveling to another location, or simply soaking up the sun somewhere and still watch their favorite show or movie. If you develop an OTT mobile app (or one for other devices), you enable your audience to consume your content whenever it is convenient to them.

In contrast, traditional cable networks depend on certain physical and geographical boundaries. You can’t take the content on these networks with you. But you can if you have an OTT app. This technology brings a certain level of convenience we all are after.

How to Make an OTT App

OTT apps bring various benefits to businesses, as you can see from the above. It is no wonder that publishers are rushing to create their own apps and make their content available to a wider audience. If you want to launch your own app, we’ll give you a few tips on how to make an OTT app!

Hire an App Developer

The first option you have is to hire someone to develop OTT apps for you. If you have a budget, then an agency or a developer can build custom OTT apps you can launch for your viewers. These apps will be built from scratch for your business, boasting specifications you need.

What’s more, the length of the entire process depends on the app and the features you need. This will influence the price of the agency or developer’s service as well. But don’t forget that you will need to cover monthly expenses of running the app, support, and hosting.

If you want to launch comprehensive OTT apps, you should look for a premium agency. Although this will be a big investment, it will pay off in the long run.

If this option isn’t convenient for you, we have another one to answer your question about how to build OTT apps!

Leverage the Service of an OTT Platform Provider

Relying on the service of an OTT platform provider is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to create an OTT app. This option means you will rent the OTT services of a company that offers an OTT platform.

As you can see, this solution is similar to the first one we mentioned. But there is a difference. Namely, instead of spending thousands of dollars to launch OTT apps, you will rent them for a fixed amount every month as long as you decide to have the apps running. These apps are usually white-labeled which means your audience won’t know they are being leased for a service provider.

We’ll leave it to you to decide which of these options suits your business most!


As the OTT market is expected to grow even more in the future, we recommend you start thinking about launching your OTT apps to support your video-oriented business. You have a chance to make it big in the OTT industry, and you shouldn’t disregard the opportunity!