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What Is OTT?

If you have read any articles about the broadcasting space in the last few years, chances are you have seen the acronym “OTT” floating around. So, what exactly is OTT? Let’s take a closer look at what it is, and why it matters.

OTT is an acronym that stands for “over-the-top” and refers to content like television shows and movies that is delivered via the internet, rather than a traditional pay-TV services like cable or satellite. OTT is one of the most popular forms of entertainment out there right now because it serves as the intersection between television and digital video–a direction no one debates content like TV shows and movies are moving in.

OTT has disrupted the broadcasting space like nothing else because it offers a reasonable alternative to things like cable and satellite television packages. Packages that used to be the only way a consumer could get access to most visual content. As such, OTT has forced the cost of traditional pay-TV packages drastically down. However, even with the price cuts it seems as the OTT is taking so much of the market away from traditional pay-TV packages that it might eliminate them all together at some point.

Now, at first glance this may make it seem like OTT is a bad thing for satellite and cable providers, but that is not necessarily true. What it does mean is that major satellite and cable companies are going to have to change their business strategy a bit. That’s why you see major players like DISH Network coming out with their own OTT services!

DISåH Network now offers Sling TV. Sling TV has over 2 million subscribers at last count, and has been consistently growing every quarter according to DISH. Sling is DISH Network’s own OTT service. Sling customers basically get access to a-la-carte TV. Which means that, unlike with traditional pay-TV packages, you only have to pay for channels that you use. That’s why Sling is able to offer starting rates of only $20 a month–a far cry less than the cheapest cable package on the market.

So what prompted this market shift towards OTT? A lot of things, but there is one factor that served as a clear impetus for this massive change: Netflix. Netflix’s streaming popularity so exceeded everyone’s wildest predictions. At this point, more people in the U.S. have a Netflix subscription than a cable package.

While Netflix may have started the movement, there are a number of huge players in this field now including Hulu and HBO. Where will this OTT movement end? It’s hard to tell. The one thing that seems to be true is that it is here to stay.

Thankfully, the popularity of OTT is a good thing for the consumer! There have never been more OTT options than there are in 2018. Of course, that also means that it is becoming much more difficult for any new OTT players to get noticed. For now, we encourage you to take the time to check out Sling TV! It’s one of our favorites.

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