OTT platforms have seen exponential growth over the past few years, driving people away from traditional TV and attracting the linear TV audience towards itself.
OTT, or over the top, refers to the streaming content that you can watch on your smartphones, laptops, tablets, and similar gadgets. Linear TV refers to the traditional manner of watching TV, in which viewers can only watch the content that is presented at its scheduled time.
Chris Mack, Streaming Editor of StreamingRant.com, believes that OTT platforms are winning audiences worldwide thanks to their huge content libraries and the liberty the users get with their usage. He believes that VPNs are another reason for the rise of the streaming platforms, as they let the user access any country’s content library across all OTT platforms.
OTT Content vs. Linear TV Content
Unlike linear TV, where a user has to wait for his favorite shows to broadcast, OTT lets its users choose what they want to watch at any time they want. People are ditching traditional linear TV and switching to OTT because it unlocks an ocean of content and gives them the liberty to play, replay and pause the content anytime they want.
The popularity of streaming platforms in the pandemic mainly happened due to the content diversity on the OTT platforms. Certain shows are restricted to linear TV only due to copyright issues. People choose linear TV over the OTT platforms in such cases to access the linear TV exclusive shows and movies.
The comparison of OTT and linear TV in terms of the payment goes in favor of the latter, as linear TV payment plans are relatively cheaper than OTT platforms.
While both offer monthly and yearly payment plans, but some people prefer paying for linear TV as a whole family can enjoy the viewing experience at one time. In contrast, OTT favors the viewing experience for an individual rather than a group of people.
OTT platforms’ payment plans differ from platform to platform, as all major platforms like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Prime Video, etc., have different plans, so the users subscribe to the platform according to the content they want to watch.
As opposed to linear TV ads, OTT ads are targeted and are mostly based on the user’s interest. Even if the short OTT ads get annoying, users can get rid of them by subscribing to packages that omit those ads.
On the contrary, viewers have to wait through the TV ads, as sometimes they can go for painfully long lengths, which also disturbs the user experience.
The future of OTT and linear TV
Both the linear TV and the OTT platforms are expected to grow together in the future. While Television viewers will increase thanks to the exclusive content that is unavailable on the streaming platforms, the OTT platforms will grow thanks to the liberty it gives to its users and also due to the streaming exclusive content.
Cheap internet plans and ads-based content will also contribute to the rise of OTT platforms. More people will invest in the streaming entertainment industry thanks to the users’ humongous response towards the online platforms.
Streaming Platforms are changing the dynamics of the entertainment industry. Considering all the factors discussed above, one may predict that the future of OTT platforms indeed looks brighter than that of linear TV (even though linear TV may also grow up in the future).
The introduction of OTT platforms has definitely damaged the linear TV audience. However, a recent report claimed that countries like India where the linear TV audience continues to grow despite a surge in OTT subscribers.
A reason behind this unusual claim could be the content medium, as OTT content is mainly watched on smartphones and tablets; linear TV is watched on TV sets, which has a dedicated audience.
While OTT carries a great charm and appeal, some people still prefer to stick to linear TV. Maybe they don’t like to knock off the traditional touch in their lives and like to stick to the old and conventional way of watching their favorite shows at scheduled times with a gazillion ads.