OTT Reviews

Over-the-top (OTT) video content is currently scattered all over an array of websites, devices, dongles and whatnots and is neither quick nor convenient to access. And as numbers of OTT video sources grow (note the recent AT&T launch of three DirecTV-based OTT services), the jumble just gets bigger.

OTT bypasses cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms, the companies that traditionally act as a controller or distributor of such content.

OTT stands for over-the-top, initially named in reference to devices that go “over” a cable box to give the user access to TV content. In OTT channels, content is delivered via an internet connection rather than through a traditional cable/broadcast provider.

OTT stands for “over-the-top,” as in going above and beyond cable offerings. OTT content includes movies, television shows, and other long and short-form content. This content can be streamed on computers, smartphones, and other devices.

One of the most-used phrases of 2020 went along the lines of, "COVID-19 accelerated remote/streaming/cloud trends already in play." Far and away the biggest impact on media and entertainment was the rocket that the pandemic put under streaming video and the almost overnight pivots that media organizations made to keep pace.

With nowhere to go but home for large parts of the population for most of the year, coupled with a related stoppage of live events, audience-based TV shows, and virtually all cinema distribution, we escaped to video on demand (VOD). Linear TV viewing also rose, it's true, but the existing fault lines between pay TV/broadcast and streaming services became chasms.

A November 2020 survey by TransUnion found that 71% of U.S. consumers increased their use of paid streaming services since the pandemic began in March. On average, consumers are spending 3–4 hours a day watching streaming media, with 55% choosing this type of entertainment instead of opting for a cable-TV subscription.

"Making Screen Time Family Time," a report published in December 2020 and authored by ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) network WildBrain Spark and analyst firm nScreenMedia, revealed that family co-viewing is here to stay. Of the 3,000 U.S. parents surveyed, 75% said they watch video content with their children several times a week or more. This result cuts across gender, children's ages, household income levels, and marital status.

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