Where to get fresh & engaging content for video streaming services?
As the demand for video streaming services continues to grow, more and more businesses are entering the market, creating their own new online streaming services, and trying to make it to the top of the streaming service providers list. One of the key challenges for any (and especially new) video streaming company is acquiring high-quality OTT content to fill their platform and offer it to their subscribers. In this article, we will discuss some strategies for obtaining content for your video streaming service.
What are the possible options to acquire linear TV and OTT content for the IPTV/OTT service
Directly from content creators
This could include major broadcasters, cable networks, and other providers of TV programming. By negotiating directly with content creators, you may be able to secure rights to their programming at a lower cost than through other means.
There are companies that act as intermediaries between content creators and service providers. These aggregators package content from multiple sources and sell it to IPTV and OTT providers as a bundle.
From consultancy agency
Some consultancy agency helps a company to create and negotiate contracts with content providers.
From tech vendors
Some IPTV and OTT service providers purchase turnkey solutions from tech vendors. These solutions include not only the technology infrastructure to deliver the content, but also the content itself, which is often sourced from a variety of providers.
It is important to note that some of these options may not be available in all regions, and the availability of specific content may vary depending on the country or region in which the service is being offered.
Other potential content sources for your OTT or IPTV service
In addition to the options mentioned above, there are a few other ways to acquire content for an OTT or IPTV service. Please be aware that getting streams from sources below does not mean that you have automatically secured content rights. So always check with your content source and with content owner if you have sufficient content rights and to what extent.
Other potential sources of content can be:
From other service providers
Some OTT and IPTV providers have agreements in place to share content with one another. This can be a good way to secure rights to a wider range of programming without having to negotiate with every individual content creator.
Through content distribution platforms
There are platforms that provide a marketplace for content providers to list their programming and for service providers to search for and purchase content.
From local content providers
Depending on the country or region in which your service is being offered, there may be local content providers that produce programming that is specific to that area. Negotiating deals with these providers can be a good way to differentiate your service and appeal to a local audience.
From over-the-air broadcasting
Service providers can use their own antenna and tuners to capture free over-the-air signals and then retransmit those channels over the Internet or via cable to customers.
It's worth noting that in order to acquire the content legally you need to get the content rights for distribution for your service. Some content providers may only offer rights for a limited period of time, or only for certain territories or platforms.
License OTT content or enter into partnerships with over-the-top content providers
One of the most effective ways to get over-the-top content for your video or tv streaming program is to license content or enter into partnerships with content providers. This can include major studios and networks, as well as independent producers and distributors. These partnerships can provide access to a wide range of popular movies and TV shows, as well as exclusive streaming media - not just content for video streaming services - that is only available on your platform.
This can be a more expensive option, but it can also provide access to popular and well-known content that may attract more viewers to your platform. Be sure to carefully research and negotiate licensing agreements to ensure that you are getting a fair deal and that the content fits with your brand and target audience.
What should my video streaming content be like?
Regardless of how you get your content make sure there is a constant influx of new material to keep your subscribers engaged. Also, make sure the content is worth the cost they are paying.
How does licensing work?
Licensing OTT video content for video subscription services involves the negotiation and purchase of the rights to broadcast certain media, such as movies, television shows, and music, over the internet.
The process of licensing content for best streaming applications typically begins when a streaming service expresses interest in acquiring the rights to a particular piece of content. The content owner, such as a movie studio, will then negotiate the terms of the license with the streaming service, including the duration of the license, the territories in which the content will be available, and the fee that the streaming service will pay for the rights.
Once the terms of the license have been agreed upon, the streaming service will pay the content owner a fee, either upfront or on a recurring basis, in exchange for the right to stream the content. The streaming service will then be able to offer the content to its subscribers through its platform.
There are several types of content licensing deals that can be used to grant the rights to broadcast certain media, such as movies, television shows, and music, over the internet. Some common types of content licensing deals include:
What is a perpetual license for streaming content?
A perpetual content license is a type of licensing agreement that grants the licensee the right to stream the licensed content indefinitely. This type of license is typically used for software, but can also be useful for streaming services that want to offer a particular piece of content on a long-term basis.
A limited license grants the right to stream the content for a certain period of time, after which the license may expire and the content may no longer be available. This type of license can be useful for streaming services that want to offer a piece of content for a limited period of time, such as a TV series that will only be available for streaming for one season.
An exclusive license grants the licensee exclusive right to stream the content within a certain territory or for a certain period of time. This means that no other streaming service will be able to offer the content during the term of the license. Exclusive licenses can be more costly for streaming services, as they may have to pay higher licensing fees in order to secure exclusivity.
A non-exclusive license grants the right to stream the content but does not exclude other streaming services from also licensing the content. This type of license can be useful for streaming services that want to offer a particular piece of content but do not necessarily need exclusive rights.
In addition to the licensing fees paid to the content owner, streaming services may also be required to pay additional fees to the creators and performers of the content, such as actors and musicians, through their respective unions or guilds.
The type of content licensing deal that is most suitable for a particular streaming service will depend on the goals and needs of the service, as well as the terms of the license that the content owner offers.
Licensing of content for streaming is an important aspect of the streaming industry, as it allows streaming services to offer a wide variety of content to their subscribers and helps to compensate the creators and owners of that content.
What is a minimum guarantee, and why is it important for the IPTV/OTT service provider?
When a content provider for IPTV or OTT service requires a minimum guarantee, it means that they are requiring the service provider to guarantee a minimum level of revenue from the distribution of their content. This minimum guarantee can be a fixed dollar amount or a minimum number of subscribers.
In other words, the content provider is setting a floor on the amount of revenue they expect to receive from the distribution of their content, and the service provider is required to pay them that minimum amount regardless of the actual revenue generated by the distribution of the content. The content provider typically asks for this as a way to mitigate their risk and ensure that the distribution of their content will generate a certain level of revenue.
For example, a content provider may require a minimum guarantee of $50,000 per year from a service provider in order to license their content. This means that the service provider will be required to pay the content provider at least $50,000 per year for the rights to distribute their content, regardless of how much revenue the content actually generates for the service provider.
It's worth noting that the Minimum guarantee can be paid in a lump sum, or paid in installments (e.g. monthly or quarterly) and it is not always a common requirement in all content providers. However, it can be a significant part of the costs for the service provider and should be considered when creating the budget and revenue model.
Content sellers offer different business models to OTT or IPTV operators
There are several business models that content sellers may offer to IPTV or OTT operators when buying content from them. Some of the most common models include:
In this model, the operator pays a monthly or annual fee to access the content. The content is typically locked behind a paywall, and only subscribers have access to it.
In this model, the operator pays for each piece of content that is viewed. This is often used for live events or one-off programming.
In this model, the operator receives the content for free, but must include advertisements within the content. The revenue from the advertisements is shared between the operator and the content seller.
Transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) model
In this model, the operator pays for each piece of content that is purchased or rented. This is often used for movies or TV shows.
A combination of the above models. For example, a subscription-based model with ads, or a pay-per-view model with a subscription.
This option allows the service provider to use the content seller's platform and infrastructure, and to brand the service as their own. This allows service providers to offer VOD services to their customers without having to invest in the necessary technology and infrastructure.
Not all content creators are created equal
It's important to note that the content sellers may have different pricing and terms for each of these models, and that the choice of the right business model will depend on the specific needs of the IPTV or OTT operator and the type of content being offered.
It's worth noting that content sellers can also offer different pricing models, like revenue share or flat fees. In revenue sharing, the service provider and the content seller will share the revenue generated by the content, while in flat fees the service provider pays a fixed amount for the content. The most common model is to pay a fixed amount for the content per month or per year.
Each OTT or IPTV operator (service provider) needs to carefully evaluate the different options available and to select the one that best fits their business model and target audience. Additionally, it's important to keep in mind that as the streaming market is constantly evolving, so will the options and the terms offered by the content sellers.
Produce your own original programming
Another strategy for obtaining content is to produce your own original programming. This can include creating and producing your own shows, or licensing and distributing OTT content from independent creators. Although this can be a more time-intensive and costly process, but it also allows you to have complete control over the content on your platform. However, this approach can be a great way to differentiate your service from competitors and offer unique and exclusive content to your subscribers.
If you are interested in creating content for your own over-the-top (OTT) service, there are a few steps you can follow:
Develop a content strategy
Before you begin creating content, it's important to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your OTT service and what type of content will be most suitable for your target audience. Consider your goals, target audience, and the unique value proposition of your service.
Depending on the scope and scale of your content, you may need to secure funding to finance the production of your content. There are a number of ways you can raise money for your OTT service, including crowdfunding, venture capital, and traditional financing.
Identify talent and assemble a team
Depending on the type of content you are creating, you may need to hire writers, directors, actors, and other industry professionals to help bring your ideas to life. Assemble a team of experienced professionals who can help you create high-quality content.
Develop your content
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to create and a team in place, it's time to start developing your content. This may involve writing scripts, casting actors, and securing locations for filming.
Promote your content
Once your content is complete, you will need to find ways to distribute and promote it to your target audience. This may involve using social media, email marketing, and other marketing tactics to build buzz and drive traffic to your OTT service.
Overall, creating content for your own OTT service can be a challenging but rewarding process. By developing a clear content strategy, securing funding, assembling a talented team, and effectively promoting and distributing your content, you can build a successful OTT service and reach your target audience.
Acquire content through acquisitions and mergers with other video streaming companies
Additionally, you can acquire content through acquisitions and mergers with other video streaming companies. This can provide access to a large library of content that is already popular with audiences and can help to quickly expand the offerings on your platform.
User-generated content on your platform
In addition to these options, consider implementing user-generated content on your digital streaming platform. This can be a great way to engage with your audience and provide them with a sense of ownership and community on your platform. You can encourage users to submit their own videos, podcasts, or other forms of content and feature the best submissions on your platform.
Does content for video streaming services need to be exclusive?
Content exclusivity can be an important factor of success for subscription streaming services, as it allows them to differentiate their offerings from those of their competitors and potentially attract more subscribers.
Exclusive content can be particularly attractive to users, as it may not be available on other streaming networks. This can give users a reason to choose a particular streaming service over others, as they may feel that the service offers a unique selection of content that they cannot find elsewhere.
For streaming services, acquiring exclusive rights to popular or highly-anticipated content can also be a way to drive user engagement and retention. Users may be more likely to continue using a streaming service if it has exclusive access to content that they are interested in watching.
However, acquiring exclusive rights to content can also be a costly endeavor for streaming services, as they may have to pay higher licensing fees to content owners in order to secure exclusivity. In addition, streaming services may also face competition from other platforms that are also seeking to acquire exclusive rights to the same content.
Overall, while content exclusivity can be an important factor for streaming services, it is ultimately just one of many considerations that can influence a user's decision to subscribe to a particular streaming service. Other factors such as the overall quality and variety of the content, the premium user experience, and the price of the subscription may also be important considerations for users.
What are the prices for linear TV and VOD content for IPTV or OTT service?
Linear TV content is accessible
The cost of linear TV content for IPTV or OTT services can vary widely depending on a number of factors, such as the specific channels or programming included in the deal, the length of the licensing period, and the size of the service provider's subscriber base. Additionally, prices can vary depending on the country or region in which the service is being offered, as well as the content provider and the terms of the agreement.
The cost of licensing a channel can range from 10 euro-cents to a few euros per subscriber per month.
The cost of licensing a basic package of popular cable channels from major US networks typically starts at several hundred dollars per month for a smaller provider.
The cost of licensing a bundle of international channels can range from a few dollars per month for each channel, to a few thousand dollars per month for a bundle of channels.
It's important to note that these are just examples and prices can greatly vary and also change frequently depending on the demand and market conditions. It is difficult to give a definitive range without including more specific parameters.
Favorite VOD content is no cheap thrill
The amount that OTT operators have to pay for content can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the type of content, the business model being used, and the popularity of the content.
For example, if an OTT operator is using a subscription-based model, they may pay a monthly or annual fee to access the content. This fee can range from a few dollars per month to hundreds of dollars per month, depending on the type of content and the number of subscribers.
If an OTT operator is using a pay-per-view model, they may pay a one-time fee for each piece of content that is viewed. This fee can range from a few cents to several dollars, depending on the type of content and the number of views.
If an OTT operator is using an advertising-based model, they may not have to pay anything for the content, but must include advertisements within the content. The revenue from the advertisements is shared between the operator and the content seller.
If an OTT operator is using a transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) model, they may pay a one-time fee for each piece of content that is purchased or rented. This fee can range from a few dollars to several tens of dollars, depending on the type of content and the number of purchases.
It's important to note that the cost of content can also be affected by the popularity of the content, the exclusivity of the content, and the competition in the market, among other factors. Also, the prices may change over time, and it's important for the OTT operator to regularly negotiate the terms and prices with the content sellers.
Make sure your analytics segment of the OTT solution is up for the task
Analytics plays a significant role in content analysis for major streaming services, as it allows them to gather and analyze data on user behavior and preferences in order to make informed decisions about the content they offer.
Using analytics tools, streaming services can track metrics such as the number of views and the length of time that users spend watching particular pieces of content. This data can help streaming services understand which content is most popular and engaging, and allow them to make informed decisions about which content to acquire or produce in the future, as well as to prevent subscriber churn.
In addition to tracking viewership data, analytics can also be used to gather data on other user behaviors, such as how often users pause or rewind content, or what devices they use to watch content. This data can help streaming services understand how users are interacting with their content and identify any potential issues or pain points in the user experience.
Analytics can also be used to segment users into different groups based on their viewing habits and preferences. This can allow streaming services to tailor their content recommendations and marketing efforts to specific user groups, increasing the likelihood that users will continue to engage with the platform.
Analytics plays a crucial role in content analysis for streaming services, as it provides valuable insights into user behavior and preferences, allowing them to make informed decisions about the content they offer and how to best engage with their users.
What is the key to obtaining streaming video content?
It’s simple: being creative and proactive in seeking out partnerships and opportunities. By building relationships, licensing content, creating your own, and utilizing user-generated content, you can build a robust library of high-quality programming that will attract and retain subscribers.
Bonus - List of questions, the IPTV/OTT operator should ask content providers when inquiring about the linear or on-demand content
What types of content do you have available for licensing and what are the terms of the license?
What is the cost of licensing the content?
What is the length of the license agreement?
Are there any exclusivity agreements or restrictions on the use of the content?
What are the delivery requirements for the content?
Is the content available in multiple languages or with subtitles?
Are there any restrictions on the geographical distribution of the content?
Are there any restrictions on the number of simultaneous streams or users that can access the content?
Are there any rights or obligations related to the use of the content, such as advertising or promotional rights?
Are there any marketing or promotional materials available to support the content?
Is the content available for both live streaming and VOD?
Are there any rights to use the content for other purposes such as VOD, Catchup TV, nPVR, etc.?
Are there any rights to bundle or package the content with other content?
Are there any reporting or analytics requirements for content usage?
Are there any third-party rights or clearances required for the content?
Do you require a minimum guarantee on the content?
Are there any rights for offline mode?
Are there any rights for multiscreen and multi-operator?
Are there any rights for advertising?
Are there any rights for branding and logo use?
These are just some examples, depending on the provider and the content, more specific questions might be asked. However, these will give you a good idea of what to expect and determine if your service can handle the cost of the desired content.
UniqCast can help you with any inquiries regarding the content as a part of our turnkey solution. Feel free to get in touch for more information.