The wild rise of streaming services in recent years has created many exciting opportunities for businesses. The newfound popularity of OTT app development came in tow, unlocking many interesting use cases. With COVID-19 accelerating the transition, OTT app development is the new playing field, a foot in the door to access new audiences sitting in front of connected TVs in their living rooms around the globe.


In this article, we will discuss the possible use cases and industries that could benefit from OTT development in the coming years.

OTT as a marketing channel

Users are expecting their SmartTVs to provide an experience similar to using a laptop or a tablet – and thus TV app marketplaces like Roku or Apple TV are growing with new apps added every day. And as TVs have turned into bona-fide entertainment and internet-browsing hubs, there are many new opportunities to tap into. For example, on top of mobile apps, brands can start offering their shopping apps on the TV. This can be either in the form of the actual shopping experience or as a branded advertising channel. From a marketing point of view, the benefits are plenty: the products are bigger, crispier, and show more details. This may be especially important for fashion brands, as the images inch closer to their real-life dimensions. 


Brands such as RedBull swiftly use OTT to their advantage. RedBull may not be the healthiest drink, but they certainly know their marketing game. The RedBull TV app is currently supported on more devices than HBO Go – and Red Bull is not even a video streaming platform. This is marketing done right. In this way, the company has secured itself a solid place in the consumers’ minds. The app is available in every major app store, regularly updated and meticulously growing their presence and capturing eyeballs.


OTT streaming apps could incorporate various e-commerce integrations to take product placement to the next level. Just like the “what’s on the screen” feature you get when you pause your favorite show on Prime Video’s – displaying information about the actors in a scene– customers might want to be able to know where to buy Daniel Craig’s suit by simply clicking a link on the pause screen when watching Not Time To Die. Much like the good old “steal his look” photos from popular fashion magazines. The Bond series has been notorious for abusing product placement – there are websites dedicated to identifying the products presented in each installment.

Amazon’s X-Ray shows movie info when you hit pause. This feature shows much promise from the marketing point of view.

Having your own OTT app, even if necessarily regularly launched by the user, is an asset in itself. Your brand’s app is either in the smart TV’s app store or already displayed on the home screen. This sends a very important, subliminal message to your potential consumers: we’re here, we know OTT. This is a smart way for your brand to occupy the precious slot on the smart TV home screen – alongside those popular TV apps like Netflix or Prime Video people open almost every day.

OTT as a sales channel

Due to the space they occupy in the living room, TVs are usually associated with entertainment, fun, and fun time (as opposed to, perhaps, hard work, excessive worry and saving money). This can be leveraged from the sales point of view, grabbing your user’s attention when they are relaxing after work and actually have the time to consider your offer. 


Just try the following use cases for size:

Holiday booking apps

an app that shows gorgeous holiday destinations right on the Smart TV, allowing the whole family to browse hotels from the cosy comfort of the sofa, and letting them purchase it without having them reach for their laptops.


Cooking apps 

Imagine a cooking app that guides you through all the steps while displaying links to the online groceries shop which offers the necessary ingredients – and sends the shopping list straight to your phone. 


High speed broadband has democratized access to streaming content. It only makes sense, then, that such a content-heavy industry might depend on an OTT app platform to reach a wider audience. 


OTT has reinvented how people watch TV. People are no longer as dependent on the broadcast time as they were in the past. Instead, they can adapt their watching around their busy lives, and watch content at their convenience – whether it’s live or as video-on-demand. Much content that was traditionally broadcast only on the TV or the radio can instead be accessed through an over the top application.


Traditional TV clearly dominates live programming, but OTT is slowly bridging the gap. Sports content, while mostly broadcast through satellite on TV, can now be streamed to internet users through OTT mobile and TV apps. The advantage of OTT apps is that such content is available later on-demand for the users wanting to catch up at their convenience. 


One of the best examples of sports streaming apps is ESPN+. The app streams live sports and offers game replays, video highlights, news, expert analysis, and other shows from the ESPN network. 


Sky News, a British free-to-air television news channel, offers streaming apps for mobile and OTT devices such as Apple TV, ROKU, XBOX, and web. The app gives users access to the live Sky News channel, 24 hours a day, as well as a video catch-up service of all the key stories of the day, including sections for UK, World, US, Business, Politics, Business, Entertainment and Strange News.

The Sky News app on Roku

Many other leading TV stations are using OTT apps to work around the limitations of traditional TV and deliver their live and VOD streaming content to their users. Notable examples include ABC, Sky News, Euronews and many, many more.


OTT apps accompanying popular TV stations give users the flexibility to watch the content wherever they are, at any point in time, and access additional commentaries or reports at their convenience. 


The popularity of game streaming has led to many gamers capturing their live gaming experiences and posting their videos online. Professional streamers have become an industry unto itself, combining gameplay with entertaining commentary. Some of them have managed to turn gaming into a viable source of income. 


Live streamers need the support of streaming platforms to display sponsored ads, accept donations, keep an eye on channel analytics, and manage their audiences. Platforms like Twitch made live game streaming popular, but many smaller services like HitBox, Mixer, Beam, Bigo Live, YouTube Gaming, Afreeca or Disco Melee soon followed suit. 


Over the years Twitch has grown to become a streaming platform with over 15 million daily active users watching the content on mobile, Android TV, and Apple TV devices – anytime and anywhere. 


Fitness and wellbeing

Health and fitness is another industry which boomed during the pandemic, which pushed many to work out at their homes. Online fitness tutorials are nothing new, but the experience of accessing the content on the big screen is second to none. 


But the pandemic has caused many gyms and personal fitness trainers to seek remedy to their dwindling revenues. Live streaming home workouts delivered on a pay-per-use or subscription basis are thus becoming more and more popular. The trend also covers OTT apps engaging group wellness and yoga classes which the participants can enjoy from the comfort of their homes.


Examples of OTT fitness apps include Classpass, Corepower Yoga, Dancebody and OBE Fitness. The benefits of offering fitness classes over an OTT app are plenty:

High-quality video

Powerful CDNs can deliver high-quality streaming video which not only mirrors the face-to-face experience, but can actually expand it thanks to the use of multiple camera angles and functionalities like captions, different language versions, and pause and rewind.

Expanding the client base

The classes are no longer restricted by area or time. This can help trainers expand their customer base and reach fitness enthusiasts beyond the gym.

A channel for sales

Fitness trainers, coaches and nutritionists can gain advanced advertising and selling options through the OTT channel. With an OTT platform, you can manage subscriptions, sell products, manage pre-orders, vouchers, coupons, offer free trials. Sky is the limit. 


Trainers gain access to detailed analytics about their subscribers. Viewership insights can help them manage churn and grow their business.


While online courses and teaching marketplaces are nothing new, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rate at which schools, colleges, and universities adopt OTT e-learning platforms. UNESCO recommended distance learning solutions to deal with the impact on education. There thus is much opportunity in this industry, and it’s vastly unsaturated. There are just a handful of education apps for kids on Google TV, and most of them are quite bad. This shows how much untapped potential lies in the platform.


The COVID-19 has resulted in schools shut all across the world. Globally, over 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom. As a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms. This covers VOD online courses, tutorials, and classroom aids for teachers. 


These materials can be viewed at the student’s own convenience and are accessible for posterity. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of traditional schools and institutions have begun using OTT platforms to host not just video-on-demand but also virtual classrooms, exam halls and assignment centres. All of these can be accessed through a smartphone, laptop, tablet or smart TV and a stable internet connection. The use of OTT platforms was so all-pervasive that even UNESCO suggested it continue to be used in order to cope with social distancing and lockdown regulations.

Looking for an OTT app development partner?

There’s never been a better time to join the OTT gold rush. At Better Software Group, we are committed to building quality OTT applications for broadcasters, content owners, and telecommunication and media companies. If you consider developing an OTT app to grow your business or are curious to find out what we can do for you, send us an email. Our experts will be happy to discuss your project.