Cloud TV has been in the market for a few years now but it became a household name in 2020. Globally, it generated a revenue of $1.2 billion in 2020. It is expected to generate a revenue of $4.2 billion by 2026.
With work, education, and entertainment going online post-Covid-19 outbreak, businesses are shifting base from traditional TV to Cloud TV to provide on-demand viewing, better user experience, and interactive viewing.
In this article, we are going to discuss everything you need to know as a business to offer Cloud TV to your audience.
Difference between Cloud TV and OTT TV
Cloud TV – Cloud TV is designed to enable broadcasters, content owners, telecom providers to promptly integrate world-class TV streaming services across multiple screens and their set-top. It delivers a flexible streaming option for their audience to watch their favorite content at any time and anywhere. So, users will be able to stream live and pre-recorded video content on their devices at their convenience.
OTT TV – Over-the-top content providers provide content to their customers on OTT TV through the internet. OTT devices include Smart TV, PlayStation, Chromecast, Amazon Firesticks, Apple TV, and Xbox. Mobile, desktop, and laptop cannot be used to stream OTT TV content.
Cloud TV is better than OTT TV as it enables traditional TV providers to deliver their services on a cloud-based infrastructure. Cloud TV can target narrowed-down audience segments and provide them with customized offers. This increases user satisfaction and builds a multi-fold user base in a short period of time thereby increasing the profits of the business.
Working of Cloud TV explained
The hardware equipment that is installed at the customer’s premise acts as a data center to provide TV content across multiple Cloud TV devices of the user. This eliminates the need for system operators and multiple video streaming solution providers.
Technically, video and graphics are processed into a single MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) feed or HTML (Hypertext Markup Language). This is then delivered through STB by video streaming services.
Benefits of Cloud TV for businesses
Globally there are 4.66 billion active internet users in 2021 as compared to 3,969 million users in 2019. Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic that shifted gears of work, education, and entertainment into the homes of people across the world. This has replaced traditional television viewers with Cloud TV users and it will continue to do so in large numbers in the days to come. Here are the benefits of Cloud TV for businesses:
- Low investment to set up a Cloud TV service provider business
Traditional television providers require huge investments to set up the initial infrastructure. Compared to traditional television, Cloud TV requires lesser investment to set up the in-house infrastructure. The initial set-up includes hardware equipment, installation, and maintenance.
- Scalability & flexibility
Any business that is in the streaming industry should be scalable and flexible to cater to varied audience segments. This will ensure that the company grows fast and is neck-to-neck with top competitors in the market. Cloud TV is scalable and flexible when it comes to increasing in watch hours, an increase in viewership and the volume of video content consumed.
- Hassle-free operations
Cloud TV does not require a large team of in-house employees to maintain, migrate or upgrade the workflow. Once Cloud TV is set up, minimal staffing is sufficient for the operational activities. Content delivery network (CDN) is used to deliver content that is faster than traditional television. Also, all the video content is secure as multi-DRM technologies are used to transmit the data through the internet.
- Access to detailed analytics
Key insights into the target audience behavior are required to be able to serve them. Being a Cloud TV provider gives you access to detailed analytics of your targeted demographic to study the rate of engagement, watch time, preferences, etc. This will help you plan the delivery of your content to the demographic and user persona you want to cater to thereby increasing the revenue.
- Provide content in-demand
Unlike traditional television, Cloud TV providers offer movies, television shows, and videos that are preferred by the audience. Since only relevant content is promoted to the audience, the viewership grows exponentially in a short period of time. Cloud TV adapts a data-driven approach providing the Cloud television service providers an edge over other entertainment channels.
- Data protection
With increased internet activity, it is essential that businesses have data protection in place. In 2020, ransomware activity increased by 435% and malware activity increased by 358% when compared to 2019. All the video content that is streamed to Cloud TV through the internet should be secured by the business provider.
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Why Cloud-based platforms are more beneficial for businesses than an OTT?
A cloud tv is a step ahead of the OTT. The OTT platform providers had to format the video files for delivering to the users’ devices through the internet. The working staff is required to perform the following functions:
- Formatting the video
- Data protection
- Recording of live streaming
- Adaptive video playback
- Data storage
- Data transmission
- Minimal manpower
Delivering video content is a lengthy process in the OTT platform and when the OTT provider increases the geography of the target audience, the operational staff should also be increased. This will help in accommodating the operational activities as the user base increases. This entails a huge investment in manpower in the period that the business expects the audience to grow.
This is not the case with Cloud-based television streaming as it is highly scalable and adaptable. Existing work staff is sufficient to handle the increasing number of viewers across geographies.
- No additional investment in hardware
In addition to the manpower, OTT platform providers will have to invest in hardware to grow their business. Servers are required to deliver content and they have to be updated periodically. Additional staff will also be required to maintain the newly purchased servers.
Additional human resources are not required in cloud-based streaming as the cloud model is highly scalable and flexible. All the investment in hardware and staff is only during the initial set-up. The same set of hardware and personnel can maintain, function, and upgrade the systems for any number of viewers.
- Cloud server
Cloud TV content is stored on the Cloud. This not only reduces the investment cost in hardware and employees but also aids in transcoding video files. Rendered files that are hosted on Cloud are ready to be delivered to the client’s device at any time.
- Infrastructure is located geographically
Since all the content is hosted and stored on Cloud, the Cloud servers can be located anywhere around the world. It is best to host on servers that are in the regions of the target audience so that content can be delivered to your users from their closest data center. This also reduces the latency of video streams.
Now that you know how the Cloud TV set-up functions, its benefits, and why it is going to be the next big thing, it is time you take action. There are several Cloud-based OTT platform providers in the market. In order to choose the right one for your business, define the objective of your cloud TV business, narrow down your target audience and define the content that your target audience consumes.
Based on this data, choose the cloud OTT platform service that has the features your business requires to cater to your audience and see it succeed in record time.
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It’s true that going cloud for OTT platforms can be a boon for OTT service providers. But, what about the upgrade charges over time? How expensive it could get for an organization?