OTT or Over-the-Top is a technology, which brings all broadcasters under a single platform of IP network and distributes audio and video to consumers over the Internet. Viewers can watch video easily on their everyday-used devices like mobiles, tablets, iPad, laptops, etc. Apart from live streaming, viewers can also watch videos of their own choice by video-on-demand (VOD) technology. OTT is similar to DTH technology, the only difference is that DTH uses satellite communication whereas OTT uses network communication. The main factor which can make OTT a success is a reliable Content Delivery Network (CDN) for meeting the growing needs of content distribution and strategic content consumption patterns of users in devices using various bandwidths and bit-rates.

{mosimage}CDN plays an important role in distributing content to audiences. In the backend, it also uses cloud transcoding, as per the user's requirement, depending on their device resolution. OTT is basically a process of presenting the content to users, as per their convenience, irrespective of time schedule.

Most of the broadcasters and headend companies have started working to implement OTT in India. Initially, they faced challenges in meeting the network bandwidth requirement. However, this challenge has been minimized by increased usage of mobile network by users. Mobile network here has been upgraded from 2G to 4G in a very short span of time, as a result of which there is a trend of smartphone adoption, which allows the customer to be connected on the Internet on-the-go.

The advent of affordable Internet-ready mobile devices, low-priced data packs from network providers, and a surge in easily available online content has enabled the audiences to migrate from traditional TV to mobile devices to view content. With increase in the use of smart devices in India, content owners are using the network-based OTT platform to improve reach and generate revenues through subscriptions and advertisements, resulting in a boost in the OTT market.

Moreover with OTT, broadcasters are getting footprint all over the world and they can earn revenues from even other parts of the world. This is a very strong factor for broadcasters to move to OTT platform. A few new broadcasters are uplinking their channels in OTT only, instead of satellite, which has reduced the huge investment cost of broadcasters.

Hotstar, a subsidiary of Star India Pvt. Ltd., is a very good example of OTT in India. It comes in eight different languages, and has content from 15 TV channels. Netflix is another example of OTT. Netflix started streaming subscription VOD service in 2007 and currently has 47 million subscribers in the U.S. As of now, Netflix has its operations in about 190 countries all over the world.

OTT basically understands the user requirement, hectic life, ease of channel-based subscription, and accordingly it comes up with unlimited access of content anytime, anywhere, and from any device at user's convenience.

With a rise in OTT services and availability of 3G and 4G network, it is expected that a larger number of audiences will move to wireless and mobile devices to access audio/video content. It is believed that by 2019, 80 percent of all traffic will be video. There are about 66 million unique connected video viewers in India, and about 1.3 million OTT paid-video subscribers. Broadcasters such as Star TV network and Zee Entertainment are driving services as well as viewership for alternate media, rather than cable TV or DTH providers.