Markus Kugler


Beyond UX: What makes OTT Services successful

At this year's NewTV Summit (January 29th in Berlin), the topic was what everything revolved around: How will all these great OTT offers in Germany finally become commercially successful? OTT is in this context equivalent to "on demand video over IP on a smartTV" - the official title of the congress was "Streaming Media - Technology & Monetizing". speakers came from different corners: public television, consulting companies, industry hardware dinosaurs, private television and actually two representatives of OTT offers: Zattoo and maxdome.

If I'm not mistaken, smartTV usage increased by 260% last year, and it is reported that 85% of newly purchased smartTVs are now actually connected to the Internet. That's quite a high figure - especially compared to 2012, when only 10% of connected TVs were actually connected.

A gold-rush atmosphere then? No, not really. In summary, most speakers agreed that successful OTT offers today are above all one thing: expensive for the provider. And difficult to refinance. Providers like smartclip want to offer a way out through new forms of advertising like addressable TV and programmatic TV.

In my opinion, Ms. Tanja Hüter from Siemens put it very nicely in a nutshell in her presentation "How to successfully establish OTT Video Services - 10 theses". Out of the 10 theses, only 7 became due to time constraints, but they were presented in a witty and beautiful way.

In this presentation it became clear once again that the infrastructure for successful OTT in Germany does not even exist: If we all watched significantly less linear broadcast and much more IP based on demand overnight - the line capacity would not be available.

In addition to other theses such as "Always helpful: a lot of money", "Special interest is the new mainstream" or "Make the CTO a CMO", Ms. Hüter was one of the few speakers who also addressed the end user in terms of quality. She postulated that it is important to keep a close eye on the skill level of the target group and to eliminate 50 percent of the frontend features.

There it was, for the first and I mean only time on this congress that also times about it was spoken, what the user would like then, so that also he is ready to spend money and to contribute with it its part to the refinancing of the services.

Data, facts and figures were abundant, sometimes interpreted in one direction, sometimes in the other. But no one has ever talked about the quality of what users really want from an OTT offering, in order to be able to realize it more easily (more cost-effectively?).

We are convinced that this is the only way to achieve positive UX. That this positive UX can then contribute to reducing churn and also be more commercially successful is something I would like to put forward as a thesis. This is not quite "Beyond UX", but perhaps a slightly different perspective on why UX is more than a buzzword.

Copyright image: BITKOM e.V.

Markus Kugler

Managing Director & Usability Engineer


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