Live, Local Content Is Crucial Element For OTT

Live and local content are front and center of many strategic OTT decisions being made by media companies today, and new technologies are enabling their delivery at scale.

We’re witnessing the most exciting period of change the media industry has ever seen, with market entrants and long-established brands fighting it out for eyeballs in a competitive and fast-evolving landscape. Content remains a key competitive differentiator in the battle for consumers — and on the digital frontier, broadcasters, cable operators, MVPDs and streaming services are investing hard and fast to stay on top.

Content investment is surging as media companies spend billions of dollars to meet a staggering demand for premium content. Organizations need to get their best content to audiences on digital platforms to attract and retain viewers. The not-so-secret weapons for subscriber retention? Live and local content.

Driving Platform Loyalty With Live Content

Access to live local station feeds, regional sports and news programming with local stories and traffic and weather updates are decisive pull factors for audiences weighing up the shift from cable to OTT viewing.

Switching services is easy and affordable for consumers when an online streaming service provides a purely on-demand offering. Simple cancellation and trial periods make it a breeze for viewers to cut platform services and jump to different providers in a heartbeat.

Integrating quality live programming into a service creates an all-important exit barrier. Customers that rely on online TV services for access to local news, weather and traffic, along with regional sports and local team games from premier sports leagues such as NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL, will think twice about swapping services and risking losing out on relevant and high-value live content.


Delivering premium local content can help differentiate services and deepen platform loyalty. Live content is critical to viewer retention and requires specific and complex technical infrastructure and expertise.

Online streaming platforms ingesting feeds from over-the-air stations, sports networks and event venues need assurances of high reliability and low latency. Streaming viewers don’t want to tolerate live sports coverage that is seconds or even minutes behind the cable television feed.

When it comes to live programming, the stakes couldn’t be higher. With ad dollars on the line and consumer demand for high-quality streaming experiences greater than ever, fast and reliable delivery is paramount.

Tech Strategies Enable Scale And Streaming Success

Bringing premium live content to diverse OTT audiences at a local level with tailored programming strengthens viewer engagement and retention but doing so at scale is a complex challenge. The ability to customize live events and full-time channels in real-time with graphics, audio tracks, closed captioning and metadata can seamlessly prepare content for unique platforms, audience segments and geographies while optimizing the value of content assets and delivering curated viewing experiences.

Advances in automation workflows and cloud technology mean that live event decoration, enrichment and monetization can be carried out seamlessly, efficiently and at scale. Delivering localized content via customized streams for diverse audiences without investing in costly infrastructure or additional staffing resources drives revenues and business growth.

After years of challenges, adaptation, and recovery, media companies are making mission-critical strategic decisions and designing content and technology roadmaps to drive commercial sustainability now and in the future. Live and local content are front and center of many of these strategic OTT decisions today.

Delivering compelling live streaming content at scale while maximizing its value is a challenge that requires leading-edge technology and bold thinking, and it is beginning to define the winners and losers in the market.

Malik Khan is executive chairman and co-founder of LTN Global.

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