What Are “Over The Top” (OTT) Services?

Have you ever watched a television program on your terms? We're not talking about DVRing an episode of Game of Thrones that aired at its scheduled time for you to watch later from your couch. We're referring to the growing universe of subscription-based media services like Netflix, Sling TV, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Apple TV+. These and other over the top (OTT) media services bypass traditional cable, broadcast and satellite television platforms that act as controller and scheduler of programming to bring streaming media directly to viewers on demand over the Internet.

Most OTT services offer pre-produced entertainment (several provide access to movies and television programs dating back to the dawn of broadcasting); some offer original content; and a few even offer live programming, typically sports-oriented.

Why OTT Services?

OTT Services

Despite not providing access to local news, OTT services are gaining in popularity, especially among Millennials and Gen Xers. They get their news from other outlets (aka their phones) so they are more apt to cut the cable TV cord. But it's not just about watching what you want when you want… OTT allows subscribers to literally watch whatever they want, whenever they want, wherever they are, on virtually any device. Riding the train? Waiting at a doctor's office? At the beach? OTT is available wherever there is a network connection to a smartphone, laptop, tablet, PC or gaming console.

Benefits of OTT

Perhaps the biggest driver of OTT video services is the shift to mobility. The number of mobile users and volume of data consumed on mobile devices is skyrocketing every year. The convenience of mobile streaming combined with the explosion of Millennial and Gen X users means OTT will only continue to grow. And therein lies the rub.

Mobility means Wi-Fi. And for customers to have an enjoyable experience, that means faster Wi-Fi speeds to eliminate the buffering that can occur with HD video streaming. In homes and businesses with multiple devices maxing out wireless bandwidth on the same network, faster Wi-Fi speeds will make for a better customer experience for everyone.

Bottom line? There's nothing wrong with going over the top, provided the internet connection and Wi-Fi network offers the necessary speed and reliability. As a provider of all types of communication and entertainment services, we're ready to support your needs with hi-speed internet and Wi-Fi options, whether you're a streamer ready to cut the cord, or a traditional cable TV viewer seeking affordable packaged services.

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