Are you looking for ways to grow your online video business?
Over-the-top or OTT video is content that’s streamed over the internet, such as your yoga classes, educational videos, or films and TV series.
Establishing your OTT business takes time; creating a following on YouTube and successfully creating a website to begin converting your audience to paying members.
Building an OTT app lets your members access your content where and when they want on the device they choose; imagine people baking along in the kitchen on a tablet device or children crafting along in front of the TV.
Sounds cool, right?
It’s not the huge investment of time and money than you think, so to help you understand how to build OTT apps and launch, we’re going to look at:
- Platforms that can help you create and publish your app along with your website.
- Platforms that let you create an app that links to your current website.
- Software development companies that’ll build an app for you.
Let’s get started.
Uscreen is a place for you to build your own video membership website and launch branded mobile and TV apps
With Uscreen you can launch apps that’ll work on…
- Android TV
- Fire TV
…that’s fully branded with your own colors and logos and completely customizable.
Simply host your websites and videos with Uscreen, outline what you need in your OTT video app, and it can be built and launched in as little as one month, with publishing and updates all a part of the service.
Here’s how a Uscreen customer used their app-building service.
Example: Naturally Sassy
Naturally Sassy hosts online fitness classes using ballet exercises.
As well as creating their website and managing their members through the Uscreen platform, they’ve created a mobile OTT app.
This means their members can access workouts wherever they like, no computer needed.
The app appears in both the App Store and Play Store for users to download and log in with their existing membership details.
Here are all the app-building features available.
Launching your OTT video app with Uscreen means you:
- Have your app built for you with no learning curve or developer required.
- Get your app published, maintained, and regularly updated.
- Get to build a complementary, customizable website.
- Can choose to have a subscription, rental, or pay-per-view pricing model.
- Have access to a range of marketing tools to bring in new members such as trials and coupons.
- Give your users access to your OTT and live-stream content on their device of choice.
Next up is the pricing.
Uscreen offers customers 3 pricing tiers and they’ll develop the app for your needs when you take an Enterprise plan.
A platform that helps you upload your video content and display it on an on-demand video catalog. It offers everything you may require to set up a highly scalable online business - for instance, the built-in marketing, automation, sales, and analytics features. The live chat and streaming features help you connect with your audience and maximize your conversion rates.
- Pre-designed themes
- No coding expertise required
- 24/7 support
- 360o security
- Limited customization options
Here’s another option to build your OTT video app.
Builder.ai is a software development company that specializes in creating apps for businesses.
You hand over your project and Builder.ai uses a mix of technology and human coders to build the app that you need.
Here are the important features you need to know.
Working with Builder.ai to create an OTT video app, you get:
- A custom-made app created and coded by software developers.
- A dashboard to follow the development of your app as it progresses.
- The option to pay for long-term management and maintenance of your app.
- A fixed price when you commission your app to be built.
Let’s see the pricing for these services.
Builder.ai prices each app individually so there’s no set monthly fee or one-off payment like with other tools we’re looking at.
Moving on to the fourth platform to build your OTT video app.
The third OTT app builder we have for you is…
VidApp is a standalone app builder, so you’ll need to already have your website or video hosted elsewhere, like WordPress.
It’s a do-it-yourself solution; you need to use the VidApp templates to create the app that you want.
Here are the full details of the features available.
Creating an OTT app with VidApp gives you:
- Access to an app builder to choose the features and tools you want to include.
- Integrations with a wide range of content management systems (CMSs) where you can host your content.
- The ability to manage your app across all app stores from one interface.
- A variety of app features like calendars and journals.
Scroll down to see how much these features will cost.
VidApp has a standard package called the Flexi Plan that offers basic features to launch your app.
You can add extra tools to your plan including premium upgrades.
Moving on to the fourth platform to build your OTT video app.
4. Appy Pie
Appy Pie is a simple app builder that focuses on apps for iOS and Android.
It can be quick and easy to build an app with the platform with simple customization options.
The important features are next.
Appy Pie features
Creating your mobile app with Appy Pie means you can:
- Build a simple app with the online tool and add the features you need.
- Test your app on your own device as you build.
- Add features like a blog, calendar, maps, chat, and more.
- Get support to launch your app on any mobile app store you like.
- Enable your app to be used offline.
How much does this cost?
Appy Pie pricing
You can choose between 3 pricing tiers, with the highest level, Platinum, the only one that lets you launch iPhone apps.
Each plan comes with unlimited bandwidth and editing, with the main difference being how many push notifications you can send each month and the level of customer support you can offer your users.
On to the next video app-building platform.
5. JW Player
When you use JW Player for your OTT video streaming, you can work with them to create a mobile and TV app, too.
The company deals with the development of the app and you can monetize your video content with advertising or through subscriptions.
These are the pertinent features.
JW Player features
Using JW Player’s app-building services means you can:
- Provide your requirements and have an app built for you.
- Create a custom branded app for your video content.
- Stream your live content to your app users.
- Continue to monetize your content in the same way as on your desktop content.
Let’s check out the costs.
JW Player pricing
Although JW Player offers a free trial and a Starter package, creating an app isn’t offered with either of them.
To build an OTT app, you’ll need to be on an Enterprise plan with custom pricing.
Those are the five top app-building options for your OTT video content, let’s wrap this up.
Now Over to You
Building an app to expand the reach of your video business is a great move to spur growth.
Your options range from having your video website and app managed all under one roof with Uscreen, to creating your own app with tools like Appy Pie, or having someone else create a custom solution like with Builder.ai.
To learn more about how to create and run your website with Uscreen, check out this recent post.
Have you considered adding an app to your video content offering?
Tell us your plans in the comments.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What features should your OTT app have?
Ideally, your OTT app will be fully customizable, have a catalog and filters to make content easy to search, be available on all mobile and TV platforms, continue your monetization model from your website, and give you access to analytics data.
Q2. How much does building your own OTT app cost?
The price of your OTT app can vary depending on the features you want and how quickly you want it to be live. You can pay an upfront fee to have your app created or include it in a subscription package that already provides ongoing maintenance and updates.
Q3. What are the ways to monetize your OTT application?
You can monetize your OTT in the same ways you can monetize your website video content. The most popular monetization models are:
– Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD), where you charge a monthly fee for access.
– Transaction video-on-demand (TVOD), which is more commonly known as pay-per-view.
– Advertising video-on-demand (AVOD), which gives you a share of the revenue of adverts on your content.