The Pros of Making an Investment Into Your Direct-to-Consumer OTT App

The future of television has arrived. Traditional cable services are being replaced by over-the-top (OTT) video streaming platforms that enable consumers to access massive volumes of content through a simple WiFi connection.

Combining the reach and power of traditional TV capabilities with the scale and flexibility of the internet, OTT apps have been widely embraced in American households, with 70% of consumers having at least one major OTT subscription (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.).

While OTT apps were previously exclusive to large media companies, countless smaller businesses are now launching their own OTT apps in an effort to fulfill their target audience’s content demands. If you’ve been considering entering the world of OTT apps for a while now, there’s no better time to get in the game.

Experts say OTT app usage will grow to a $120 billion industry by 2022, and $200 billion by 2024, which means investing in your own OTT app today could pay off in dividends down the road. While the amount of time and resources it will take to establish your user base and deploy marketing strategies may seem daunting, the upfront costs will pale in comparison to the revenue generated over time.

Let’s take a look at five benefits of investing in your direct-to-consumer OTT app that will help your business achieve long-term success and growth while satisfying the needs of your customers.

The Opportunities to Entry

A study from Convergence Research estimated that among 90 OTT apps, access revenue grew by 35% to $29.6 billion in 2020. That total is expected to balloon to $39.9 billion in 2021, and $59.4 billion in 2023, which would more than double the amount in 2020. This goes to show that while the market is already mature and new players in the OTT space would not be early adopters, there’s still a lot of success to be had by investing in your OTT app sooner rather than later.

People have their top preferred apps, whether it’s Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Apple TV. But investing in your own OTT app, as opposed to partnering with an OTT aggregator, means you won’t have intermediaries taking a cut of your profits down the road. In 2020, American consumers spent 19 hours a week watching OTT content. By entering the OTT space sooner rather than later, you can start to seize a small fraction of that viewing time, and ideally expand your audience in the coming months and years.


A good chunk of revenue from your OTT app will come from subscriptions. When you partner with an OTT aggregator or allow an existing app to pay a license in order to stream your exclusive content, you’re missing out on valuable subscription-based profits. In simple terms, the more OTT players you partner with along the road, the less profit you bring in for your business.

If you’re the sole owner of your OTT channel, then the revenue generated from subscriptions and renewals won’t be divided up between you and other businesses. It’s true that partnering with an OTT aggregator in the early stages of launching your OTT app can help you reach a wider audience more quickly. But putting in the work of investing into your own OTT app without relying on support from others will equal more revenue for your business in the long run.


Consumers look to their OTT streaming platforms to provide quality content at a reasonable price. But only the best platforms evolve their apps into successful enterprises. By investing in your OTT app, you’ll have more success marketing your brand on the front line of the app experience and start to build brand recognition among consumers.

When you put the time and effort into developing your OTT app, you’re better positioned to market to both B2B and B2C audiences. A diverse portfolio of potential consumers inevitably gives you more opportunities to bring in revenue and increase brand awareness. As opposed to having your brand identity buried when your content is streamed on another company’s platform, take ownership of the full streaming experience by maintaining control of your OTT app. Doing so can help you build towards becoming a well-recognized enterprise among the major players.

Market Intelligence

Another downside of relinquishing control of your OTT app to a bigger streamlining platform is losing out on valuable insights regarding consumer behavior.  Gathering data on your users is only possible when you have full ownership of your OTT app. Partnering with an OTT aggregator means that all-important data is in the hands of the company hosting your content. This makes it difficult for your business to optimize app performance and fine-tune it to accommodate the needs and expectations of your audience.

In today’s world, data is one of the most important assets a company can possess. Once you’ve launched your OTT app, you’ll be able to analyze how consumers are engaging with your streaming platform in order to understand what’s working well and what could be improved. Having better insights into business intelligence and content creation is what enables your business to continually improve and grow.

Business Valuation

Throughout the development process of your direct-to-consumer OTT app, time-to-market is likely an important factor for your business. And while bigger players in the OTT space can likely help get your OTT app in front of a big audience quickly, it comes at the cost of diminished business valuation in the long run.

There’s a major difference in business valuation when you invest in your own IT products, capabilities, and property. If you own the software and channel for your OTT app, the revenue generated from those entities can double or triple over time. It can be difficult to lead OTT app development based on long-term strategies since it will take longer for your business to reap the rewards of all your hard work. But investing the time, money, and resources needed to maintain control of your OTT app will ultimately be a more profitable decision for your business.

Zemoga is Here to Help

Zemoga has empowered organizations to Zemoga’s OTT App solutions have been driving innovation in Media & Entertainment for over 15 years for brands like Roku, Hulu, Sony, and HBO. We provide strategic consultation to fully autonomous cross-functional retained teams or individual OTT App experts that can seamlessly integrate into your project team. If you are ready to build your OTT App, Contact us today to learn more about our product development services and how we can help bring your digital product ideas to life.

About the author

Constantino is the Program Manager for the OTT Portfolio at Zemoga, he oversees several Digital Streaming initiatives.