OTT Video App Development Basics: Types, Market, Features, & Cost
By Sudeep Srivastav
August 21, 2019 2. min read
Last update on: September 23, 2019

OTT is possibly one of the most important abbreviations that you might have never heard of. 

Right now it is in more than 51% of homes in the USA alone and is used at least 100 minutes every day.

It doesn’t end here. OTT is out to kick TV Cables off their preferred video streaming choice position. 

Know what else? There is a VERY HIGH chance that you are already using it. 

Well, here’s the big reveal. 

What are OTT Apps? 

OTT is an abbreviation for Over-The-Top – an industrial concept which makes it possible for you to stream video, through the internet, straight on your device. Any device. You do not need a satellite or cable subscription – all you have to do is plug-in device, download an OTT app and that is it. If you have ever lost a few hours or even days on your favorite series on Prime, Netflix, or Hulu, you have already had your rendezvous with the concept. 

how do us agency and marketing professional define

What Types of OTT Services Are Presently Active in the Market?

  • Video
  • Audio
  • VOIP
  • Messaging

Among these four types of OTT services, the one that has surfaced on the forefront the most is the Video OTT segment. And it is also the center of our article today and a point of interest for your business for the time to come. 

Our reasoning behind placing a special focus on OTT streaming platform is a little partial – we are very intrigued by its market size.

In our defence, when you’ll look into the share it is contributing in the entertainment industry, pushing people to be hooked to it day in, day out, you will be too. 

OTT Market Share

Engagement VS Reach for Select OTT Service Providers

The OTT market growth that is presently being charted, especially since the Netflix revolution is massive and it’s continuously evolving. The market is what answers how Movie streaming apps are redefining entertainment industry

You can get a sense of the extent of its dominance through these statistics – 

  • There are over 200 OTT providers in the U.S. (Digiday)
  • As of 2019, there are 182 million OTT subscription video service users in the U.S. (eMarketer)
  • Half of the OTT users (above 18 years) use at least one OTT service.
  • Global OTT revenues are predicted to reach $129 billion by 2023 and $47.8 billion in the U.S. (Multichannel)

The OTT market share doesn’t end at these percents. We will keep looking into graphs and statistics all throughout the article. 

For now, let’s leave you at this one thought – it is OTT that made these companies the leaders in their respective OTT segment –

Companies Winning the OTT Game

Your name can be one of them. In fact, our intention today is to prepare you for your successful time under the OTT light. One step towards that future was knowing what the concept means. Next is knowing how it is different from words that are often used synonymously with them. 

The OTT Industry’s Verses 


It is very easy to get confused between the two, especially since both of them work around on-demand video at their heart. And also because OTT is a subset of VOD. The core f is the latter works only on an internet connection. VOD, on the other hand, requires either a satellite or internet to work. 


The difference in SVOD and AVOD is a difference of business models. 

Subscription Video on Demand is the model where users get access to video content after paying an x amount every month or fixed time range. Ad-Supported Video on Demand is one which is entirely free. It doesn’t charge any amount from the users for access. The only catch is that it makes users sit through ads. 

This is the exact stage where you are now ready to get started with the ground-level discussions about Over the Top (OTT) applications. 

Features of OTT Video Apps

1. Multilingual Content

For you to reach a wider demographic and expand business beyond the geographical borders your core user base are housed, it is of prime importance that you add more languages’ video content besides English. 

From this one move alone, Netflix was able to bag over million users, with an increase in 150 million+ video streaming hours.

2. Search

An Explore or Search option is a must have in OTT streaming platform. The option should be designed in a way that it is visible for all age groups. Also, try to have as many genre options in the search drop-down menu as possible.

3. User Profile

This one feature is a no-brainer. Your application must come with a user profile option which gives them the option to manage their side of the application – the content they want to watch, the preferred payment option and suggestions based on their viewing history. 

Also, if you are planning to take Netflix route of adding more users in the application, have multiple screens in the app, with each user been given their set of features.

4. Watchlist

The next must-have part of OTT video streaming application would be the Watchlist functionality. This is the part where the users would add things that they wish to watch later.  

One way you can get them on this part of the application is through a notification mechanism that would remind them to watch the series.

5. Social Features

If you ask any sound OTT app development company, they will tell you how social features are a pivotal part of the whole OTT experience. They are what makes an application shareable and helps in achieving a daily active user target. 

You should give your users an option to share their view activity on social media with their network. Also, there should be a social media login provision to make onboarding easy.

6. Screen Mirroring

Screen Mirroring

According to every reputed entertainment app development company, in order to increase the user engagement count, it would be beneficial if your users are able to access the application on screens other than their mobile apps, like their TV or Desktop, etc. There are two ways to implement this feature and offer your OTT app for mobile and TV devices:

  • Through Google Cast SDK 
  • The screen mirroring option with AirPlay – an alternative to Google Cast, which work just with Apple TV and the linked iOS apps.

7. In-App Purchases

The last pivotal not-to-miss feature is OTT in-app purchases. 

Using this feature, you will be able to give the ease and seamlessness of money transfer to your app users. 

The functionality become all the more must-have when you choose to go with the SVOD and TVOD monetization model like how the top OTT companies like Netflix and Hulu have.

OTT Monetization Strategy

There are three primal OTT video streaming monetization models that are followed by the top OTT companies:


Subscription Video on Demand: Under this model, your users will be able to view the entire range of your video content offering in return of a recurrent fees that they will have to pay. 


Transactional Video on Demand: The monetization model asks users to pay per view. Here your users will not have to pay anything at the time of log-in. They will be paying a sum on the basis of the series that they wish to watch. 


Ad-Supported Video on Demand: This is majorly an ad-centric digital video service which is absolutely free for the users. Under this model, the revenue of advertisement is used for offsetting production, hosting, and content monetization. 

How Much Does OTT Video App Costs?

The estimation of OTT video app development like Netflix or Hulu cost comes down to a number of factors:

  • The number of features that you are adding in the app
  • The number of platforms that the app would work on
  • The geographical location of your partnered mobile app development company is based out of.

A rough ball-park estimate of the OTT app development cost will come down to a range between USD 150K to USD 200K. 

This is the moment where we will mark the preparations, rendered. There is only one thing left to do – get in touch with our Over The Top (OTT) applications experts and get your app developed and live. 

FAQs About OTT App Development

1.  How OTT Video Apps Can Grow Your Video Business? 

OTT video apps, riding on the glaring popularity that Netflix has created, has a lot to offer to a video business. With its inclusion, you can not just avail the perks of mass reach but also see an expedited rise in revenues at the back of the well-strategized business models. 

2.  What is the Best VoD Revenue Model for your OTT business?

It depends entirely on your business idea but if you wish to take the Netflix route, you should choose the TVOD or SVOD monetization mode to get a steady inflow of revenue month after month. 

3. How to build OTT video apps?

First off, you will require the help of OTT app builders to handle the whole technical process. They will look into the feature set, designing, and development part of whole application, leaving you to handle other parts of your business.  

4.  Is YouTube Being Threatened By OTT Services?

Not for some time to come. YouTube has the biggest market share, but in order to maintain its leadership tag, the app will have to find better ways to serve creators operating in the space of low subscribers and view counts. This can happen in the face of business support, high ad revenues, and creation of paywalls and subscriptions for some videos.

Sudeep Srivastav
Sudeep Srivastav
CEO, Appinventiv
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