Challenges of Launching an SVOD Service - What Devices Should I Support?

By Chris Smith on November 29, 2017


What devices should I support?

First, it’s important to consider the market and look at what devices are the most popular. The top four streaming media devices today are Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and Apple TV.



Smart TV’s are another large player, covering approximately 75% of the market and include mainstream TV manufacturers such as Samsung, Vizio, LG, and Sony.



Although market research is important to consider, the best device for your video business depends on your content, audience, and resources. Here are a few questions to ask yourself that will help you prepare for common, yet unexpected challenges of expanding with OTT.

Should I support multiple devices?

When you launch an SVOD service, obviously you want to be distributing your content to as many endpoints as possible in order to reach the largest audience. Often times content owners are limited to supporting only one or two devices, especially at the time of launch. Supporting multiple devices brings content management challenges, not to mention apps can be costly, time-consuming and resource heavy.

What’s required for app development?

One of the biggest challenges of supporting multiple devices is the fact that every device has completely different app development. That means that video businesses must develop different versions of their app for each device. If you want to support the 30% of Wi-Fi homes that use a Smart TV, that adds even more app versions.

Delivering a video app across every screen is complicated. Platforms are constantly evolving and often have multiple versions of the operating system. This means that multiple versions of your video app are required, in addition to the continual maintenance required to revise and update your apps whenever new versions are released.

Learn how The Film Detective navigated this challenge with Zype in order to easily build and publish custom set-top and mobile apps to deliver their content across web, mobile and Smart TV devices.

Are there restrictions on content?

One of the most unexpected challenges for content owners is having to manage multiple assets to comply with each device’s content policies. Not every device is equal and some platforms have much stricter content restrictions than others.

This was a challenge for NightFlight when they added support for Amazon Fire TV, which had much more conservative content policies compared to what they were used to with Roku. They had to manage slightly different content assets for each device. Now, they have to create “clean versions of videos to release through Fire TV, or exclude some content altogether. Roku isn’t the only platform that restricts the type of content it allows, Apple TV also has it’s own set of restrictions.

Keeping track of which content is allowed through each platform can quickly spiral out of control. See how Zype helps Night Flight to easily control what content goes to each specific platform.

Who is your audience?

The age and demographics of your target audience is another important aspect to consider as you decide which devices to support. If your audience is younger, it’s especially important to have the ability to distribute your content on mobile. Smartphone video reaches almost twice as many millennials than those 50 and over. Millennials also use the connected television much more than older online video viewers. Both age groups use a computer to watch videos, but older viewers prefer the device more than the younger generation. To ensure you reach the broadest audience possible, it’s critical to launching apps on mobile, web and connected TVs. Learn how the SVOD service, The Rebel Media’s reaches an audience that has a wide range of ages and device preferences.

Choosing the initial set of apps for your SVOD service is critical to your long-term success and there are many different aspects to consider. Get real-world insights to help you decide what devices are best for your SVOD service. Get the e-book Build, Launch, Grow today.

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