Top 3 OTT Tips and Best Practices for 2019

By Chris Bassolino on August 16, 2019

Have you launched and OTT application on Roku, AppleTV, FireTV or the various other streaming devices?

Like anyone with an OTT channel, you’re likely looking for ways to get more viewers. Whether you’re an AVOD channel who relies on advertising revenue or a SVOD who needs to reduce churn, these OTT tips and best practices can be used by every type of channel. OTT streaming applications are heating up, and you need to be prepared for war.

OTT Tip #1 - Make Metadata a Priority to Optimize Discoverability

Did you know 66% of viewers know exactly what they want to watch before opening a streaming service?

That means you need to make it incredibly easy for users to find your content, both within your own application and on the various streaming platforms like Roku and FireTV.

When it comes to finding content on OTT, people are speaking into their remotes and searching on the home screen for the show they want to watch. They shouldn’t even have to open up your application to be able to play your content.

The only way to optimize for search both within the app store (whether through voice search or manual) is to invest in metadata management.

Video metadata includes title tags, descriptions, actors, directors, genre, and more. The easiest way to optimize for search and manage your metadata is utilizing a video metadata editor tool or suite.

OTT Tip #2 - Ask for Ratings… Only If You Think They’re Gonna Be Good

From where we go to eat to what we watch, everyone knows that ratings go a long way. Go take a scroll through the “new and notable” or “most popular” OTT application sections on Roku or any other device and you’ll see one trend — they all have over 3. 5 stars.

If your application isn’t providing a quality user experience like featuring too many ads or constant loading, users will proactively rate you poorly. It’s like when you have a really terrible restaurant experience and you put up a Yelp review yet you’ve never left a review for a superior experience.

That’s why you need to solicit positive reviews from those viewers who consistently come back and watch.

How do you do this?

You can set up automated review triggers based on app engagement (e.g., if a user has watched more than 10 hours of content) you can ask them to leave a rating directly on your OTT application.

If you’re a subscription-based OTT application, you’ll likely have your viewers email addresses, and, if you asked permission, can send them marketing emails asking for a rating.

OTT Tip #3 - Optimize your listing to improve download conversions

There are over 300 unique OTT channels currently available. The streaming wars are heating up and individuals are cutting how will you stand out?

First, you need a crisp, clean icon that draws the viewer’s eye in.

PlutoTV is a great example of an OTT app icon.

Top 3 OTT Tips and Best Practices for 2019 pulto

The following OTT app icon features exaggerated colors, multiple fonts, iconography, and feels, overall, a little outdated.

Top 3 OTT Tips and Best Practices for 2019 3

This is your first opportunity to impress your potential viewers. How many downloads could you be missing out on because of a badly performing app icon?

You can begin to test this creative through running ads and then move your testing over to the platforms themselves.

Beyond your OTT app icon, you should focus on the entire app store description and experience by using beautiful images and screenshots to maximize mindshare throughout the store description.

For example, you should:

  • Use the description section to describe your content and the audience who will enjoy it. An example might be “Free, curated indie cinema from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and 90’s you’ve likely never seen”
  • Highlight your top, featured content that’s uniquely available in your application
  • Highlight any special features you offer like watching offline, favoriting, and content recommendations

The Best OTT Tip? Focus on User Experience

All of these OTT tips and best practices have one thing in common — user experience. From making it easy to find your video content through metadata management, asking for ratings after positive engagements on your OTT application, and, finally, optimizing your OTT application listing are all ways to benefit the user, which, in the end, benefits you.

Have questions on things like how to trigger rating asks  in your OTT application or metadata management to be found in search? Email us anytime at and we’ll gladly show you how.

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